Last season, the De Pere Redbirds participated in what many consider to be the greatest game in Wisconsin state basketball tournament history, when they were defeated by Madison Memorial, 80-78 in triple overtime in the Division 1 championship game.
This year, coach Brian Winchester and the Redbirds are once again one of the state's elite, as they've posted a 21-1 record, and have a number 1 seed in their half of the Manitowoc sectional. The Redbirds will open the tournament on Friday night in the regional semifinals against the winner of Tuesday's Green Bay Preble/Sheboygan South contest.
One of, if not the best regular season game in the area took place on February 17th, when De Pere defeated Bay Port, 57-54 on a last second shot by senior Jordan Poydras. The Pirates finished the season 19-3, and received the number 2 seed in the half-sectional. They may get their rematch with De Pere in the sectional semifinals on March 8th in Ashwaubenon, but first will have to get past Green Bay East, then possibly #3 seed Sheboygan North in the regional finals. The Golden Raiders also posted a record of 19-3 this season. Their only defeats being to Bay Port in December, and in both of their contests with De Pere. Sheboygan North opens Friday night with a Green Bay Southwest squad whom they defeated by only three points on February 14th.
The Kimberly Papermakers received the #4 seed in the half-sectional, and are no slouches in their own right at 16-6. They will play host to another 16-6 squad, Manitowoc, in Friday's regional semifinals.
The reward for whomever comes out of the top half of the Manitowoc sectional? A likely sectional final matchup with the only team to defeat De Pere this season, 22-0 Germantown. The Warhawks beat the Redbirds, 60-49 in December, and have been ranked number 1 the entire season. Their 60 point output against De Pere was their lowest scoring total in any game all season.
Seven teams from the Fox Valley Association have been placed in the lower half of the Stevens Point sectional in the tournament, led by 15-7 Oshkosh North, who received the number 1 seed. 4 of the Spartans 7 defeats have been by 2 points or less, and they finished the regular season in impressive fashion, defeating Kimberly 80-60 last Thursday.
Seeded #2 behind Oshkosh North is 13-9 Appleton West, who owns a victory over Bay Port, but lost their last 3 games of the regular season. Another 13-9 squad, Appleton North, is the #3 seed. 12-10 Neenah is the #4 seed, the Rockets will play host to 11-11 Stevens Point in Friday's regional semifinals.
The team which advances out of the bottom half of the sectional will play a team from the west/central part of the state in Stevens Point on March 10th for a trip to Madison. 20-2 D.C Everest has the top seed in the top half of the sectional. The Evergreens were unbeaten in the Wisconsin Valley Conference this season, but lost to Appleton North 48-46 this past Tuesday. 17-5 La Crosse Central, who lost to D.C. Everest 52-49 on January 14th, has the #2 seed.
To view the entire Division 1 bracket, click here