Here’s everything you need to know about the 2020 WIAA Girls State High School Basketball Tournament
THE STATE TOURNAMENT: The 45th Annual Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Girls Basketball State Tournament will take place Thursday-Saturday, March 12-14, at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
PURCHASING TICKETS: Ticket price for the tourney is $10 per session when purchased at the Resch Center. Tickets for the tournament will also be available for purchase online at the Ticket Star website: www.ticketstaronline.com. All-sessions, as well as individual session tickets are available for purchase online for $12 per session. A link is also provided on the WIAA website at www.wiaawi.org or call Ticket Star at 1-800-895-0071.
STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE: The single elimination tournament features a five-division format with four teams qualifying in each of the five divisions.
Thursday, March 12
#1 Platteville (25-0) vs. #4 Arcadia (23-3) – 1:35 p.m.
#2 Wrightstown (24-2) vs. #3 Lake Mills (24-2)*
#1 Aquinas (24-1) vs. #4 Crandon (21-4) – 6:35 p.m.
#2 Melrose-Mindoro (25-1) vs. #3 Mishicot (23-3)*
Friday, March 13
#1 Black Hawk (26-0) vs. #4 Newman Catholic (22-4) – 9:05 a.m.
#2 Clear Lake (26-0) vs. #3 Bangor (25-1)*
#1 Hortonville (25-1) vs. #4 Oregon (21-5) – 1:35 p.m.
#2 Beaver Dam (23-3) vs. #3 Pewaukee (21-5)*
#1 Middleton (25-1) vs. #4 Oconomowoc (22-4) – 6:35 p.
#2 Bay Port (24-2) vs. #3 Divine Savior Holy Angels (23-3)*
Saturday, March 14
3-Point Challenge – 9:30 a.m.
Division 5 Championship Game – 11:05 a.m.
Division 4 Championship Game*
Division 3 Championship Game*
Division 2 Championship Game – 6:35 p.m.
Division 1 Championship Game*
*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 15 minutes following the previous game.
GATE SECURITY PROCEDURES: All spectators entering the Resch Center are subject to pass through metal detectors. Fans are encouraged to arrive early to avoid missing the start of each session. Doors will open 60 minutes prior to the start of competition. Members of the media will enter the Resch Center through the door designated as the “Band Entrance” to the left of the front main entrance. Members of the media should anticipate and expect all bags to be checked upon entering the facility.
STATE TOURNAMENT ON THE AIR: The State Tournament will be televised live on WKOW-TV in Madison, WAOW-TV in Wausau, WXOW-TV in La Crosse, WQOW-TV in Eau Claire, WYOW-TV in Eagle River, WMOW-TV in Crandon, WMLW-TV in Milwaukee, KBJR-MY9 in Duluth/Superior and WCWF W-14 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley. The Wisconsin Division of Quincy Media, Inc., will produce the coverage. The championships will also be streamed on the statewide network station websites. Also, download the Magic of March app for live streaming video, scores, highlights and more about the WIAA State basketball tournaments. Live coverage of the tournaments on iOS or Android phones and tablets are also available on the app.
3-POINT CHALLENGE STREAMED LIVE: The 3-Point Challenge will be streamed live on the NFHS Network Saturday at 9:30 a.m. To watch the competition, register and subscribe to the NFHS Network. To purchase a subscription to the live programming for only $10.99 per month, log-on to www.wiaa.tv or www.nfhsnetwork.com and click on the subscription image in the middle of the page. Archived streams of the events will be available on demand on the NFHS Network 72 hours after the tournament without requirement of a subscription.
POST-GAME MEDIA CONFERENCES STREAMED: The post-game media conferences will be shown live without subscription on the WIAA.tv portal of the NFHS Network immediately following each game.
TEAM TOURNAMENT HISTORY: The first WIAA State Girls Basketball Championship Tournament was held in 1976. The tournament was held at the UW Field House from 1976-97 and also in 1999, 2000 and 2002. The championships were held at the Kohl Center in 1998, 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2010-12, and at the Alliant Energy Center in 2004 and 2006-09. The current site of the tournament, the Resch Center in Green Bay, became the home of the tournament in 2013. The tournament featured a three-class format until 1991, when a four-division format was adopted. In 2011, a fifth division was added. Cuba City has won the most State titles over the years with 11 followed by Barneveld with six and Milwaukee Washington with five. Fall Creek, Flambeau, Marshall and Kimberly have won four. There have been 97 different schools that have won championships. Cuba City has the distinction of having appeared in the most State Tournaments with 16. Newman Catholic is next on the list with 13, and Janesville Parker and Middleton have qualified 12 times. Barneveld, Durand, Fall Creek, Kimberly and Monroe have qualified for 11 State Tournaments with Arrowhead, Milwaukee Washington, Mukwonago and Oostburg having qualified 10 times.
ABOUT THE DIVISION 1 FIELD: Last year’s runner-up Middleton is the top seed in the bracket. The Cardinals qualify for the State Tournament for the 12th time and their third in the past four seasons. They have finished as State runner-up four times, including 1993, 2003, 2011 and last year. The Cardinals advance to the State semifinals again this season following a 61-58 victory over Madison Memorial in the Monona Grove Sectional final. The Cardinals and Madison Memorial tied for the Big Eight Conference championship during the regular season. Defending champion and second-seeded Bay Port returns to the State Tournament for the second straight season and for the fourth time overall. Prior to winning the championship last season, the Pirates’ furthest advance in the tournament was to the semifinals in 1988 when Division 1 featured eight qualifying teams. They are the champions of the Fox River Classic Conference this season. The Pirates earned the opportunity to defend their crown with a 56-34 victory over Kimberly in the Green Bay West Sectional final to return to the tourney field. Divine Savior Holy Angels, the third seed, is making its fifth appearance at State and its first since 2015 when the Dashers won their only WIAA basketball title. Prior to membership in the WIAA, they won the Division 1 title in 1996 and were runners-up twice as a former member of WISAA. They are the runners-up behind Germantown in the Greater Metro Conference standings this year and are the representatives out of the Whitefish Bay Sectional by virtue of their 63-44 win over West Bend West in the final. Oconomowoc is making its first-ever appearance in the State Tournament. The Raccoons earned their berth in the field with a 58-33 win over Kettle Moraine in the Brookfield Central Sectional final. Oconomowoc placed second in the Classic Eight Conference this season behind Mukwonago.
ABOUT THE DIVISION 2 FIELD: Top-seeded Hortonville is in the State Tournament field for the fifth time and for the fourth straight season. The Polar Bears have lost in the semifinals in each of their previous appearances. Their path to the State Tournament field was paved this season through the Marshfield Sectional, which culminated with a 72-68 win over Onalaska in the final. They finished atop the standings in the Fox Valley Association this season. Three-time defending champion and second-seeded Beaver Dam is back attempting to become the only program in WIAA girls basketball history to win four consecutive State titles. It is the Golden Beavers’ sixth appearance overall. Their initial State experience was back in 1991 when they finished runner-up in Division 1. Their opportunity to continue their quest to make history comes by virtue of a 55-41 win over Pulaski in the Ashwaubenon Sectional final. The Golden Beavers are the champions of the North Division of the Badger Conference this season. Third-seeded Pewaukee will be experiencing the State Tournament for the first time following its 73-42 downing of Pius XI Catholic in the Cudahy Sectional final. The Pirates finished third this season in the West Division of the Woodland Conference, which was won by Pius XI Catholic. Fourth-seeded Oregon returns from a long hiatus of participating in the State Tournament. The Panthers make their third appearance overall and the first appearance since the second of back-to-back experiences in Division 1 in 1980. Their furthest advance toward the title was to the semifinals that year. They are the champions of the South Division of the Badger Conference this season, and they advanced out of the Janesville Craig Sectional with 51-46 decision over Waukesha West in the final.
ABOUT THE DIVISION 3 FIELD: The top seed in the bracket was afforded to Platteville. The Hillmen return to the State Tournament field for the first time since their only other appearance resulted in a Class B championship in 1984. They are the champions of the Southwest Wisconsin Conference this season, and they are the representative from the Baraboo Sectional after defeating former two-time defending champion Marshall 50-34 in the final. Second-seeded Wrightstown advances to the State Tournament for the fourth time and for the first time since 2017. The most notable of the Tigers’ previous three experiences was a runner-up finish in Class C in 1989. They are the co-champions in the North Division of the Eastern Conference with Freedom this season. The Tigers emerged from the Little Chute Sectional following a 54-39 win over Sheboygan Falls in the final. Lake Mills, the third seed, will make its first appearance at State. The L-Cats are the champions in the North Division of the Capitol North Conference in 2020. They defeated Martin Luther 70-65 in the Brown Deer Sectional final to clinch their first tourney berth. The only other experience in the State Tournament for fourth-seeded Arcadia came in 1998 when the Raiders lost in their semifinal match-up. They are this season’s champions of the Coulee Conference and are the representative of the Baldwin-Woodville Sectional after their 52-49 win over St. Croix Falls in the final.
ABOUT THE DIVISION 4 FIELD: Two-time defending champion Aquinas is the #1 seed making its fourth straight appearance. The Blugolds finished runner-up in 2017 in the program’s first State appearance. They are the champions of the Mississippi Valley Conference this year. Aquinas advances through the Edgewood Sectional following a 73-34 win over Cambridge in the sectional final. Prior to its membership in the WIAA, Aquinas won back-to-back WISAA Division 2 championships in 1996-97 and finished runner-up in Class A in 1985 and 1989. Second-seeded Melrose-Mindoro, has finished runner-up to Aquinas the past two seasons, which also accounts for the Mustangs’ two prior appearances in the tournament field. They are the champions in the Large Division of the Dairyland Conference this season. They rolled to an 82-40 victory over Unity in the final of the Colfax Sectional to earn their third straight trip to the Resch Center. Third-seeded Mishicot advances to the State Tournament for the first time by winning the Hartford Union Sectional with a 65-45 triumph over Brookfield Academy in the final. During the regular season, the Indians tied Howards Grove for the championship of the Big East Conference. Crandon is the fourth seed in the bracket. The Cardinals are making their second appearance in the past three seasons after qualifying for the first time in the program’s history in 2018, which resulted in a loss in the semifinals. They return to the tourney field after their 63-58 defeat of Marathon in the D.C. Everest Sectional final. The Cardinals were crowned champions of the Northern Lakes Conference this winter.
ABOUT THE DIVISION 5 FIELD: Last year’s champion Black Hawk is bestowed the #1 seed, making its sixth appearance in the State Tournament and its third in a row. The Warriors also advanced to the title game two years ago and finished runner-up. In addition, they also made a string of three straight appearances from 2009-11. That run produced a runner-up finish in Division 4 in 2010. Their return to the State Tournament comes by virtue of a convincing 83-36 win over Oakfield in the Beaver Dam Sectional final. The Warriors are the champions of the Eastern Division of the Six Rivers Conference this season. Second-seeded Clear Lake will make its second State Tournament appearance and its first since its only other appearance in 1997, which resulted in a semifinal loss in Division 4. The Warriors qualify this season by routing Northwood 59-33 in the Superior Sectional final. They are the champions in the Central Division of the Lakeland Conference this season. Bangor, the third seed, returns to State for the third time in the past four seasons and for the fourth time overall. The Cardinals have won a pair of championships. The most recent came in their last appearance in 2018, and their first came in Division 4 in 1997. This season, they are the champions of the Scenic Bluffs Conference. The Cardinals return to the State semifinals with a 62-54 win over River Ridge in the final of the La Crosse Central Sectional. Fourth-seeded Newman Catholic is making its third appearance in a row and its 13th State appearance overall. The Cardinals won the Division 4 title in 2010 and the Division 5 crown in 2011. In addition, they won the Division 3 State championship in 2002. Furthermore, their appearances in 2005 and 2006 produced runner-up finishes. This season, the Cardinals won the title in the South Division of the Marawood Conference. They eliminated Oneida Nation from title contention with a 57-48 win in the Bowler Sectional final to earn another trip to the Resch Center. Prior to joining the WIAA, Newman Catholic won a Class A championship in the defunct WISAA tournament.
THREE-POINT CHALLENGE: The WIAA will conduct the 3-Point Challenge prior to Saturday’s championship games. The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. at the Resch Center. A ticket for the Division 3, 4 and 5 championship games session is required for admittance into the event. The top two players per division were selected for the contest based on the best 3-point field goal percentage with a minimum of 75 attempts during the regular season. The contestants representing Division 1 are sophomore Lily Hansford of Appleton East and junior Maddy Schreiber of Kimberly. Representing Division 2 are senior Samantha Pfefferle of New London and senior Erin Hedman of New Berlin Eisenhower. The Division 3 participants are junior Macey Banasik of Prairie du Chien and junior Isabella Lenz of Prescott. Division 4 will be represented by sophomore Jada Eggebrecht of Phillips and junior Mackenzie Holzwart of Howards Grove, and the Division 5 contestants are senior Remi Geiger of Loyal, who participated in the event last year as well, and senior Katie Slowik of Elcho. Visit the information on the WIAA website for more details about the 3-Point Challenge.