The Lady Bulldogs face a familiar opponent at the Sweet 16 in their quest for a State Class A tournament spot. The winners of all eight games advance to the State Class A tournament at Frost Arena in Brookings March 9-11. Milbank Area, a No. 10 seed in the Sweet 16 pairings, faces No. 7 seed Webster Area, also from Region 1A of the Northeast Conference. They play at 7 p.m. Friday, March 3, in Groton.
“The two teams definitely know each other,” says Milbank Area Head Coach Brian Pauli. “It can have it’s negatives and positives. It comes down to which team can take the other’s strengths away or at least limit them.”
Milbank Area takes a 15-7 record into the game; Webster Area sits at 17-4. The two teams met early in the season when Webster Area came away with a 65-56 win. “I feel we didn’t play as well defensively as we are capable of,” says Pauli. “We are playing a lot better now than we were in December.”
Coach Pauli and the Lady Bulldogs say they have a solid game plan in place. “Defense will be the key. We can’t get into a high scoring game with Webster. We can’t give up points in transition and rebounding will be important.”
All eight Sweet 16 games are set for Friday. Other matchups include: No.1 St. Thomas More and No. 16 Cheyenne-Eagle Butte; No.2 Hamlin and No. 15 Sioux Valley; No. 3 Lennox and No. 14 Crow Creek; No. 4 Little Wound and No. 13 West Central; No. 5 McCook Central-Montrose and No. 12 Madison; No. 6 Belle Fourche and No. 11 Vermillion; and No. 8 Dell Rapids and No. 9 Todd County.