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For the most part basketball coaches like move to 24-game season

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Bay Port beat Kimberly 63-53 in a Division 1 state semifinal last season at the Resch Center. (Doug Ritchay/WLUK)

KIMBERLY (WLUK) -- Since the 2009-10 season high school basketball teams have played a 22-game regular season, but that will change after next year.

This offseason, the WIAA Board of Control voted to add two more games to the regular season for only varsity teams and for the most part it has been well received.

"Probably the biggest reason we're interested in the 24 games is we have 18 conference games," Kimberly girls basketball coach Troy Cullen said. "We don't get a chance to see many of those really good teams outside of conference and this gives us a chance to play two more quality teams."

Kaukauna boys basketball coach Mike Schalow spearheaded the move to 24 games and he sees only positives.

"For me personally, I think it's a really great thing for us as coaches and for the state of Wisconsin," Schalow said. "I think to get to 24 games it's going to continue to grow the game of basketball and we've seen such growth in the last five to 10 years.

"I think it's going to continue to take it to another level. I think we're starting to reach from a game standpoint what some of our bordering states like Minnesota and Illinois already have."

For 10-team conferences the additional games allows a chance to see more non-conference opponents. Under the 22-game schedule, teams from 10-team conferences have just four non-conference games as they have 18 conference games.

With a 24-game schedule, that moves to six. Most coaches think it could lead to more tournaments during the holiday season.

"It may give us a chance to play in a tournament we haven't before," Bay Port boys basketball coach Nate Rykal said. "With only four non-conference games it didn't allow us to do something like this."

"I like the idea of 24 games," Freedom girls basketball coach Mike Vander Loop said. "Twenty-two can sometimes be a grind, especially when you have weather issues in Wisconsin. But overall, we're here to play basketball and if we're going to add a couple games I think it's good for our season."

Green Bay Preble's Carley Duffney is all for more games and as a junior she will get that chance as a senior.

"I'm totally looking forward to an extra two games," Duffney said. "Now I have extra time to get more points."

While more seems better, not everybody agrees with the 24-game schedule. Green Bay Preble coach Jim Doell would have preferred a move in a different direction.

"I'd rather go to 20 games and get rid of a week," Doell said. "It's a long season. It's asking a lot out of young kids' bodies to play that long and now they want to add two more games, so I'm definitely against it."

Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay

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