The seeds are set, the brackets are in place…now all that’s left to do is play the games. Actually, there’s one thing I like to do before the action starts, and that’s try to pick the winners.
DIVISION 1, Marshfield Sectional
The local sectional is now like the other seven across the state, in that teams are seeded across the sectional, and not just by the regional. Whether that’s good or not, depends upon your perspective…but the upshot is that a local team may not get as far as the sectional final.
Eau Claire North is the two-time defending champion of this sectional, but the Huskies are only a #5 seed this time around. Still, that’s no death blow to their chances, since North advanced to state despite being seeded 5th last season…out of seven teams, in their own regional.
Here’s why ECN could make another run to Madison: no one else in the sectional has a 6-11 University of Wisconsin recruit (Evan Anderson). Plus, the Huskies have a lot of other important elements: an outside shooter (Drew Frase), a slasher (Tyler Sonsalla), and a solid point guard (Alex Cole). Beyond that, ECN has some good depth.
Here’s why ECN might not make another run to Madison: inconsistency. If the Huskies play the way they’ve been playing lately, in wins over River Falls and Memorial, North can run the table through the sectional. If they play like they did in their last loss, at home to Chippewa Falls, then the Huskies are very vulnerable.
As I see it, any number of teams could win this sectional. In order of their seeds, it’s Antigo, Superior, Wausau West, EC Memorial, or EC North. Merrill and Chippewa Falls are the longshots.
Still, this blog is about picking the winners, so here goes: In the regional semifinals, I’ll take River Falls to beat D.C. Everest, North over Wausau East, Memorial over Rhinelander, Merrill over Hudson, Wausau West over Menomonie, with Chippewa Falls upsetting Marshfield.
Regional finals: Antigo edges River Falls, North nips Memorial, Wausau West wins over Merrill, with Superior beating Chippewa Falls.
Sectional semifinals; North over Antigo, Wausau West defeats Superior.
Sectional final: Wausau West avenges its losses in the last two sectional finals, and knocks out North.
Other sectional winners: DePere, Madison Memorial, Oshkosh North, Milwaukee Hamilton, Milwaukee King, Menomonee Falls, and Verona.
DIVISION 2, Durand Sectional (at UW-Stout)
Northwestern is the defending champion, and even without standout senior Steve Tecker, who’s been sidelined all season with a hip injury, the Tigers only have a few non-conference losses. This is a polished, athletic club, that knows how to share the basketball. With 6-8 Donnie Hissa (a Notre Dame baseball recruit), Northwestern has a solid presence inside. There have been some rumblings that Tecker will return to the court for the postseason, but I’ll believe it when I see it (or read about it). There seems to be too much at stake for Tecker’s future to risk…but, stranger things have happened in high school sports.
Regional quarterfinals: Northwestern, Spooner, Osceola, New Richmond, Bloomer, Altoona, Baldwin-Woodville, Mosinee, Medford, G-E-T, Adams-Friendship, Nekoosa, Witt-Bern, and Lakeland.
Regional semifinals: Northwestern, Osceola, Rice Lake, Altoona, Onalaska, G-E-T, A-F, Witt-Bern.
Regional finals: Northwestern, Rice Lake, Onalaska, Adams-Friendship.
Sectional semifinals: Northwestern, Onalaska
Sectional final: Northwestern
Other sectional winners: Seymour, Portage, Port Washington
DIVISION 3, EC North Sectional
I’ve had the good fortune to be on hand, start to finish, for both of Fall Creek’s wins over EC Regis this season. It wouldn’t surprise me if either team wound up advancing to state, but based on what I’ve seen with my own eyes, I think the Crickets have just a bit more than the Ramblers this season. If they played 10 games, I think FC wins at least 6. That’s enough for me to say that the Cricket Crazies will be making another trip to Madison in a few weeks.
Regional quarterfinals: SCC, SCF, Webster, Glenwood City, Regis, O-F, Mondovi, Colfax, Flambeau, Ladysmith, Washburn, Fall Creek, Colby, Neillsville, Thorp.
Regional semifinals: SCC, Glenwood City, Regis, Colfax, Hurley, Ladysmith, Fall Creek, Thorp.
Regional finals: SCC, Regis, Hurley, Fall Creek.
Sectional semifinals: Regis, Fall Creek
Sectional final: Fall Creek
Other sectional winners: Marathon, Cuba City, Dominican
Division 4, Onalaska Sectional
Regional quarterfinals: McDonell, Elmwood, Eleva-Strum, Alma/Pepin, New Lisbon, Lincoln, C-FC, Augusta, Royall, Wonewoc-Center, Kickapoo, Hillsboro, North Crawford, Cassville, River Ridge, Potosi.
Regional semifinals: McDonell, Eleva-Strum, New Lisbon, Augusta, Royall, Hillsboro, North Crawford, Potosi.
Regional finals: McDonell, New Lisbon, Royall, North Crawford
Sectional semifinals: McDonell, Royall
Sectional final: McDonell
Division 4, Spooner Sectional
Regional quarterfinals: South Shore, Siren, Solon Springs, Drummond, Clayton, Bruce, Turtle Lake, Luck, Prentice, Gilman, Mellen, Rib Lake, Marshfield Columbus, Owen-Withee, Northland Lutheran, Loyal
Regional semifinals: South Shore, Drummond, Clayton, Luck, Gilman, Rib Lake, Marshfield Columbus, Loyal
Regional finals: South Shore, Clayton, Rib Lake, Marshfield Columbus
Sectional semifinals: Clayton, Marshfield Columbus
Sectional final: Clayton
Other sectional winners: Benton, Wausau Newman
So there you have it. As always, feel free to agree or disagree with these picks…but do so by posting your selections in the comment section below.
See you down the tournament trail…
Posted under Hometown Sports
This post was written by bbradovich on February 25, 2010