Monday, February 25, 2013

WSN's Favorites, contenders and sleepers - Division 5

WSN's Favorites, Contenders, and Sleepers - Division 5:

Division 5

Favorite: Heritage Christian (20-2)
Heritage Christian won last year's Division 5 title and their only two losses this season have came against D1 school Milwaukee King and Milwaukee Riverside. Coach Terry Bennett's team is loaded with talent, senior Jazmine Harris (6-1) highlights the group. The Northern Illinois recruit averages 15 points and 9 rebounds per game. Junior Ramiyah Bennett scored a team-high 19.3 points per contest while Teoncea Bennett (5-3, So.), Tiersa Gillie (5-8, Jr.), Jamera Sandifer (5-8, Sr.) and Marianna Bautista (5-7, So.) all average more than 8 points per game.

Contenders: Assumption (21-1), Owen-Withee

Assumption won the Marawood-South Conference title and picked up quality non-conference wins over Amherst, Barneveld and Richland Center. Coach Joe Birkhauser's team is led by junior Mary Sigler (5-9). Sigler averages 15.8 points per game for the Royals. Freshman Gena Grundhoffer (6-1) adds 11.4 points per game. Seven other players have scored at least 10 points in a game this year, including senior Hannah Skibba (5-9).

Owen-Withee was last year's Division 5 runner-up. Veteran Coach Al Guthman's team has only three losses this season and two of them have came against Neillsville (D3 #1). Senior Aleyna Goerlitz (5-9) leads the way for the Blackhawks with 14.4 points per game. Junior Bailey Karaba (5-9) and sophomore Stephany Heggemeier (5-7) each contribute over 10 points per contest.

Sleepers: Barneveld (21-1), Hilbert (11-11), Newman Catholic (15-7), Potosi (19-3), South Shore (22-0)

Barneveld finished the as the Six Rivers-East champs and their only loss came against Assumption by 3 points. Veteran coach Jim Myers has three players averaging more than 12 points per game, freshman Hannah Whitish (5-8) leads the way with 15.3 points per game. Sophomore Rachel Slaney (5-10) scores 15.1 ppg and senior Madi Laube (5-9) contributes 12.2 ppg. Laube is a tremendous 3-point shooter, she broke Barneveld's all-time record for made threes this season. The Golden Eagles are in the toughest Sectional in Division 5 and will have a potential match-up against Heritage Christian in Sectional Finals.

Hilbert will enter the playoffs with a .500 record but playing in the Olympian Conference with schools much larger is the reason. The Wolves lost to Newman Catholic in a Sectional Final contest last season by only one point and will again be in position to make again make a run in the playoffs. Sophomore Erica Gehl (5-10) is the top scorer for coach Brandon Krueger with 15 points per game. Fellow sophomore Erin Leffler (5-5) contributes 9 ppg while senior Katie Gehl (5-7) adds 7.6 ppg.

Newman Catholic has reached the state tournament in each of the past three years, including two state championships. Veteran coach Tom Weinkauf's team has eight players who have scored at least 10 points in a game this season. Senior Kim Steif (5-5) leads the way with 12.9 points per game. Other key contributors include senior Brianna Jankowsi (8.9 ppg) and juniors Madison Tubbs (9.9 ppg) and Chloe Chapman (8.3 ppg).

Potosi finished with a share of the Six Rivers-West title. Coach Brad Bierman's squad is led by senior Abby Ames (5-7). She averages 14.1 points per game while fellow senior Tiffany Langmeier (6-0) contributes 9.6 points per contest. The Chieftains road will not be easy as there are six teams in their sectional that have been ranked in the Coaches Poll this season.

South Shore finished the regular season undefeated and ranked No. 4 in the Coaches Poll. Coach Clendon Gustafson's team is lead by his daughters Megan and Emily Guastafson and Janice Anderson.  Megan (6-3, So.) averages a state-leading 31.5 points per game while also putting up 13.2 rebounds and 6 blocks per game. She has a scholarship offer from Marquette. Emily (6-2, Sr.) scores 18.2 points and grabs a state-leading 18.3 rebounds per game. Anderson, a 5-4 junior, averages 17.1 points, 8.2 assists and 6 steals per contest. The Cardinals have a potential match-up against Owen-Withee in Sectional Finals.

Tournament Breakdown
Sectional Final Predictions, March 9

Hilbert over Newman Catholic
Assumption over Seneca
Owen-Withee over South Shore
Heritage Christian over Barneveld
State Semi-Finals, March 14
Assumption over Hilbert
Heritage Christian over Owen-Withee
Championship, March 16
Heritage Christian over Assumption