By Chris Bennett

Sports Correspondent

The Elkhorn Area High School boys basketball will look to avoid a third loss to Westosha Central tonight when the two meet in a WIAA Division 2 sectional semifinal at Burlington High School.

The winner advances to the sectional final against either DeForest or Mount Horeb Saturday. The game will be at Elkhorn Area High School. De Forest and Mount Horeb play tonight at Baraboo High School.

“They are really good, and every game with them is a battle,” Elks coach Josh Skatrud said of Westosha Central. “There are not really any secrets between us, because we have played so many times and already met in sectionals last year.”

The Falcons (23-1) beat the Elks (21-3) twice in Southern Lakes Conference competition this past season. Central beat the Elks 66-52 Feb. 16 at Paddock Lake and 54-44 Dec. 7 at Elkhorn.

Central is seeded No. 1 and Elkhorn No. 3 in their playoff bracket. The Falcons have won four straight SLC titles.

The Falcons ended the Elks’ season last year with a 46-41 victory in a sectional semifinal at Burlington. Central advanced to the Division 2 state tournament and lost 75-62 to Kaukauna in a semifinal game.

The Elks last beat Central on Jan. 30, 2018 – a 60-57 triumph in a SLC game at Elkhorn.

Elkhorn reached the sectional semifinal after beating East Troy 56-50 March 2 in a regional final game at East Troy. East Troy (21-2) entered the game ranked seventh in Division 2 in the most recent coaches poll.

“I think our physicality and toughness defensively won us the game,” Skatrud said. “We were very purposeful this year about scheduling some tough non-conference opponents to get us ready for these types of games.

The Falcons are ranked fifth in the state in the same poll, and beat Wilmot (18-6) 71-39 March 2 in a regional final at Paddock Lake.

“We know they are tough defensively and have guys who can score,” Skatrud said. “I feel really good about where we are at right now. We have not shot well against them this year, and we have in most games, so I’m hoping we are due for a good shooting night.”

The Elks’ potential opponents in the sectional final – DeForest (19-5) and Mount Horeb (21-3) – are the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams, respectively, in their playoff bracket. Mount Horeb is ranked ninth in the most recent Division 2 coaches poll.

Elkhorn last advanced to the state tournament in 1987. The Elks competed in the WIAA’s Class B, and lost 53-40 to Wisconsin Dells in the semifinals.

Coach Fred Suchy, for whom Elkhorn’s gymnasium is named, led Elkhorn to three straight appearances in the Class B title game from 1978 to 1980. The Elks won state titles in 1978 and 1979.



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