Middleton’s Tyree Eady helps win a squeaker against Janesville Craig.
The odds of boys’ and girls’ teams from the same high school winning the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s State Basketball Tournament can’t be too high. But that feat is within reach for the Middleton Cardinals.
The girls bounced all over Madison East last weekend, 65-38, in a Division 1 sectional championship game and now are two games away from hoisting the state trophy at Green Bay’s Resch Center. Middleton plays DePere High School in a state semifinal matchup on Friday, March 10, at 8:15 p.m.
Meanwhile, the Middleton boys’ team barely made it out of regional action, squeaking past Janesville Craig, 82-79, and will face Madison Memorial in a Division 1 Sectional #3 semifinal game at Middleton High School. The Spartans, sparked by an 11-0 run to begin the second half, routed Mukwonago, 65-42.
In the other Division 1 Sectional #3 semifinal, Madison East meets Muskego at Janesville Craig after dominating top-seeded Sun Prairie from start to finish, 82-68.
Tip-off for both sectional semifinals is March 9, at 7 p.m., with the sectional final slated for March 11 at Sun Prairie High School at 1 p.m. The winner advances to the WIAA Boys’ State Basketball Tournament, March 16-18 at the Kohl Center.
With three of the four remaining teams in this sectional bracket from the Big Eight Conference, at least one team heading to state will have a local connection.
In Division 2, a pair of Badger Conference teams will battle in Baraboo on March 9 at 7 p.m., as top-seeded Waunakee takes on Monona Grove. The Warriors soundly defeated DeForest, 71-43, to advance, but the Silver Eagles needed Stoughton to miss a three-pointer at the buzzer in order to move on with an 80-77 win.
The victor of the Waunakee-Monona Grove game will meet either top-seeded Westosha Central or Wilmot for the Sectional #3 championship at Middleton High School on March 11.
Incidentally, Wisconsin was the first state in the country to host a high school basketball tournament, in 1905, at Appleton’s Lawrence College. With the exception of one year (1936), Madison has been the exclusive home of the WIAA boys’ state tournament since 1920; that’s when the WIAA took over operation of the event.