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Five big games, matches to watch this week
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MONROE - It's a big week of basketball games and wrestling matches this week. Several area teams are making a push for a conference title. The following are the five must-see games and matches this week:

Today: Lena-Winslow at Monroe boys basketball

Lena-Winslow (11-4) received a vote in the Associated Press IHSA Class 1A state poll, and will be a challenge for the Cheesemakers in a nonconference game tonight. Monroe is looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Cheesemakers (6-6, 4-3 Badger South) are looking to build a winning streak coming off a 72-49 win over Milton.

After Monroe senior Hunter Ward's knee injury, the Cheesemakers brought up freshman Max Golembiewski to play against Milton last week. It's uncertain if Ward will be able to return to play against Lena-Winslow.

The Cheesemakers have been

getting a scoring punch from junior Kade King (14.3 points per game), senior Brayden Zettle (13.4 ppg) and senior Jonah Tostrud (8.6 ppg).

Today: Barneveld boys basketball at Pecatonica

Pecatonica can grab control of the Six Rivers East with a win over Barneveld. The Vikings may be without junior point guard Colton Schraepfer, who has an ankle injury. Schraepfer is averaging a team-high 17.2 points per game. The Vikings are 2-5 without Schraepfer.

Pecatonica may have to lean on its size down low with 6-foot-5 junior Zack Eaton and 6-4 sophomore Bo Hendrickson. The Vikings lost three games to Barneveld last year, including a 45-44 loss to the Eagles in a WIAA Division 5 sectional semifinal game. The other top scorers for the Vikings include senior Evan Prust (11.8 ppg) and Eaton (9.4 ppg).

Barneveld is led by Kauy Fargo (22 ppg) and Malcolm Reed (12.7 ppg). The Eagles lost their first three games of the season and then got on a roll with wins over Black Hawk and Argyle. Barneveld is 3-2 in its past five games with a one-point loss to Lancaster 67-66 and an 84-79 loss to New Glarus.

Today: Darlington boys basketball at Southwestern

It's jumbled at the top of the Southwest Wisconsin Activities League, with four teams tied atop the conference at 3-1 including Southwestern, Mineral Point, Cuba City and Fennimore. Darlington (6-4, 2-2 SWAL) is one game behind the leaders, but has losses to Cuba City and Fennimore and has a win over Mineral Point. Darlington can make the league race even more interesting by beating Southwestern.

The Wildcats (7-3) are led by Dylan Rieken (13 ppg), Breckin Schneider (9.6 ppg) and Shaun Cooper (9 ppg). The Redbirds are led by freshman Carter Lancaster (14.8 ppg), junior Stryker Fitzsimons (9.8 ppg) and senior Tanner Evenstad (8.7 ppg).

Friday: Oregon girls basketball at Monroe

The Monroe girls basketball team is looking to get back on track after top-ranked Beaver Dam rolled to a 69-40 win over the then No. 2-ranked Cheesemakers in the Badger Challenge Saturday. Monroe can keep a stranglehold on repeating as Badger Conference champions by beating Oregon.

The Cheesemakers have a two-game lead over Stoughton and Madison Edgewood. The Panthers (9-4, 3-4 Badger South) are in the middle of the pack in the conference and are led by Ellen McCorkle, who averages 16.2 points per game. The other double-digit scorers for Oregon include Liz Uhl (11.6 ppg) and Kaitlyn Schrimpf (10.3 ppg). The Cheesemakers are looking to sweep the Panthers. Monroe knocked off Oregon 70-53 in the first meeting and were led by junior Sydney Hilliard who scored a game-high 24 points and junior Emily Benzschawel who added 14 points.

Saturday: Monroe Wrestling Invitational

The Cheesemaker wrestling team is looking to win a third Monroe Invitational championship. Back to defend titles are Monroe seniors Travis Wolf and Sam Kind. Wolf won a championship at 145 last year and is wrestling at 152 this year. Kind, who won a title at 160 last year, is wrestling at 170 this season.

Black Hawk-Darlington, ranked No. 5 in the Division 3 Wisconsin Wrestling Online Poll, along with Whitewater will contend for the team title. Whitewater is honorable mention in the Division 2 state rankings.

Black Hawk-Darlington has three wrestlers ranked in the top 12 in Division 3 including senior Paul King (120), 12th; Kolbe Ubersox (138), No. 4, and senior Brody Milz (220), No. 8.

Whitewater sophomore Aldo Soto (182) is ranked No. 8 in Division 2. He could possibly face Monroe senior Dempzy Foley, ranked ninth, in the championship match.

It's unknown if Monroe senior Tyson Welsch, ranked No. 9 at heavyweight in Division 2, will wrestle. Welsch missed the Cheesemakers last match against Stoughton due to an injury.