Girls high school basketball playoff schedules, dates

Posted 2/22/22

By Reagan Hoverman Local teams throughout Pierce County now know their playoff seeding, matchups and the time of the games that will decide whether they advance or are sent home as the playoffs begin …

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Girls high school basketball playoff schedules, dates


By Reagan Hoverman

Local teams throughout Pierce County now know their playoff seeding, matchups and the time of the games that will decide whether they advance or are sent home as the playoffs begin on Tuesday, Feb. 22, and continue in the coming weeks.

Starting with the Prescott girls basketball team, which on Thursday, Feb. 17, secured its third consecutive Middle Border Conference championship with a 61-43 win over Ellsworth. Going into the playoffs, the Cardinals have a 17-7 record, including a 12-2 record in conference play.

Some of the biggest wins of the season include a 59-57 overtime win against Saint Croix Falls, a team that has a #1 seed in its region. Other wins include two victories against Baldwin-Woodville, a competitive team that at one point was atop the standings in the Middle Border.

It’s important to note that this year is the first year of electronic seeding, meaning that a computer uses an algorithm to decide which teams get certain seeds. It’s a program that is supposed to take into account overall wins and losses, strength of schedule and head-to-head matchups.

Prescott was given the #3 seed for the Division 3 bracket. The only two teams with higher seeds in its region were Baldwin-Woodville and Saint Croix Falls, two teams that Prescott has defeated this year.

Saint Croix Falls finished the season with a 20-4 record, which is three wins better than that of Prescott. However, Baldwin-Woodville had the same record as Prescott and finished with a 9-5 record in the conference. The computer must have done some serious mental gymnastics to conclude giving Baldwin-Woodville the higher seed. Prescott head coach Joan Korfhage spoke about the seeding.

“No, (we’re not happy with the bracket) because we got a three seed,” Korfhage said. “It doesn’t make any sense. It was all electronic this year, so our losses to big schools like Hudson, Menomonie, and River Falls, but we want that competition, so, we were bummed about that and thought we should have had the two seed.”

Ellsworth Panthers, #5 seed

The Ellsworth Panthers girls basketball team finished the season with an overall record of 12-12 and finished with an 8-6 record in the Middle Border Conference, tied for fourth place in the standings with the Somerset Spartans.

Ellsworth received the #5 seed in its region of the bracket, trailing only Northwestern, Prescott, Baldwin-Woodville and the Saints of Saint Croix Falls. In the first round of the bracket, Ellsworth hosts the Spooner Rails on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Ellsworth head coach Jason Janke spoke about the upcoming playoff matchup with the Rails.

“Regionals begin Tuesday, and we host Spooner,” Janke said. “If we’re able to squeak by them, we’ve got a familiar road. We’ve played Northwestern, if we’re able to pull off an upset up there, then we’ve got to go play St. Croix Falls, who we’ve also played. I think across the board on paper (SCF) is better than we are, certainly, the score indicated that. I think our kids might come out and fight pretty hard.”

While Janke didn’t belittle the Spooner Rails, objectively the Panthers shouldn’t have to squeak by the Rails. Spooner goes into the first-round playoff game with a 2-18 record. The only two wins of the season for Spooner were against Chetek-Weyerhaeuser, a team with a 2-22 record.

That game for Ellsworth is slated to begin in Ellsworth on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with the winner going on to face #4 Northwestern on Friday, Feb. 25.

Elmwood/Plum City, #7 seed

When the brackets were announced, the 13-10 Elmwood/Plum City Wolves began looking at a daunting road ahead. The computer gave the Wolves the #7 seed, based on the overall record as well as the 7-7 record in Dunn-St. Croix Conference play this season.

The first-round playoff game for the Wolves is a meeting with conference opponent Mondovi, a team that the Wolves have seen twice this year. In those two games, the Wolves split the series, winning the first meeting 39-38 and losing the second matchup 46-50.

The first-round playoff matchup is the old-fashioned rubber match between the two teams. The winner of that game will go on the road to face #2 Neillsville, a team with a 22-2 overall record and a perfect 16-0 record in its conference games.

First, the Wolves have to get through Mondovi, which will be played at home on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Tip-off for that game is slated for 7 p.m.

River Falls, #9 seed

The River Falls Wildcats received the #9 seed in its region of the Division 2 girls basketball tournament bracket. The seed was based on the team’s 7-16 overall record, as well as its 3-11 record in Big Rivers Conference games.

The Wildcats have had an up and down season, with great wins against programs like Hudson, and tough losses against some of the weaker teams in the Big Rivers Conference. The first-round matchup for the Wildcats is on Tuesday, Feb. 22, on the road against Tomah, the #8 seed.

Tomah goes into the playoffs with a 9-15 overall record and a 5-7 record in its respective conference. The winner of that game goes on to face the #1 seed in Rice Lake on Friday, Feb. 25. If the Wildcats were to advance, the matchup against Rice Lake would be their third meeting of the season and both previous times, Rice Lake won by more than a dozen.

River Falls’ Tuesday night game against Tomah is on the road with tip-off for that contest scheduled for 7 p.m.

Spring Valley, #12 seed

Spring Valley received the #12 seed in their respective region. The Cardinals finished the regular season with a 6-18 record, including a 3-11 record in Dunn-St. Croix Conference games. Because of the record, they will have to go on the road for their first playoff game of the year.

The first-round playoff game is against Fall Creek, the #5 seed for the region and a team that goes into the postseason with a 16-8 overall record, including a 9-5 record in a tough Cloverbelt-West Conference.

If Spring Valley were able to get through Fall Creek, their next matchup would again be on the road. It would be Friday, Feb. 25, against Durand, a team that has beaten Spring Valley twice season.

The first playoff game against Fall Creek is on Tuesday, Feb. 22, at the Fall Creek High School. That game will begin at 7 p.m.