Typically, when we select our “Top 5 Events to Watch” for our weekly High School Sports Calendar, we try to stick to events taking place in Kenosha County. Usually, there are more than enough high school sporting events in our own backyard to check out.
This week, however, it’s worth a little travel around the area for local sports aficionados.
From huge conference basketball games at the end of the regular season, to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association wrestling sectionals, to the WIAA State Boys Swimming and Diving Meet, to conference gymnastics meets, to WIAA boys hockey regionals, you can catch all sorts of huge events if you’re willing to put just a few miles on your car.
We can’t get everything into our “Top 5 Events to Watch” for this week, but they are all listed in our weekly calendar, at least, if you want to check anything out.
Without further ado, here are Kenosha.com Associate Editor Mike Johnson’s “Top 5 Events to Watch” this week – in the county and out – along with a weekly calendar of high school varsity sports involving county teams.
TOP 5 EVENTS TO WATCH
MILTON CO-OP AT KENOSHA, WIAA DIVISION 1 REGIONAL SEMIFINAL (boys hockey)
Tuesday (Feb. 14), 8:30 p.m., Pleasant Prairie IcePlex (9900 Terwall Terrace, Pleasant Prairie)
The Kenosha Thunder co-op hockey team, which includes players from the Kenosha Unified School District, as well as Westosha Central and Wilmot, opens postseason play with some late-night action on Tuesday at the Pleasant Prairie IcePlex. The Thunder, who finished a strong regular season with a 16-6-0 record, received a No. 4 seed for the postseason and open that road on Tuesday with a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal against 13th-seeded Milton Co-op. With a win Tuesday, Kenosha would advance to a regional final on either Thursday or Friday against the winner of Tuesday’s regional semifinal between No. 5 seed Hartland Arrowhead and No. 12 seed Whitefish Bay Co-op. As the higher seed no matter what, the Thunder would host the regional final if they win Tuesday’s regional semifinal, with a trip to next week’s sectionals on the line. Forward Liam Von Ellm-McKenna, a senior at Indian Trail, led the Thunder with 40 points (19 goals, 21 assists) during the regular season.
BRADFORD AT FRANKLIN (girls basketball)
Thursday (Feb. 16), 7 p.m., Franklin High School (8222 S. 51st St., Franklin)
For a regular-season game, they don’t get bigger than this. When Bradford and Franklin meet for a Southeast Conference girls hoops finale on Thursday night, the Red Devils will be trying to secure a share of the SEC title and possibly force a three-way tie atop the conference. Franklin enters the game alone atop the conference at 12-1 in SEC play, with Bradford and Oak Creek a game back at 11-2. Oak Creek plays at Tremper on Thursday night. If the Red Devils and Knights both win, there will be a three-way for the SEC title. If the Sabers win, then they’ll be the outright champs. Bradford comes in at 18-5 overall and has won eight straight. The Red Devils are also looking to avenge a tough one-point loss to Franklin in the teams’ first meeting, on Jan. 13 at the Bradford Fieldhouse, which was the Red Devils’ last defeat. Bradford senior forward Nevaeh Thomas, who will be honored as the Holy Rosary Sports Night Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year on Sunday night, is tied for the SEC scoring lead at 25.3 points per game, is second in rebounding at 13.6 per contest and second in blocks with 71. After Thursday’s regular-season finale, Bradford opens postseason play next week Friday, Feb. 24, as a No. 4 seed and hosts No. 13 seed Racine Case in a WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal.
INDIAN TRAIL AT FRANKLIN (boys basketball)
Friday (Feb. 17), 7 p.m., Franklin High School (8222 S. 51st St., Franklin)
Why not head up to Franklin two nights in a row? This time, it’s the Southeast Conference boys basketball title possibly hanging in the balance, as the first-place Sabers (10-2 in SEC play) host the second-place Hawks (9-3 in SEC play), with just one conference game left after Friday. With a victory at Franklin, Indian Trail would put itself in position to grab at least a share of the SEC title next week Thursday, Feb. 23, at home against Racine Case in the regular-season finale. Case and Oak Creek are right behind Franklin and Indian Trail, tied for third place at 8-4 in SEC play. Overall, the Hawks have won nine of 10 to reach 17-5 overall, as they look to keep their momentum going into the postseason. Indian Trail junior forward Manasseh Stackhouse has continued his dominant play, as he leads the SEC with 22.1 points per game and ranks second in rebounding at 8.4 per game.
WESTOSHA CENTRAL AT DELAVAN-DARIEN (boys basketball)
Friday (Feb. 17), 7 p.m., Delavan-Darien High School (150 Cummings St., Delavan)
The Westosha Central boys basketball team has made winning Southern Lakes Conference titles practically routine, but accomplishing that never gets old. The Falcons can clinch at least a share of the SLC title, their seventh in eight seasons under head coach James Hyllberg, on Friday night with a win at Delavan-Darien. With two conference games left, Central enters Friday at 11-1 in SLC play, 1.5 games ahead of second-place Burlington. The Demons can get back within a game by winning Tuesday night at home against Elkhorn, but the Falcons can maintain that game of separation with one SLC game left by winning Friday, thus ensuring at least a share of the title. That would then give Central the chance to clinch the SLC crown outright by winning at Union Grove in the regular-season finale next week Thursday, Feb. 23. In the bigger picture, Central is seeking a second straight WIAA Division 2 State Tournament appearance and third overall under Hyllberg, and the Falcons are streaking toward the postseason. They’ve won 14 games in a row since a five-point loss to Indian Trail way back on Dec. 27 to reach 19-2 overall and were ranked No. 7 in Division 2 in last week’s WisSports.net state coaches poll. Central sophomore point guard Elijah Griffin, who had an incredible 25-assist game at Tremper on Feb. 4, leads the Falcons in scoring at 13.7 points per game and has rocketed all the way up to third in the entire state in assists at 7.8 per game, per WisSports.net.
WIAA DIVISION 1 INDIVIDUAL SECTIONAL (wrestling)
Saturday (Feb. 18), 10 a.m., Burlington High School (400 McCanna Parkway, Burlington)
Wrestlers around the state are one step away from making a coveted appearance in the WIAA Individual State Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison from Feb. 23-25. To do so, on Saturday, boys wrestlers will need to finish in the top two of each weight class in the Division 1 sectionals and the top three in each weight class in the Division 2 and Division 3 sectionals, while girls wrestlers must win their weight class in each sectional. Saturday’s Division 1 sectional at Burlington is packed with county boys wrestlers from Bradford, Tremper, Indian Trail, Westosha Central and Wilmot, who advanced to the sectional by finishing in the top four in their weight class in a Division 1 regional at Wilmot last Saturday. Winning Division 1 boys regional titles from the county were Indian Trail senior Edwin Estrada (126 pounds), Indian Trail sophomore Sullivan Ramos (138), Bradford senior Corbin Ramos (145), Wilmot junior Joel Sullivan (152), Indian Trail senior Luke Hogan (160), Tremper junior Landen Gontscharow (170), Bradford sophomore Thomas Reilly (195) and Central senior Mason McNeill (285). Securing Division 1 boys regional runner-up finishes among county boys were Indian Trail freshman Ezequiel Dominguez (106), Tremper freshman Alex Donkor (113), Wilmot senior Gianni Rebellato (120), Wilmot freshman Zach Rohloff (126), Wilmot junior Logan Defilippo (138), Indian Trail sophomore Kenneth Vaughn (170), Indian Trail senior London Kiser (182), Wilmot junior Mitch Norvalls (195), Bradford junior Ethan McClain (220) and Tremper senior Tyler Hansen (285). WIAA DIVISION 1 TEAM SECTIONAL, Tuesday (Feb. 14), 6 p.m., Elkhorn High School (482 E. Geneva St., Elkhorn): Prior to Saturday’s Division 1 individual sectional, Wilmot will be competing Tuesday night in a Division 1 team sectional at Elkhorn, since the Panthers finished second in regionals in the team standings. The sectional semifinals will pit Wilmot against Mukwonago and Milton against Burlington, with the winners squaring off in the sectional final right after. The team sectional champions will advance to the State Team Tournament from March 3-4 at the UW Field House in Madison.
BONUS EVENT: WIAA Division 1 State Meet (boys swimming and diving), Saturday (Feb. 18), 9:30 a.m. (diving), 2:30 p.m. (swimming), Waukesha South High School Natatorium (401 E. Roberta Ave., Waukesha): Tremper junior Evan Arneson and Tremper sophomore Norberto Lopez will compete in diving, Indian Trail junior CJ Gilbert will compete in the 100-yard breaststroke and senior Kal Kramp, sophomore Noah Langelund, freshman Hunter McKittrick and senior Evan Langelund of the Badger/Westosha Central/Wilmot co-op team will compete in relays and other swim events on Saturday in the WIAA Division 1 State Meet.
Boys basketball–Wilmot at Waterford, 7 p.m.; Shoreland Lutheran at Racine Lutheran, 7 p.m.; St. Joseph at St. Thomas More, 7 p.m. Girls basketball–Westosha Central at Delavan-Darien, 7 p.m.; Elkhorn at Wilmot, 7 p.m.; Racine Lutheran at Shoreland Lutheran, 7 p.m.; St. Thomas More at St. Joseph, 7 p.m.; St. Francis at Christian Life, 7:15 p.m. Hockey–Milton Co-op at Kenosha in WIAA Division 1 regional semifinal (Pleasant Prairie IcePlex), 8:30 p.m. Wrestling–Wilmot vs. Mukwonago in WIAA Division 1 team sectional semifinal (Elkhorn), 6 p.m. (winner advances to face winner of Milton-Burlington semifinal in sectional final, 20 minutes after conclusion of semifinals).
Boys basketball–Mountain Top Christian at Reuther, 5 p.m.
Girls basketball–Oak Creek at Tremper, 6 p.m.; Christian Life at Brookfield Academy, 6 p.m.; Bradford at Franklin, 7 p.m.; Indian Trail at Racine Case, 7 p.m.; Delavan-Darien at Lake Geneva Badger, 7 p.m.; Wilmot at Waterford, 7 p.m.; Shoreland Lutheran at St. Thomas More, 7 p.m.; The Prairie School at St. Joseph, 7 p.m. Gymnastics–Kenosha Co-op in Classic Eight Conference Meet (Hartland Arrowhead), 5:30 p.m. Hockey–Milton Co-op-Kenosha winner vs. Whitefish Bay Co-op-Hartland Arrowhead winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final, TBA (Thursday or Friday).
Boys basketball–Bradford at Milwaukee Destiny, 6 p.m.; Christian Life at Faith Christian, 6 p.m.; Indian Trail at Franklin, 7 p.m.; Westosha Central at Delavan-Darien, 7 p.m.; Elkhorn at Wilmot, 7 p.m.; St. Thomas More at Shoreland Lutheran, 7 p.m.; St. Joseph at The Prairie School (Wind Point), 7 p.m.; Reuther at Maranatha Baptist, 7 p.m. Girls basketball–Living Word Lutheran at Christian Life, 6:30 p.m. Gymnastics–Wilmot/Union Grove/Williams Bay in Southern Lakes Conference Meet (Waterford), 5:30 p.m. Hockey–Milton Co-op-Kenosha winner vs. Whitefish Bay Co-op-Hartland Arrowhead winner in WIAA Division 1 regional final, TBA (Thursday or Friday).
Boys basketball–Lake Country Lutheran at Christian Life, 2 p.m. Boys swimming–Tremper’s Evan Arneson and Norberto Lopez, Indian Trail’s CJ Gilbert and Badger/Westosha Central/Wilmot’s Kal Kramp, Noah Langelund, Hunter McKittrick and Evan Langelund in WIAA Division 1 State Meet (Waukesha South Natatorium), 9:30 a.m. (diving) and 2:30 p.m. (swimming). Wrestling–Bradford, Tremper, Indian Trail, Westosha Central and Wilmot in WIAA Division 1 individual sectional (Burlington), 10 a.m.; Shoreland Lutheran in WIAA Division 2 individual sectional (Evansville), 10 a.m.; St. Joseph and Christian Life in WIAA Division 3 individual sectional (Dodgeland), 10 a.m.