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March Madness comes to La Crosse Center

Brad Williams

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After 30 years of practice in hosting the state high school track meet, the city of La Crosse is about to welcome another state-wide sporting event. 

The La Crosse Center will host some divisions of the WIAA state basketball finals, boys and girls, this week and next. 

The girls teams begin action Thursday at the Center, with Division 5 playing all its games on Thursday. 

That schedule is designed to get each team in and out of town on the same day, but Center director Art Fahey has talked with local fans, and he thinks many spectators will plan overnight stays.

Girls Division 4 will play here Friday, and Division 2 has its games on Saturday.  The other two divisions will have their state games in Oshkosh.  

Games from the two venues will alternate on a statewide TV network. Television crews will set up the La Crosse Center for the tournaments on Wednesday. The boys’ tournament will follow a similar schedule next week in the two arenas.

This is the biggest event at the La Crosse Center since remodeling began last winter. The arena has replaced the old red and purple seats which had been there since the building first opened in 1980.

The game schedules have been worked out to meet COVID guidelines, and the arena will be sanitized between games. 

Fahey says the award ceremonies for the championship teams will be a little more intimate than usual, with the players being given their ribbons by their own coaches instead of by members of the Board of Regents.

       

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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