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Top girls seeds begin postseason play

The Avon girls’ basketball team is on fire.

The Pirates have won their last eight games and enter the District 12B tournament as the top seed and favorite to advance to region play.

Avon (16-4) breezed to a first-place regular-season finish with 44.10 seed points. The next closest team was Burke/South Central, which finished 10-9 and had 41.16 seed points.

“We have been really pleased with what we have done so far this year,” Avon girls’ basketball coach Brad Poppe said. “The girls have worked hard and put in a lot of time on the court. We want to continue to play solid defense and have solid offense in the tournament.”

The Pirates have played three of the five other teams in District 12B and have won all three of the games. Heading into the postseason, the only two teams Avon didn’t meet on the floor in the district were Colome and Marty Indian.

The Pirates have been led by Chesney Nagel and Ariana Oorlog. Nagel is averaging a team-best 17 points and 7.45 rebounds per game, while Oorlog is averaging 14.7 points per game.

The Pirates had a bye the first round of the district tournament and host the district semifinals at 7 p.m. today in Avon.

“District tournaments are tough,” Poppe said. “It is always difficult to have to beat someone a second time. We are looking forward to the challenge and we are hoping we can continue to play the way we have been playing.”

Other top seeds are Freeman (13-7) in District 9B, Kimball/White Lake (12-7) in District 11B, No. 4 Sanborn Central/Woonsocket (19-1) in District 6B and No. 5 Hanson Beavers (18-2) in District 8B. All No. 1 seeds begin postseason play today.

Chamberlain, Winner headline Region 6A

Last year, the Chamberlain Cubs made the Class A state tournament and finished eighth. Standing in the Cubs’ way of returning to the state tournament this season is Winner, which enters the tournament as the top seed after going 19-1 in the regular season. The No. 4 Warriors’ only loss this season was to Pine Ridge, another ranked team, by two points.

“Winner is clearly the favorite,” Chamberlain girls’ basketball coach Jeff Neuharth said. “It is very tough to make it to the state tournament and we are hoping to make it back. Winner is a quality team, but we can’t overlook anybody else because there are a lot of good teams in the region who have eyes on winning.”

The Warriors and Cubs open region play Thursday.