It’s a busy weekend in the high school sports world. WIAA state swimming and diving championships are Saturday and the Waukesha-area schools will be well-represented in Madison.
The Waukesha South/Catholic Memorial co-op team – the sixth-ranked team in the last state coaches association poll, has a plethora of entries and is coming off a second-place finish at last year’s state meet. They are also on the heels of a second-place finish at last weekend’s sectional.
The Waukesha West/Mukwonago team and the Waukesha North/Kettle Moraine also have entries and look to finish off their seasons with a bang after the teams took third and fifth, respectively, at last weekend’s sectional.
Wrestling individual sectionals are Saturday as well and Waukesha South’s Bill Prochniewski is the one to watch. The 106-pounder is a perfect 42-0 this season and while he has his eyes on a state title as the No. 1-ranked wrestler in his weight class, he has to first finish off his sectional at Waukesha West. The first session begins at 10:30 a.m.
South’s Kyle Johnson (152 pounds) and Brock Milkent (285) will also look to follow up their regional titles with sectional wins.
Waukesha West, which had two regional champs in Nick Wall (195) and Branden Wade (120), also has many representatives at the sectional. Catholic Memorial, which will compete in the Division 2 Campbellsport sectional on Saturday, has two at sectionals – Justin Dentici (170) and John Clark (182).
This is also the last Friday night of the 2011-12 season that boys basketball will be playing as all the final regular season games are on Thursday.
The girls, meanwhile, go a week longer than the boys. Here is the schedule for tonight’s games and my predictions are in bold. All games begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. after the JV games.
Waukesha West (12-8, 7-5 Classic 8) vs. Arrowhead (11-9, 8-4)
Both teams are playing much better basketball from earlier this season when both were hovering around the .500 mark. Arrowhead has won four straight, while West has won five of six despite playing without one of its better players in Brandon Kranz, who is out indefinitely with an injury.
Arrowhead won the first meeting between these two teams, 53-48. With this game being at Arrowhead, I see them squeaking out a win to maintain its winning streak and will go into its game against Mukwonago next week with a lot of confidence.
Mukwonago (15-5, 10-2) vs. Waukesha South (1-19, 0-12)
South is on a 12-game losing streak and has struggled all year, while Mukwonago is one of the area’s biggest surprises and has won six in a row and 11 of 12. The Indians are also neck-and-neck with Pius for the Classic 8 title at 10-2.
If the Indians want to claim a conference title, they can’t afford a loss now. They won’t and will keep its winning ways going to set up a very intriguing game against Arrowhead next Thursday on Senior Night with the conference title on the line.
Catholic Memorial (11-8, 5-7) vs. Waukesha North (12-8, 5-7)
With two games left in the regular season, each team needs to win their final games to finish .500. The first time these two teams played, North defeated Memorial, 59-51.
Memorial has lost its last three conference games to some of the better teams in the league, but they have been close. North has also lost its last three games to the upper-echelon teams in the Classic 8, but the margins have been greater, despite getting good performances by Jake Ricciardi.
It appears CM has more playmakers and will win this one and will look to get to the .500 mark in conference with a win over Kettle Moraine next week.
Arrowhead (14-3, 10-1) vs. Waukesha West (6-10, 3-8)
With only a few more games left in Classic 8 play, the Warhawks aren’t going to let up now.
They’ve been one of the best in the state and area all year, and Arrowhead will show the Wolverines in this one why they are tied for first in the Classic 8 and why the Warhawks could make some major noise in the WIAA postseason tournament. Still, the last time these two teams faced it was only a 40-38 win for Arrowhead.
After coming off a loss to Milwaukee King earlier in the week, Arrowhead will come out with a spark. West has lost its last four conference games and its tough season will continue.
Waukesha South (8-10, 3-8) vs. Mukwonago (10-7, 5-6)
Mukwonago has been inconsistent all year in building a winning streak. South has also had its challenges. Mukwonago is trying to get to .500 in conference and while that goal is attainable, it will have its work cut out for them going forward in non-conference games as it has a game against New Berlin Eisenhower, which is 17-0, on Tuesday.
That game will no doubt be a challenge for the Indians as will its non-conference game with Division 1 state power Nicolet (17-2) the following Monday. But the Indians won’t overlook the Blackshirts in this Classic 8 game.
Waukesha North (9-9, 2-9) vs. Catholic Memorial (7-11, 5-6)
Memorial is a streaky team this year. It started when the Crusaders lost three straight from Dec. 28 to Jan. 6. They then followed that by three wins, before they lost three straight. Now, Memorial has won two straight.
They’ll keep this winning streak going and make it three in a row against a North team that has lost six straight league games. The Northstars’ last win? That would be against the Crusaders on Jan. 6. As a result, CM will be looking to avenge that 52-50 loss.
The problem for the Crusaders was that they could not stop the Kelliher sisters as Elizabeth poured in 23, while Jessica scored 22. The problem, though, for the Northstars since then and most of the year is that they haven’t been getting enough contributions from everyone else on their youthful lineup.
Balance will be the key in the years moving forward if this team can get out of the basement of the conference once and for all.
Last week’s predictions: 6-0
The other Classic 8 game for both boys and girls on Friday night: Kettle Moraine vs. Pius