Local girls basketball teams earn postseason seeds

Bonduel snags No. 1 seed

Leader photo by Morgan Rode Bonduel’s Kara Troxel, center, shoots a 3-pointer during a Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division matchup against Wittenberg-Birnamwood on Jan 8. Troxel and the Bears earned a No. 1 seed for the postseason.

Back on Nov. 5, girls basketball teams around the state stepped on to the court for their first day of practice. After months of hard work, teams learned their postseason fates when the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association released tournament brackets on Sunday afternoon.

Sitting with an 18-1 record at the time of the bracket release, the Bonduel girls were awarded a No. 1 seed in Division 4.

“To be honest, it wasn’t something that we talked about or set as a goal,” Bonduel coach Jerry Reinke said. “We really try to focus on the one game we are preparing for at the time. However, I think it is a reflection of the hard work in practice and the consistency that we played with over the course of the year that we were rewarded with the 1 seed. Getting the first game at home is very nice for the seniors, but we need to realize when playoffs start if you have one bad night you are going home.”

Kylie Guenther, Jessie LaBerge and MacKenzie Moore provide senior leadership for Bonduel, while sophomores Kara Troxel has served as the team’s top scorer most often. Freshmen Allaina Robaidek and Kylie Hoffman have given the Bears strong minutes off the bench.

Bonduel, now 18-2 overall and 9-2 in the Central Wisconsin Conference-East Division, also is afforded a bye into the regional semifinals, which take place Feb. 22.

The Bears will take on the winner of the ninth-seeded Menominee Indian (7-12, 3-7 CWC-East) and eighth-seeded Iola-Scandinavia regional quarterfinal that will be played Tuesday.

Shawano was handed a No. 7 seed in Division 2. The Hawks have an 11-8 record and 9-4 mark in the rugged Bay Conference.

Shawano entered the season as the conference favorite, but will end up placing third. Despite not living up to the preseason hype, the team knows the postseason can be just the fresh start it needs.

“It’s a new season — win and move on and lose and it’s over,” said Shawano coach Ryan Koenig, who also noted how far the program has come to be disappointed in a solid 11-8 season. “Got to play with heart, and as a team and we can make a run.”

Led by senior Tori DePerry, Shawano will host 10th-seeded Antigo on Tuesday to open the postseason. The winning team will advance to the regional semifinals to battle second-ranked New London.

After a slow start to the season, the return of a few playmakers helped Wittenberg-Birnamwood (10-9, 7-4 CWC-East) finish the year strong.

Sophomore Emma Herb leads the team in points per game, while the return of junior Olivia Curley and sophomore Abi Fraaza helped give the Chargers a midseason jolt of energy.

Witt-Birn was awarded a No. 5 seed in a loaded Division 3 bracket, and will travel to take on No. 4 Little Chute on Feb. 22 in a regional semifinal.

“After this Thursday (the team’s final game against Shiocton) you can pretty much throw all the records and rankings away,” Witt-Birn coach Nick Mechelke said. “All it takes is one team to get hot at the right time. We definitely have a rough road but I believe we have earned the 5th seed in our sectional and play a very good Little Chute team. We will prep and prepare to make a run this season.”

Clintonville (6-14, 5-11 North Eastern Conference) was given a No. 8 seed in the top half of Witt-Birn’s same regional pod. The Truckers will host ninth-seeded Xavier on Tuesday, with the winner advancing to take on top-seeded Freedom in the regional semifinal.

The other four area teams will all compete in Division 5.

Bowler (5-13, 5-5 CWC-North) earned a No. 10 seed and will travel to take on seventh-seeded Florence on Tuesday. The winning team will advance to a regional semifinal against No. 2 Wausaukee.

Gresham (5-14, 3-7 CWC-North) was handed a No. 11 seed and will travel to battle sixth-seeded Elcho on Tuesday. The winner will advance to play either No. 3 Niagara or No. 14 Goodman/Pembine.

After a midseason surge, Tigerton (8-12, 5-7 CWC-North) played itself into a No. 12 seed. The Tigers will travel to face No. 5 Columbus Catholic on Tuesday, with the winner either hosting No. 13 Wisconsin Valley Lutheran or traveling to take on No. 4 Rosholt.

No. 16 seed Marion (2-17, 1-10 CWC-North) will have a tough matchup in its playoff-opener on Tuesday, hitting the road to face top-seeded Newman Catholic. The winner will battle either ninth-seeded Port Edwards or eighth-seeded Northland Lutheran.