When is the WIAA going to wake up?
When is Wisconsin’s governing body for high school athletics going to come into the 21st century?
When, repeat when, is the WIAA going to seed teams for its annual boys and girls basketball postseason tournaments and rectify what is an unabashed farce?
Ardent basketball fans in this part of the state are acutely aware of the many outstanding teams that weren’t able to showcase their talents on the big stage in Madison because of the WIAA’s archaic playoff format.
This year isn’t any different.
Teams in this region of the state will be part of the West Allis Central Sectional, with the winner being one of four sectional champions advancing to the state tournament in Mad Town.
The West Allis Central Sectional is, to say the least, stacked with state championship-caliber teams. Franklin, which is ranked third among Division 1 schools in the Associated Press Division 1 state poll, is in the West Allis Central Sectional. So is fourth-ranked Brookfield East, and so is sixth-ranked Park and 10th-ranked Brookfield Central.
No other sectional has as many Top 10-ranked teams as the West Allis Central Sectional, although the Sun Prairie Sectional has three: No. 2 Sun Prairie, No. 5 Waunakee and No. 7 Middleton.
That leaves only three Top 10-ranked teams in the two other sectionals: No. 1 Oshkosh North and No. 8 Kimberly are in the Marshfield Sectional and No. 9 Bay Port is in the Sheboygan South Sectional. What a joke.
The WIAA always talks about equality and fairness but, when it comes to the state basketball playoffs, it’s just that: talk. The WIAA needs to form a committee to seed the upper-echelon teams and get this long-running injustice resolved once and for all.
Breaking it down
About this time each year, I’m asked about which high schools will be competing in which divisions for the boys and girls basketball tournaments.
Here is a breakdown of the five boys divisions, with the five girls divisions essentially being the same with just a slight difference in the number of schools in each division:
School enrollment: 1,200 and more students
Racine County teams and enrollment: Case 2,072, Horlick 1,987 and Park 1,582.
School enrollment: 600-1,199 students
Racine County teams and enrollment: Burlington 1,131, Union Grove 1,011 and Waterford 1,088.
School enrollment: 319-599 students
Racine County team and enrollment: St. Catherine’s 367.
School enrollment: 188-318 students
Racine County teams and enrollment: The Prairie School 270 and Racine Lutheran 234.
School enrollment: 187 and fewer students
Racine County teams and enrollment: Catholic Central 131.
- Here are the number of schools competing in each of the five girls divisions: Division 1 — 68 schools. Division 2 — 90 schools. Division 3 — 97 schools. Division 4 — 95 schools. Division 5 — 123 schools.
- Raise your hand if you’ve ever heard of Marcus Davenport of the University of Texas – San Antonio. He is a 6-foot-5, 259-pound defensive end who wowed NFL officials at the Senior Bowl and who ESPN’s draft expert Todd McShay projects as the Green Bay Packers’ top pick in the upcoming NFL draft.
- Bovada, an online gambling service, believes Cleveland Cavaliers superstar LeBron James, who’ll become an unrestricted free agent this summer, will sign with the Houston Rockets. Bovada’s odds on James going to the Rockets are 5/2.
Bovada predicts James’ chances of remaining in Cleveland are 11/4. The Bucks have the ninth-best odds of landing The King, according to Bovada, at 15/1.
- If I’m Aaron Rodgers and saw how much the San Francisco 49ers are going to pay Jimmy Garoppola, who has yet to even win one measly playoff game, much less a Super Bowl, an insane $27 million a year, I wouldn’t take a penny less than $35M a year from the Packers. And that might still be a steal for the Packers.
- Veteran center Andrew Bogut, who began his NBA career with the Bucks, is currently an unrestricted free agent. The Bucks had shown some interest in signing him, but sources tell me he’s passing on the Bucks and will sign, perhaps in the next day or two, with some other playoff-bound team.
- Some advice for Brewers general manager David Stearns: Forget about signing an overpriced free-agent pitcher and avoid the inevitable by making Josh Hader a starter now.
Gery Woelfel is a sports reporter for The Journal Times. Gery can be reached by calling 262-631-1713 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org