The opening night of the high school boys basketball playoffs is done as play moves on to regional semifinals on Friday night. Here are some of the local results.
In Division 1, only a handful of lower-seeded games were on the books, highlighted by #17 Badger's win over #16 Waukesha South 78-76 in double overtime in Sectional 3.
Division 2 had a number of upsets. Sectional 1 had a #9 beat a #8, while Sectional 2 saw #10 Pulaski take down #7 Fox Valley Lutheran 56-49 as well as #9 Green Bay Southwest upend #8 Menasha 85-77. Beaver Dam won 79-60 in an 8-9 game, and their reward is to play Division 2 favorite Nicolet on Friday night. Sectional 3 went chalk in the top half-sectional, with #6 McFarland, #7 Sauk Prairie, and #8 Monona Grove all winning. However, in the bottom half-sectional, every road team upset a higher seed, with #9 Jefferson, #10 Fort Atkinson (more below), and #11 Delavan-Darien all winning. Sectional 4 had no upsets.
Division 3 had just three upsets, including a pair of #10's advancing past #7's. Edgewood was among the local teams to move on to Friday's regional semifinals.
Division 4 was similarly chalky, with only two upsets on the docket, and only one by a #10 seed.
In Division 5, #11 Newman Catholic, #10 Bayfield, #10 Bruce, #10 Gresham, and #10 Sheboygan Christian were double-digit seeds that advanced.
You can see the full brackets by clicking here.
Fort Atkinson rallies for playoff victory
A three by Carson Baker set the tone for the Fort Atkinson Blackhawks right out of the gate: This year's playoff run would feature a more assertive offense.
Fort Atkinson led much of the first half, getting it to 23-17 with two minutes before halftime before Union Grove made their move.
The Broncos scored five points, including a three by Logan Tenhagen with 10 seconds left in the first half, to bring the deficit within one point. In the first three minutes and 28 seconds of the second half, Union Grove ripped off another 16 points to take a 38-29 lead into a Fort Atkinson timeout to stop the bleeding.
From that point on, the Blackhawks re-focused on defense and clawed their way back into the game.
Union Grove managed just six points over the next 10 minutes of game action, and Fort Atkinson took brief leads at 43-42 and 45-44. A big shot from Collin Long got Union Grove fans to their feet, but Fort Atkinson answered with a Caleb Haffelder triple for the lead at 47-46 with under five minutes to play. A sequence in which Fort Atkinson got down the floor for a transition three, followed by a Cade Cosson steal and score on an inbound pass, pushed Fort's advantage to 53-47, and from there, the Blackhawks held on for a 55-50 win, their first in three straight years opening the postseason against Union Grove.
Fort Atkinson improved to 6-17 on the year and heads to second-seeded Burlington on Friday. Union Grove finishes the season at 9-14.
Fort Atkinson: Caleb Haffelder 16, Drew Evans 12, Cade Cosson 8, Carson Baker 7, Greyson Wixom 6, Logan Kees 3, Jack Opperman 2, Caden Klingbeil 1
Union Grove: Collin Long 19, Logan Tenhagen 11, Sam Rampulla 8, Noah Hilarides 5, Kaden Pfeffer 5, Adam Ross 2