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Shutouts set up showdown between Badger and Delava...

Comets fall in sectional final

Comets advance to sectional final

Badger falls at state

Badger High's sharp-shooters heading to state

Delavan-Darien defeats Whitewater again

Badger bound for state

Badger advances on last-second 3

Whitewater, Delavan-Darien girls basketball showdo...

Badger boys game moved to Fort Atkinson

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Comets fall in sectional final

Dan Plutchak/The Week
Delavan-Darien's Mallory Epping fights for the ball Saturday during the Comets 49-46 loss to Monroe in the WIAA Division 2 sectional final.
Dan Plutchak/The Week
The Delavan-Darien bench watches in disbelief in the closing minutes of their 49-46 WIAA sectional final loss to Monroe Saturday evening at Janesville Craig. L-R: Kaylin Bauer, Emily Polster, Jessamy Dahlberg and Hannah Zugay.
The Delavan-Darien High School girls basketball season came to an end Saturday with a 49-46 loss to Monroe in the WIAA sectional final at Janesville Craig.

Mallory Epping's basket with 29 seconds left tied the game at 46, but a three-point shot by Monroe's Emily Rufenacht sealed the game.

The Lady Cheesemakers will face Altoona in the WIAA semifinal round on Friday. The Railroaders flattened Neillsville in their sectional final, 51-28.

READ MORE at gazetteextra.com

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Comets advance to sectional final

Laura Humphrey/Contributor
Kelly Supernaw, 3, and Karli Collins celebrate their win Thursday.

Laura Humphrey/Contributor
Alana Cesarz goes up for a shot.

(CLICK for complete brackets (pdf))

The Delavan-Darien High School girls basketball team is one game away from a trip to the WIAA state basketball tournament.

The Comets defeated Lake Mills 53-51 in a sectional semifinal Thursday night at Kettle Moraine.

Delavan-Darien will face Monroe, 56-49 winners over Reedsburg.

The sectional final is set for Saturday, 7 p.m., at Janesville Craig.

The winner advances to the WIAA state tournament March 14 at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison.

Sectional final, Saturday, March 8, 2008

Div. 2
Delavan-Darien v. Monroe at Janesville Craig, 7 p.m.

Badger falls at state

Terry Mayer/The Week
Henri Lorenzi, left, and Alex Chironis of Badger High School in Lake Geneva watch the clock wind down during a 79-63 loss to Madison Memorial at the WIAA state boys basketball tournament in Madison Thursday.

Long range shooting is what got the boys from Badger High School in Lake Geneva to the WIAA Division 1 quarterfinal game Thursday.

But it wasn't enough to get them past Madison Memorial, as the Badger's lost to the Spartans 79-63.

Braden Tice buried Badger (18-6) with 25 points. Center Kevin Wieters added 22 points.

Guard Jimmy Merritt had 11 of his 18 points in the third quarter for Badger, when the Badger pulled briefly into the lead.

They could hold off junior forward Jeronne Maymon of the Spartans, who had 28 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

Memorial moved on to face Oshkosh West Friday.

More on the game Friday on theweekextra.com

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Badger High's sharp-shooters heading to state

By Todd Mishler/Contributor
Brian Hurley/VIP
Front, L-R: Jimmy Merritt, Alex Chironis, Kai Hovden Middle: Jordan Terhark, Nolan Schiller, Braden Tice, Lee Pankau, Chris Lois, Teresa Tomaszewski
Top: Austin Gaugert, Zach Adams, Kevin Wieters, Thor Schiller, Henri Lorenzi

Don't talk to members of the Lake Geneva Badger High School boys basketball team about odds. They know all about words such as long shot and underdog.

After all, Coach Forrest Larson's Badgers finished in the cellar of the Badger Conference a year ago, so great expectations weren't necessarily part of their vocabulary heading into this season.

However, Badger made the leap from last place to first this year, ripping through the league with an 11-1 record to claim the championship.

Larson's bunch then defeated Stoughton by three points to win the regional title. In sectional play, Jimmy Merritt's buzzer-beating three-pointer downed Craig, and the Badgers pulled away to beat Verona by 10 to reach the WIAA Division 1 state tournament.

The Badgers, 18-5 overall, begin action at the Kohl Center in Madison in the first quarterfinal contest at 1:35 p.m. Thursday against Madison Memorial. It's the school's third trip to Madison, having split two outings in 1982 and losing its only contest in 1999.

Steve Collins' Spartans (21-2) finished the regular season as the No. 2 team in the state behind Milwaukee Washington, which was upset in the sectional semifinals and are favored to win their second crown in four years.

Maybe so, but the Badgers aren't listening. But that doesn't mean they don't need Lady Luck on their side.

"These kids finished last in the league and won seven games a year ago," Larson said. "It would have been so easy for them not to work hard during the off-season and during practices, but to their credit they didn't do that. They've been good teammates and good friends, and everybody has helped to make us successful."

That starts with Merritt, a 5-foot-9-inch senior guard who leads the team with a 16.6 scoring average. He nailed the deciding bucket against Craig to finish with 24 points and then registered 23 against Verona.

"Jimmy has done a tremendous job running our offense," Larson said. "He's shot the ball well and is playing with a lot of confidence."

Junior guard Braden Tice (5-10) led Badger with 24 points against the Wildcats after scoring 20 versus the Cougars. He sports a 15.5 average.

"Braden has flat out been shooting the ball," Larson said. "Jimmy hit the big one against Craig, and then Braden drilled two huge 3s late against Verona."

Senior center Kevin Wieters (6-3) and juniors Alex Chironis (5-9) and Henri Lorenzi (6-0) round out the starting lineup. They and junior substitute Zach Adams combine to average a little more than 25 points per contest.

"When Kevin scores and rebounds in double figures, we usually win," Larson said. "Alex gives us tough play, and Henri is probably our best rebounder and a top defender."

The Badgers must continue their hot shooting if they expect to stick with Memorial. They have the firepower to do it after making 25 treys during their two sectional victories.

However, the Spartans have a big-time advantage in size and experience: They're making their fifth straight and fifth overall appearance at state.

Junior forward Jeronne Maymon (6-5) leads the explosive with a 19.7 average. Sophomore guard Vander Blue (6-3) is next at 13.3, while senior guard Devonte Maymon (6-1) is third at 12.0.

"Madison Memorial plays fast, they force you to play fast and it's hard to slow them down, but it's too late for us to change anything," Larson said. "They've got great size and athleticism and won a tough conference in the Big Eight, so they're the clear-cut favorite going into this thing."

But don't tell that to the Badgers, who've fashioned a 2-0 mark against that conference: the thrilling win over Craig and a 10-point, season-opening decision over Beloit Memorial, the only Wisconsin team to defeat the Spartans.

"We lost a couple of close games later in the year, so it was good for us to play and win a couple (in the tourney)," Larson said. "Now the kids know they can handle the pressure."

Todd Mishler is a freelance sports writer and author. His most recent book is "Blood, Sweat and Cheers: Great Football Rivalries of the Big Ten."

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Delavan-Darien defeats Whitewater again

(CLICK for complete brackets (pdf))

In another tight contest, the Delavan-Darien girls basketball team defeated Whitewater for the third time this season, advancing to sectional play in Division 2 of the WIAA playoffs.

The Comets face Lake Mills at Kettle Moraine Thursday at 7 p.m.

The Southern Lakes Conference rivals split their regular season series 1-1, with Delavan-Darien taking the conference title with their win over the Whippets on the final game of the season.

In Division 1, Elkhorn's season came to an end with a 49-38 loss to Verona.

In Division 4, Williams Bay lost to Burlington Catholic Central Saturday 46, 15

WIAA girls basketball regionals

Results, regional final, Saturday, March 1, 2008

Div. 1
Elkhorn 38, Verona 49

Div. 2
Delavan-Darien 43, Whitewater 41

Div. 4
Williams Bay 15, Catholic Central 46

Schedule, sectional semi-final, Thursday, March 6, 2008

Div. 2
Delavan-Darien v. Lake Mills at Kettle Moraine, 7 p.m.

Badger bound for state

(CLICK for complete brackets (pdf), next games below)

Terry Mayer/The Week
Braden Tice of Badger High School in Lake Geneva drives to the basket during a 74-64 win over Verona Saturday.
The boys from Badger High School in Lake Geneva get to play basketball for one more weekend.

The Badgers defeated Verona Saturday in Saturday 74-64 in a WIAA sectional final.

Badger will face Madison Memorial at 1:35 Thursday.

More in the Thursday edition of The Week

East Troy falls to Monroe

Terry Mayer/The Week
East Troy's Alex Bondar goes up for a shot during a 53-39 win over Madison Edgewood Friday night.

In Division 2, East Troy's season came to a heartbreaking end Saturday with a 54-53 loss to Monroe in the WIAA Sun Prairie sectional final.

Results: Saturday, March 1, 2008

Div. 1
Badger 74, Verona 64

Div. 2
East Troy 53, Monroe 54
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