MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – The best of the best took Madison as the WIAA Boys State Basketball tournament semifinals were underway on Thursday and Friday. The Division 1 field featured two of Northeast Wisconsin’s best teams, the undefeated De Pere Redbirds and the reigning state champion Neenah Rockets.
In the first D1 matchup, top-seeded De Pere took on fourth-seeded Kettle Moraine and continued its perfect season with a 55-44 victory. The Redbirds were led by Will Hornseth, who scored 19 points and added eight rebounds. Johnny Kinziger filled the stat sheet with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and four assists. Kinziger started the day by being named co-Mr. Basketball, sharing the Wisconsin state award with Milan Momcilovic of Pewaukee. De Pere finished the day 29-0 on the season and advanced to the state title game. The last time the Redbirds hoisted the gold ball was in 2011.
The third-seeded Neenah Rockets took on second-seed Arrowhead. The Rockets were the reigning state title winners and advanced to state after winning the sectional semifinals as a six-seed. Neenah struggled in the Kohl Center, with senior UW Green Bay Cal Klesmit sitting the final 11 minutes of the first half because of foul trouble. Arrowhead defeated Neenah 73-61 and will face De Pere in the championship matchup on Saturday, March 18 at approximately 8:10 p.m.