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Tuesday, 14 February 2017 08:20

March Madness: Hoops action begins to take center stage

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Ali Carlson and Janesville Craig earned a 10th seed, while rival Julia Hartwig and Janesville Parker is seeded 12th as WIAA regional action begins next week in girls basketball. Ali Carlson and Janesville Craig earned a 10th seed, while rival Julia Hartwig and Janesville Parker is seeded 12th as WIAA regional action begins next week in girls basketball. Janesville Gazette/File

The regular season isn’t over just yet, but many eyes are focusing on the postseason and the beginning of March Madness for boys and girls hoops teams across the Stateline area.

Here is a rundown of action that starts next week:

Illinois boys basketball

The postseason begins in classes 1A and 2A with action in 32 regionals from Feb. 20-24. Sectionals then run Feb. 28, March 1 and March 3. Super Sectionals are March 7, and the state tournament will be March 10-11 at Carver Arena in Peoria.  

Alden-Hebron is in the 1A Pecatonica Sectional and South Beloit and North Boone compete in the 2A Byron Sectional.

In classes 3A and 4A, regionals are set for Feb. 27-28 and March 1 and March 3. Sectionals take place March 7-8 and March 10 and Super Sectionals are March 14. The state finals, also at Carver Arena, will be played March 17-18.

Hononegah, which reached the 20-victory plateau on Feb. 10, is in the 4A Elgin Sectional along with Belvidere North and Machesney Park, while Harvard is stationed in the 3A Genoa-Kingston Sectional.

Wisconsin girls basketball

Regional games in the five divisions are slated for Feb. 21 and Feb. 24-25. Sectional contests will be played March 2 and 4. The state tournament is scheduled March 9-11 at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

In Division 1, every Stateline area school will be in the Janesville Craig Sectional. In addition to the host Cougars, rival Parker and their Big Eight foe Beloit Memorial will join a field that includes Badger.

Craig received the top seeding of area teams as the No. 10 seed. The Cougars will visit seventh-seeded Muskego on Feb. 24. Meanwhile, Badger is the 11th seed and travels to sixth-seeded Watertown that night.

Parker is the 12th seed and opens at fifth-seeded Verona on the 24th. Beloit Memorial is the 18th and lowest seed and goes to 15th seeded Kenosha Indian Trail on Feb. 21, with the winner visiting second-seeded Sun Prairie in round two.

The D-2 competitions will be centered on the Middleton Sectional, where Delavan-Darien, Elkhorn, Milton and Burlington are parked in an 11-team regional that saw top seed Union Grove emerge only to lose the sectional finale to Stoughton by one point in overtime.

Union Grove is the top seed and will host the winner of the Feb. 21 match-up between eighth-seeded Delavan-Darien and ninth-seeded Fort Atkinson. Elkhorn, the 11th seed, also begins postseason play Feb. 21 at sixth-seeded Waterford. The victor travels to third-seeded McFarland on Feb. 24.

In Division 3, the Sun Prairie Sectional includes Rock Valley members Clinton, East Troy, Big Foot, Whitewater, Beloit Turner, Edgerton, Palmyra-Eagle, Evansville and Brodhead sandwiched into a 13-team regional.

Top-ranked Whitewater again earned the top seed, while No. 2 Madison Edgewood, which upset the Whippets in the sectional opener last year, is the second seed. Whitewater will face eighth-seeded East Troy or ninth-seeded Brodhead, who meet Feb. 21. Clinton is the fifth seed and hosts 12th seed Lake Mills on Tuesday, while 13th seeded Evansville travels to fourth-seeded Marshall.

On the other side, third-seeded Edgerton awaits the winner of sixth-seeded Big Foot and 11th seeded Palmyra-Eagle. Also, 10th seeded Beloit Turner travels to seventh-seeded Lakeside Lutheran, with Edgewood waiting in round two.

The D-4 competitions have Parkview battling in the Baraboo Sectional, while Williams Bay, Faith Christian and Catholic Central will try to navigate through the same regional of the Division 5 Watertown Sectional.

Parkview is the 12th seed and visits fifth-seeded Belleville on Feb. 21, with the winner going to fourth-seeded Darlington on Feb. 24.

Catholic Central is a seventh seed and goes to 10th seeded Sheboygan County Christian on Feb. 21, with the winner traveling to second-seeded Milwaukee Academy of Science.

On the opposite side, Williams Bay is seeded eighth and visits ninth-seeded University Lake, with the winner facing top-seeded Living Word Lutheran. Faith Christian is the 12th seed and tangles with fifth-seeded Heritage Christian.

Wisconsin gymnastics

Janesville Craig and Janesville Parker again will try to compete against several big-time, co-op programs when the Division 1 postseason kicks off with sectional meets Feb. 23 through Feb. 25.

The Mukwonago Sectional field also includes the combination of Badger, Burlington, Catholic Central, Union Grove and Wilmot and the Mukwonago co-op with East Troy and Kettle Moraine.

In D-2, Elkhorn will compete in the Waterford Sectional, while Milton and Whitewater are in the Mount Horeb Sectional.

The state meet, as usual, is in Wisconsin Rapids. It will be on March 3-4.

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