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A Royal start to State


The Wisconsin Rapids Assumption Royals tipped off the first WIAA Girls State Tournament at the Resch Center in Green Bay by rolling over their conference rival, Wausau Newman Catholic 60-37.  In the school's second appearance at state, head coach Joe Birkhauser picked up Assumption's first state win.  In the process, the Royals avenged their only loss of the season.  The teams split two meetings in the Marawood Conference regular season.  Led by junior Mary Sigler and freshman Gena Grundhoffer with 17 and 15 points respectively, Assumption raced out to a 20-7 lead after the first quarter and was never seriously challenged.   Newman Catholic, a three time state champion making it's 10th state appearance, finishes the season 20-8.  The Cardinals were led by Kimberly Stief with 8 points. Assumption improves to 27-1 and will play in it's first championship game Saturday morning at 11:00 AM. Birkhauser, winning the first tourney game at the Resch, called it "a perfect venue" for the girls tournament.  Newman coachTom Weinkauf jokingly agreed, saying "I don't like it, I can't win here." He added Green Bay has welcomed his team warmly and feels the Resch could be a permanent home for the event.  The Royals await the winner of this afternoon's South Shore-Barneveld matchup.