Appleton North 75, Milwaukee King 52
De Pere 49, Middleton 47 (OT)
In the battle of the unbeatens, Appleton North (27-0) defeated Milwaukee King (25-1) 75-52 in the Division 1 State semifinal to advance to the final Saturday.
The Lightning led 32-31 after a tightly contested first half that featured eight lead changes and three ties. They opened the second half with a three-pointer by Kari Brekke that set the tone for the half. The Lady Generals fought back to get within three points of tying the game, but the Lightning answered with a 13-1 run midway through the second half to lead 66-49 with just under three minutes remaining.
Much of Appleton North’s success in the second half was a result of hitting 60 percent of its field goals and limiting the Lady Generals to 23 percent shooting, including 1-of-11 from three-point distance.
The Lighting boasted five players scoring in double figures. Sydney Levy had a game-high 19 points. Brekke added 14 points, and Callie Pohlman and Paige Schabo each had 12 points. Anna Laux chipped in with 10.
Sydnee Roby was strong in the interior for the Lady Generals. She led the team with 17 points, 12 rebounds and six blocks. Both Jada Patterson and Tishara Morehouse tossed in 11 points.
Appleton North advances to the championship for the first time in program history, and Milwaukee KIng exits in the semifinals of its fifth tournament experience.
De Pere (25-2) outlasted Middleton in overtime to advance to the Division 1 final following a 49-47 victory in the semifinals Friday night.
The Cardinals took a four-point advantage to start the overtime period, but the Redbirds outscored Middleton 8-6 in the extra period without the benefit of a field goal. They made 8-of-10 free throws to account for the margin of victory.
Both teams found points difficult to come by in the early portion of the game, as the score was knotted up at 2-2 through the first four minutes. The Cardinals hit a three-pointer to take lead the at 5-2, but the Redbirds used a 14-2 run to turn the tables and take a nine-point lead, their largest of the game.
Middleton (23-4) trailed 20-13 at halftime but clawed back to have the opportunity to win the game at the end of regulation, but two shots caromed off the rim in the game’s waning moments.
Annie Schneider led the Redbirds with 13 points and seven rebounds. Olivia DeCleene added 11 points. Bria Lemirande led the Cardinals with 13 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.
De Pere attempts to win its fourth State championship in their sixth appearance in the finals. Middleton’s season comes to an end with its 10th State appearance.