MADISON, Wis. – Five champions were crowned at the 2023 State Boys Basketball Tournament Saturday at the Resch Center.
De Pere (30-0), the #1 seed in the bracket, capped a perfect season with a 69-49 triumph over second-seeded Arrowhead in the Division 1 championship final.
Neither team held a lead more than six points during the first half of the game, and the Redbirds possessed a 22-20 advantage at intermission. A 10-2 start the second half gave De Pere the first double-digit lead of the game. The Warhawks narrowed their deficit to one point at 36-35 with 11:32 remaining in the game, but they could get no closer. The Redbirds responded by building another double-digit lead with an 11-2 run over the span of three minutes to take control of the game.
John Kinziger scored a game-high 24 points and distributed a game-best three assists for the Redbirds. His brother, Zach, added 19 points, and Will Hornseth tossed and added a game-high 11 rebounds. Zach Kinziger tied a State Tournament record for free throw percentage but converting all 10 of his attempts in the game. De Pere shot 54 percent from the floor in the game and held the Warhawks to 36 percent.
Arrowhead was led by Mac Wrecke with 18 points, and Bennett Basich was the only other Warhawk to score in double figures with 11 points.
De Pere wins the State title for the second time and the first time since capturing the Class B crown in 1934. It championship comes in the program’s seventh trip to the tourney. The 30 victories this season represents the most wins by a champion in State Tournament history Arrowhead (27-3) finishes runner-up in its fifth State experience.
Top-seeded Pewaukee (27-3) won its third consecutive Division 2 title by virtue of its 71-54 victory over third-seeded Whitnall in the championship game.
The Pirates led for all but 44 seconds in the game. The most significant juncture of the game may have come during a seven-minute stretch in the second half. The Pirates went on an 18-4 to extend its lead to 65-47 and take control of the game with 2:21 to play.
Milan Momcilovic recorded a game-high 29 points and hauled in a game-high nine rebounds to lead the Pirates. Nick Janowski tossed in 20 points, and Karson Osterman contributed with 11. Janowski also dished out a game-high eight assists. Pewaukee shot a torrid 51 percent from the floor, including 50 percent from beyond the three-point arc (11-22). The Pirates also shot 93 percent from the free throw stripe (14-15).
Whitnall was led in scoring by Jack Lutz with 17 points, and Austin Herro was the only other Falcon in double-figures with 11 points. Herro paced the team on the glass with six rebounds to go with three assists and a pair of steals.
The three straight titles accounts for all of the championships in the Pirates’ possession, coming in four appearances in the State Tournament. Whitnall (25-4) places runner-up in its fifth State experience.
Brillion (29-1), the #2 seed in the Division 3 bracket, won the State championship with a 61-55 win over top-seeded West Salem in the title game.
The Lions trailed 29-24 at the half, but started the second half with a 9-0 run to erase the deficit and take a four-point lead. They led by as many as six points in the tightly contested second half and clinched the victory down the stretch by making 7-of-8 free throws in the final minute.
Jeremy Lorenz was the catalyst for the Lions, scoring a game-high 26 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to go with three steals and four blocked shots. Bennett Olson also scored in double figures with 10 points, and Parker Braun dealt out a game-high five assists. Brillion had a significant advantage from the charity stripe, making 19-of-24 free throws compared 8-for-15 for the Panthers.
West Salem was led by Peter Lattos with 20 points to go with nine rebounds. Tamarrein Henderson was the only other Panther in double-figures, scoring 12 points to go with a team-high four steals on the defensive end. Carson Koepnick led the team on the glass with 11 boards.
Brillion won its second State championship in its fifth trip to the tournament, and West Salem (28-2) finishes runner-up for the second year in a row after experiencing the State Tournament for the first time last season.
Second-seeded Luther (28-2) won the Division 4 championship with a 60-46 victory over fourth-seeded Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic in the tournament final.
After building a 12-point advantage in the first six minutes of the game, the Knights trailed by two before scoring the final five points in the half to lead at halftime 25-22. Logan Bahr fueled the Knights’ offense in the second half that built the game’s biggest at 16 points at 57-41 with two minutes to play in the game.
Bahr scored 22 of his game-high 28 points in the second half. Gabe Huelskamp is the only other Knights’ player scoring in double figures with 11 points. The tandem also led the squad in rebounding with seven caroms apiece, and Isiah Schwichtenberg handed out a team-high four assists.
Eric Kenesie paced the Lancers with 18 points after pouring in a State Tournament record 51 points in their semifinal game. Peter Stapleton added 15 points and shared the lead in rebounding with Dominic Santarelli, each with six boards.
Luther wins its first State title in its third State Tournament appearance, and Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic (19-11) finishes runner-up in its second State experience.
In Division 5, top-seeded Newman Catholic (27-4) earned the title with a 66-54 victory over McDonell Catholic in the championship game.
The Fighting Cardinals never trailed in the game and used a 10-2 run in the final four minutes of the first to take 36-22 into the locker room at halftime. The Macks fought back to get within two points at 46-44 with eight minutes to play in the game, but they would get no closer down the stretch.
Conner Krach led the Fighting Cardinals with a team-high 21 points, and both Mason Prey and Isaac Seidel added double figures in scoring with 18 and 15 points, respectively. Jackson Pfender dished out a game-high five assists.
The Macks were led in scoring by Canan Huss with a game-high 28 points, making an efficient 10-of-15 field goals attempted, and Eddie Mittermeyer added 17 to account for the majority of scoring for the McDonell Catholic. Huss also contributed with a game-high 11 rebounds and two blocked shots.
Newman Catholic wins the State championship in its first-ever appearance in the tournament, and McDonell Catholic (29-2) finishes runner-up in its sixth State experience.
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