Shots from the hip: Two weeks away from WIAA tournament basketball

By Cripe Olson
Posted 2/7/24

The Prescott Cardinal boys’ basketball team enters the week with a one-game lead in the conference standings after Osceola fell to Baldwin-Woodville at home by a score of …

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Shots from the hip: Two weeks away from WIAA tournament basketball


The Prescott Cardinal boys’ basketball team enters the week with a one-game lead in the conference standings after Osceola fell to Baldwin-Woodville at home by a score of 44-41. Dallas Wallin returned to the court after one game hiatus scoring 30 and grabbing 14 rebounds. It is Wallin’s 10th double double of the season. 

The Cardinals girls’ basketball team heads into the week locked in a three-way tie for first place with Baldwin-Woodville and Altoona. Prescott has a crucial game at home against Baldwin-Woodville this Friday. 

Prescott wrestler Nolan Thomley will enter this Saturday’s St. Croix Falls Division 2 Regional tournament with a record of 37-5. Ranked #7 in the state by Wisconsin Grappler at 150 pounds, Thomley is expected to grab one of the top two seeds in the regional. 

Isabella Lenz led all players on the floor with a game high 19 points as Michigan Tech pummeled Lake Superior State last Friday by a score of 81-49. On Saturday, the Huskies went toe to toe with #7 ranked Ferris State but fell to the Bulldogs by a score of 63-54. As expected, Lenz eclipsed the 800 scoring mark of her Michigan Tech career and has now scored 825 career points for the Huskies. 

From the WIAA: The Board of Control has authorized a tournament series format to accommodate a fifth division of girls volleyball. The board approved four recommendations originated and advanced by the Volleyball Coaches Advisory Committees, including two that revamps the Tournament Series that expands to five girls’ divisions next fall. Following a review by the executive staff, Sports Advisory Committee and the Advisory Council, the board supported a plan that places the largest 116 enrollments of schools sponsoring girls’ volleyball in Division 1, and Divisions 2, 3, 4 and 5 will consist of the remaining schools divided equally.

We are approximately two weeks away from the start of WIAA Tournament basketball. Chances are post season enthusiasts are scouring the internet for the latest update on records of teams within the same bracket as the Prescott boys’ and girls’ teams. In the northern portion of the Arcadia Sectional, Prescott, Somerset, and Osceola enter the week with identical 14-5 records. Yes, fans, yes…the Cardinals have beaten both teams. Other teams to watch include Northwestern at 13-6, and Bloomer with a sectional best record of 17-1. In the southern part of the bracket Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau at 15-4, the Omro Foxes are 14-3, Berlin sits at 15-4, and Elk Mound is 15-3. The boys’ brackets will be released on Sunday, Feb. 18. 

For the girls, the northern part of the bracket on paper appears to be wide open. Prescott, Somerset and Ellsworth all sport overall records of 12-8. Fellow conference school Baldwin-Woodville is 13-6. Heart of the North Conference leader St. Croix Falls is 16-5, Barron and Hayward are 14-7, and Northwestern is 11-9. In the south, Elk Mound is 20-0 and private school La Crosse Aquinas is 17-3. Altoona is 15-5, Mauston 14-6, Arcadia 13-7, and Wisconsin Dells is 12-6. The girls’ basketball brackets will be released this Sunday. 

Speaking of the basketball tournament, it might be time for the WIAA to once again consider a single site for hosting the area regional tournaments as was done years ago. Local residents remember a time when regional tournaments were hosted by one school with game one beginning at 6:30 with game two following on the same court 20 minutes after the conclusion of the first game. Two days later, the regional championship would be held at the same site. Decades ago during the semi-finals, fans from the four competing schools consistently filled gymnasiums to the rafters as spectators packed shoulder to shoulder cheered on their teams. Raucous crowds including four pep bands created an incredible ear-splitting tournament atmosphere in gyms all over Wisconsin. Those were the days. Perhaps with dwindling attendance we should turn the clock back when getting a regional tournament was not a foregone conclusion. Let’s make tickets to the regionals a hot commodity again. Sadly, the ever so intractable WIAA would never consider such a change.

Minnesota State sophomore Madison Matzek finished second in the 3000-meter race this past weekend in the Ted Nelson Classic on the Campus of Minnesota State. Matzek helped the #2 ranked Mavericks finish second in the nine-team invitational indoor meet. 

From the Department of Natural Resources: The DNR continues to prepare for the sturgeon spearing season that will open Feb. 10, 2024 on the Winnebago System. Under the current rule, the sturgeon spearing season opens on the second Saturday in February, regardless of weather conditions. It continues for 16 consecutive days unless closed early if harvest registration data indicates the harvest cap will be met. To spear sturgeon, residents must purchase a sturgeon spearing license for $20 and nonresidents must purchase a sturgeon spearing license for $65. Only persons 12 years of age and older are eligible to spear sturgeon. No sturgeon spearing license may be issued or purchased after Oct. 31, 2023. One fish may be speared per license with a 36-inch minimum requirement. Last year 1,405 sturgeon were harvested during the season. 

Headshaker of the week. Hilarious. Flag football is set to debut as an Olympic sport in 2028. While we are at it, let’s add some additional events to the ever-widening slate of “sports” to the Olympic calendar. How about dodgeball? Perhaps we can add country line dancing. And would there be anything more riveting than watching a gold medal Call of Duty match between the hated Russian Yuri Azamadripov vs. the “Polish Prince” Ivan Podgodinski? Flag Football as an Olympic event? It’s a headshaker. 

Prescott Cardinals, Prescott sports, Shots from the hip, Cripe Olson