Tri-County girls' basketball teams ready for regional semifinals, finals
Three of the Tri-County area's prep girls basketball teams will be in action Friday evening as WIAA regional tournaments continue this weekend with the semifinal and final rounds.
Two of those teams will square off directly: Augusta travels to Fall Creek for a Division 4 semifinal contest. In Division 3, Osseo-Fairchild will host Stratford. Both games will tip-off at 7 p.m.
Fall Creek is the top seed in its regional tournament bracket and is ranked No. 8 in the state in D-4 with a 12-4 overall record and runner-up to West Cloverbelt Conference Champion Osseo-Fairchild. Top scorers for the Crickets are senior Mackensey Kolpien at nearly 13 points per game while teammates senior Emily Madden and junior Gianna Vollrath average nearly 10 ppg. themselves. This experienced and deep ballclub which also includes seniors Katie Kent and Emma Ryan and sophomore Tori Marten and Jenna Anders is aiming to get back to the regional finals which is as far as they made it last season.
The Crickets will take on an Augusta ballclub with a 3-18 overall record. Unlike a lot of teams during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Beavers have been able to play a full schedule and have played competitively in many contests. Sophomore Kennedy Korger leads the team in scoring at 11.5 ppg. while seniors Phoeynx Knuth and Kennedy Schroeder both average just over seven points per game. FC had a first round bye this week while Augusta downed Spring Valley in a first-round match-up as a No. 4 seed against No. 5 Spring Valley by a 60-50 score led by Korger's 19 points, Knuth's 13 and Schroeder's eight points. The Beavers held consistently their lead throughout the contest. Two of the Beavers wins' this season have come against Dunn-St. Croix Conference teams (Glernwood City, Spring Valley) along with their lone league win over Gilmanton.
The winner of this contest will play the winner of the Eau Claire Regis (11-8) vs. Colfax match-up of No.2 and 3 seeds. Regis has won three straight including a win over Osseo-Fairchild and is led by the area's leading scorer Makenna Rohrscheib who averages 20 points per game. They will be taking on a Colfax (13-3) squad which won the Dunn-St. Croix with a 13-1 record led by Madison Barstad averaging 13 points per game. The Vikings are on an 11-game winning streak but lost to the Ramblers earlier this season 44-36.
Osseo-Fairchild (10-2) took the week off after beating rival Fall Creek last week to clinch the WCC title for the second straight season. The Thunder are the No. 2 seed in their regional and face the No. 3 seed Stratford at home Friday.
"We've been through a lot together over the past two years, especially in dealing with the pandemic," O-F head coach Tara Simpson said. "That's made us a family and we have a real strong bond among us. Our lone senior Madison Hugdahl has done a lot to lead this team, especially by welcoming the sophomores like Eleice Dahl, Madisyn Loonstra, and other underclassmen like Lacy Frase and Dezaray Eisbrener that have combined with experienced players like herself and Brooke (McCune) and Mariah (Steinke) to build a cohesive unit."
Dahl and McCune lead the team in scoring at 11.4 and nearly 10 points per game. The win over FC was much needed after the Thunder lost two straight to Regis and Altoona.
OFHS will face a Stratford (13-6) squad led by Breanna Ackley who averages 18 ppg. and their top rebounder Emily Hughes who averages nearly nine per contest. The Tigers tied with Auburndale for the Marawood South Conference title.
The winner of this Division 3 regional semifinal contest will face either East Cloverbelt champion and defending regional champion Neillsville (18-1) or Colby (8-7) who are in the other semifinal contest. _