Defending champion and fourth-seeded Appleton North (23-4) earned its opportunity to play for a second straight championship with a 52-38 victory over top-seeded Arrowhead in the Division 1 semifinals Friday evening at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis.
The Lightning led the entire game after scoring the first six points of the contest. Their 17-5 scoring run at the start of the second half increased a four-point halftime advantage to 16 at 39-23 at the 10:13 mark. They led by as many as 18 points late in the game.
Sydney Levy led all scorers and rebounders with 20 points and nine boards for the Lightning. Paige Schabo contributed 12 points and eight rebounds. The Warhawks were led by Caitlyn Harper with 18 points. Kylie Ballmann also scored in double figures with 10 points.
The Lighting will play for back-to-back titles in their third experience in the State title game. They also finished runner-up in 1999. Arrowhead (24-3) finishes its season with the Warhawks’ 10th State appearance.
Second-seeded Mukwonago (25-2) earned its berth in the Division 1 State championship game with a 58-48 win over Oak Creek in the semifinals Friday night.
The Indians wore down the Knights in the second half. The game remained close throughout the first half with neither team possessing a lead of more the six points with four lead changes and five ties. Mukwonago began taking command of the game with just under four minutes to go in the game and built its largest lead of 58-45 with under a minute to play.
Grace Beyer and Angie Cera led the Indians in scoring with 16 points apiece. Beyer also had a game-high nine rebounds and led the team in assists with three. Natalie Andersen also scored in double figures with 14 points. Cera tied a State tournament record for three-point field goal percentage with a minimum of three attempts by making 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
Oak Creek was led in scoring by Lea Finn with 11 points, and Maddie Gard chipped in with 10 points. The Knights committed 29 fouls in the game, which was one shy of the Division 1 State tournament record.
The Indians return to the title game for second time in three years, finishing runner-up in 2016. Oak Creek (24-3) completes its season with its seventh State tournament appearance.