(WFRV) – The winter sports season wrapped up with the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament. Eric Boynton recaps a busy week of high school hoops with five local teams vying for gold balls at state.
The division one title game lived up to all of the hype in the first half. Kimberly and Wauwatosa East traded punches in the first 18 minutes with no team building a lead more than a single possession. Kimberly held a one point lead at the end of the first half, but the Red Raiders pulled away with a big run to start the final half.
Jackson Paveletzke led the way for the Papermakers with 13 points in the defeat.
In division two, the Xavier Hawks had an upset on their mind as they took on previously undefeated Onalaska. Led by Charlie Pfefferle’s 28 points, the Hawks were able to hang with the Hilltoppers and even held a lead early in the second half after an Alex Sherwood transition layup.
Onalaska’s outside shooting down the stretch in the second half proved to be the difference as they advanced to the state championship game. That’s where the Hilltoppers suffered their one and only loss of the season as Pewaukee claimed the division two state championship.
The Wrighstown Tigers put up a good fight as well in their division three semifinals match-up with Racine St. Catherine’s. The Angels feature one of the best backcourts in the state with Iowa State commit Tyrese Hunter, and Green Bay recruit Kamari McGee.
Matthew Hansen led the Tigers with 16 points in the contest, and Joe Hella added 12 more. Unfortunately for Wrightstown they weren’t able to overcome a run by St. Catherine’s late in the first half that gave the Angels a 12 point advantage. From there St. Cat’s advanced to the state championship game, and eventually the title, after a 53-44 win over Wrightstown.
Northeast Wisconsin’s lone state champion this year was in division four. It wasn’t easy for Lourdes Academy, though. The Prairie School jumped out to a 15-0 lead, and held a twenty point advantage in the first half.
The Knights were able to start chipping away at the deficit before halftime, and thanks in part to a 13 point performance by Preston Ruedinger rallied to tie the game late. The Lourdes Academy senior then had the biggest assist of the night by finding Nathan Slagter uner the basketball for a layup to beat the buzzer and win Lourdes Academy their first WIAA state boys basketball championship.
The tournament started with division five, and Green Bay NEW Lutheran looking to keep their postseason push going against McDonell Central in the semifinals. Marshall Bukowski led the way for the Blazers with 16 points.
Jake Siegenthaler helped lead the Macks to a win though with 25 points in the contest.