Prep basketball playoffs are exciting

You can’t beat the excitement and intensity that comes with high school basketball postseason action.

Teams are scratching and clawing to survive and move on in the playoffs. You can sense the urgency by the players.

I’m always impressed when there are big, energized crowds that are present for playoff battles. It’s entertaining just to watch the student sections get all revved up during the games.

Last season when the Howards Grove girls basketball team made its run to an ultimate Division 4 state title, seemingly the entire HG community came out to support their Tigers.

The Howards Grove Tigers will be looking to make another strong bid for a berth in the boys state basketball tournament. The Tigers have reached the sectional finals each of the past three seasons and were denied a trip to state each time by the eventual Division 4 champion — Whitefish Bay Dominican in 2015 and 2016, and Milwaukee Destiny in 2017.

The Tiger boys finished the regular season 20-2 and won the Big East Conference regular season at 13-0. A tenacious, stingy defense has fueled HG’s success. If their offense is solid, the Tigers are very capable of making another deep run in the playoffs.

HG is ranked No. 3 in the Associated Press D-4 poll.

The Plymouth Panthers have the potential to surprise some teams in the postseason. They face Slinger in a D-2 regional semifinal game Friday, March 2 at PHS. The winner will meet the Cedarburg-West Bend West victor in the finals Saturday. Cedarburg, the No. 1 seed, is ranked No. 8 in the AP D-2 poll.

I think the keys for the Panthers to have a strong showing in the postseason will be their defense and inside game. If the Panthers can lock down on defense, which they are more than capable of doing, and have a good inside attack to go with their lethal three-point shooting, they are very competitive.

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