2018 WIAA girls basketball playoff pairings

CWS Sports Desk

February 11, 2018

Wausau– It’s only February 11, but March Madness here once again.  The WIAA has released the pairings for the 2018 girls basketball playoffs and, as is customary, CWS takes a look at area teams, seedings and opponents in the opening rounds of the tournament.

Regional play will begin February 20.

All statistics, standings and records are as of February 11, 2018.

This post will be updated frequently, please check back as more information becomes available.

Division I

#3 SPASH vs. #14 Eau Claire Memorial– SPASH seems like a team that nobody is going to want to match up against in the playoffs.  They have two major scoring threats in senior Maggie Negaard and sophomore Leah Earnest.  Madisyn Rogan can also light it up.  The Panthers are sitting at 18-2 overall and will likely come out of this week with at least a share of the Wisconsin Valley Conference title.  Eau Claire Memorial is 6-14 overall and already suffered a loss to SPASH once this year, way back on November 21.  The final score of that one was 59-52.

#13 Wisconsin Rapids vs. #4 D.C. Everest– The Red Raiders are currently 6-14, but don’t let their record fool you.  Rapids averages 51.5 ppg and have a couple of legitimate scoring threats in senior Breally Kautzer (14.1 ppg) and Maddie Paitel (13.7 ppg). The Evergreens are 17-4 overall, and just suffered a tough loss to Wisconsin Valley Conference foe SPASH on Friday night.  A team with some good inside players, including Natalie Mohring (10.9 ppg), the Evergreens can beat you on the outside as well with sharpshooter Taylor Petit (14 ppg).

#11 Neenah vs. #6 Wausau West– The Warriors are a very dangerous team. West has a 14-6 record with Maddie Schires and her 20.7 ppg average leading the way.  Tessa Hauer and Shelby Samz also average in double figures for a West team that puts up 71.2 points per game. Neenah checks in at 7-13 overall and 5-11 in a tough Fox Valley Association Conference.

Division II

#4 Merrill vs. #5 Rhinelander or #12 Waupaca– Merrill had a solid season with a 13-8 overall record so far.  The Bluejays are fresh off a 63-58 win over Wisconsin Rapids and have a 5-7 record in the Wisconsin Valley Conference. Patience Pyan leads Merrill with a 14.5 ppg average, while Maddix Bonnell averages 12.8 ppg. Rhinelander checks in with a 12-9 record and is in second place in the Great Northern Conference behind Lakeland.

#3 Marshfield vs. #11 Antigo or #6 Shawano– Marshfield gets a nice seed after compiling a 9-11 overall record.  Despite a sub .500 overall record, the Tigers are a dangerous team.  Jenna Jakobi leads the team with a 14.4 ppg average.  Meg Bryan is a good shooter and averages 12.6 ppg. Antigo struggled this year and currently owns a 2-17 record, while Shawano is 13-8 overall and currently in third place in the Bay Conference.

#10 Wausau East vs. #7 New London– East struggled this season and has just three wins.  Their most recent loss was 58-26 at the hands of Marshfield.  Once again, the Lumberjacks will finish the season in the cellar of the Wisconsin Valley Conference. New London comes from the Bay Conference where they have a 7-6 conference record and are 11-10 overall.

Division III

#6 Stratford vs. #11 Mauston– Stratford currently has a 12-8 record and just mopped the floor with Chequamegon, winning by the final score of 63-28. The Tigers average over 46 points a game and are currently in second place in the Marawood-South with a conference record of 11-4.  Mauston is just 5-15 overall this season and is in the cellar of the South Central Conference at 1-8.

#2 Amherst vs. #7 Little Chute or #10 Oconto Falls– The Central Wisconsin-East champion Falcons had a perfect conference record at 11-0 and lost just once in 21 attempts so far.  Their lone stumble came on November 30 to Laconia.  Heather Pearson averages 18 ppg and Lauren Boelte averages 12.3 ppg.  The Falcons will be a handful for anyone.  Little Chute sits at 10-10 while Oconto Falls is 5-15.

#10 Nekoosa vs. #7 Westby– The Papermakers are just 5-15 this season and average slightly above 41 points per game.

#5 Wittenberg-Birnamwood vs. #12 Tomahawk– The Chargers have a nice 16-3 record and average nearly 50 points per game. W-B is 7-3 in a very tough Central Wisconsin-East Conference, good for third place as of February 11. Tomahawk has just three wins to 17 losses.

Division IV

#1 Marathon vs. #9 Edgar or #8 Phillips– Marathon has consistently been one of the best girls basketball teams in the region, and this year was no exception.  The Red Raiders own a 17-2 overall record and will finish the season with yet another Marawood South Conference title.  Katelyn Schmidt leads the team with a 15.5 ppg average, while Alysha Stieber averages 12.6 points per game.  Edgar struggled to hang in an ultra-competitive Marawood South Conference with a 2-13 mark in conference play.

#4 Pacelli vs. #5 Auburndale or #12 Chequamegon– It’s been quite a season for Pacelli after suffering through some down years in the recent past.  Sophomore Sarah Mueller (15.2 ppg) has been a bright spot on a team that currently holds a 15-6 overall record.  Jenelle Higgins, Amanda Klasinski, Claire Rogers and Morgan Kuckkahn are all contributors for the Cardinals.  Auburndale posted seven wins in the Marawood South and is 12-8 overall.

#3 Neillsville vs. #11 Spencer or #6 Abbotsford– Neillsville was upset in by Owen-Withee in their last outing, but nonetheless are the owners of a 16-3 overall record and a 11-2 mark in the Cloverbelt-East.  Lauren Messar leads the team in scoring with 12.4 ppg.  Abbotsford picked up seven wins in the Marawood-North this year and is led by 1,000-point career scorer Dylana Schreiner.  Spencer picked up just two wins so far and currently stands at 2-18 overall.

#2 Colby vs. #7 Athens or #10 Thorp– Colby set the pace in the Cloverbelt-East this season and figures to come away with the conference title unless something unexpected happens in their final game against Granton on Feb. 12.  The Hornets are 18-2 overall with Ashley Streveler leading the way with a 13.9 ppg average.  One game of note is Colby’s 79-50 win over Athens on January 30.  Athens is 7-13 overall and has a legitimate scoring threat in Kenadi Diedrich, who averages 18.7 ppg. Gabi Janke has a 13.4 ppg average.

Division V

#1 Tri-County vs. #16 Pittsville– The Penguins have been impressive this season notching 19 wins to just one loss.  Their lone loss came at the hands of Fall Creek at Just a Game on Feb. 3. Amber Baehman is averaging about 18 points per game, while Alexis Rodriguez checks in with a 12.8 ppg average.  Pittsville is currently 1-19 an 0-11 in the Central Wisconsin-South Conference.

#9 Wild Rose vs. #8 Loyal– Loyal won it all last season and that playoff experience will come in handy in 2018.  Loyal has a 8-7 record in the Cloverbelt-East and is 9-11 overall. Wild Rose is 8-12 overall, but is coming off a nice 57-48 win over Pacelli on February 8.

#5 Columbus Catholic vs. #12 Wisconsin Valley Lutheran– Columbus Catholic is 11-8 overall and 8-7 in the Cloverbelt East.  The Dons are averaging 51.8 points per game. Wisconsin Valley Lutheran is 6-14 overall, but have a big time scoring threat in Cassidy Maroszek, who averages 20.1 ppg.

#6 Assumption vs. #11 Almond-Bancroft– Assumption battled to a 10-9 overall record so far.  Maddie Bohn and Elle Leberg lead the team offensively, while Chrysten Linzmeier and Jessie Grundhoffer are players to keep an eye on as well. Almond-Bancroft is currently 6-15 overall and just 2-9 in the Central Wisconsin South Conference.

#2 Newman Catholic vs. #15 Gresham– Newman is an intriguing team.  The Cardinals are 15-5 overall this season and 10-4 in a loaded Marawood South Conference.  There is little question the Cardinals have the talent to make a trip to Green Bay with senior sharpshooter Signe Fronek leading the way.  Jadelyn Ganski is a tall player with range, while Julia Seidel, Lauren Shields and Mackenzie Krach are all contributors. Gresham pulled out just one win this season and currently sits at 1-19.

#6 Owen-Withee vs. #11 Lake Holcombe– Owen-Withee is an intriguing team with a 14-6 overall record and nearly 55 points per game average.  O-W sits at third place in a tough Cloverbelt-East conference where they went 10-4.  The Blackhawks showed their potential in knocking off a very good Neillsville team on February 8.  Lake Holcombe averages just 41.4 points a game and sits at 8-9 overall.

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