For high school sports fans, it doesn’t get much better than post-season play for winter sports.

While the tournament schedule got watered down this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic — as some teams did not participate in post-season activity —  there is still plenty of action in boys and girls hockey and basketball this week. 

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) announced the pairings for the 2021 Boys &?Girls Hockey Tournament Series by seeding all four teams with the higher seeds hosting the State semifinal games. The State championship games will be played at South Wood County Recreation Center in Wisconsin Rapids this Saturday, Feb. 20.

In boys Division 1 semifinals this Thursday, Feb. 18, top seeded University School of Milwaukee will play No. 4 Verona Area at Uilhein Ice at 7 p.m. Meanwhile, No. 2 Hudson will face No. 3 Notre Dame at Gornick Arena at 7 p.m.

The Division 1 boys championship game will be Saturday, Feb. 20 at about 2:30 p.m. in Wisconsin Rapids.

In boys Division 2 semifinals this Thursday, top-seeded Saint Mary’s Springs will face No. 4 Somerset co-op at BlueLine Family Ice at 7 p.m. and No. 2 Superior will face No. 3 Lakeland of the Great Northern Conference in the Spooner Civic Center at 7 p.m. 

Last year, the Northland Pines boys hockey team won in the State semifinal and then lost to Saint Mary’s Springs in the title game.

The Divisions 2 boys championship game will be Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

The 2021 State Girls Hockey Tournament Championship also will be this Saturday at the South Wood County Rink in Wisconsin Rapids.

The girls semifinals will be Wednesday, Feb. 17. Top-seeded Eau Claire North co-op plays No. 4 University School of Milwaukee co-op at Chippewa Falls Ice Arena at 3 p.m., and No. 2  D.C. Everest co-op, also known as the Central Wisconsin Storm will host No. 3 Chippewa Falls co-op at Greenheck Fieldhouse in Schofield at 7 p.m. The Storm beat Northland Pines 4-1 earlier in the tournament.

The girls championship game will be Saturday at noon in Wisconsin Rapids.

There were 73 teams that started in the boys hockey Tournament Series, including 42  teams in Division 1 and 31 in Division 2. There were 24 teams in the girls Tournament Series.

Now it’s down to four teams in each boys division and four teams in the girls field — resulting in high school hockey at its best this week. 

The finals of the boys and girls State Tournaments will be televised live on WAOW Wausau and WYOW Eagle River. The finals will also be streamed live on the State Television Network’s websites.