MADISON, Wis. – Top-seeded Brookfield Central (22-5) defeated Neenah 61-47 in the Division 1 semifinals of the 2019 State Boys Basketball Tournament Friday evening at the Kohl Center.
Neenah scored the first two points of the game, but that was the only lead the Rockets would possess in the game. The Lancers responded with a 13-0 run to take a 13-2 lead, but Neenah would tie the game later in the half at 20-20 following a 10-0 run.
The Lancers led 26-23 at halftime, and after the first basket of the half, never let the lead go below four points the rest of the way. They built their largest lead of the game at 51-36 with 3:15 remaining in the game.
Shooting marksmanship was the determining factor in the game. Brookfield Central shot 53 percent from the floor hitting on 18-of-34 attempts, including 50 percent from three-point distance. The Lancers also converted at an 82 percent clip from the charity stripe in the game. In contrast, the Rockets hit on just 33 percent of its shots, including 8-of-25 from beyond the arc.
Cole Nau led all scorers with 21 points for the Lancers. He also dished out a game-high six assists. David Joplin added 12 points, and Ben Nay netted 10 points. Malik Abdul-Wahid led all rebounders in the game with nine boards.
Max Klesmit scored a team-high 15 points for the Rockets and handed out five assists. Logan Morrow was the only other Rocket to score in double figures with 10 points to go with his team-leading seven rebounds.
Neenah (19-8) ends its season with its 27th State Tournament experience, which ties for the most of any member school. The Lancers advance to their first championship game in their 11th tourney appearances.
Sun Prairie (21-6) outlasted West Allis Central to advance to the Division 1 final with a 62-60 overtime victory in the semifinals at the Kohl Center Friday night.
The game was evenly played throughout with nine lead changes and five ties. The Cardinals largest lead of the game was in the opening minutes at 9-2. The Bulldogs’ erased that deficit with a 10-0 run and maintained the lead the remaining 13:56 of the half to take a 29-21 halftime advantage. West Allis Central built its biggest lead of the game at 31-21 with the first basket of the second period.
Sun Prairie gradually chipped away at the Bulldogs’ lead and took the lead at 39-38 with 10:49 remaining in regulation. With the Cardinals ahead 51-48 with eight seconds remaining in the second half, the Bulldogs’ George Martin connected on a three-pointer to tie the game and send it into overtime.
The Cardinals outscored the Bulldogs 11-9 in the overtime period with all but two points coming from the free throw line.
Brock Voigt and Delaware Hale both scored 14 points to lead the Cardinals in scoring. Cooper Nelson also scored in double figures with 10 points and led the team in rebounds with eight.
The Bulldogs were paced on offense by Martin with 18 points before fouling out. Shilo Bowles contributed 17 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds.
West Allis Central (22-4) completes its season with its third State appearance, and the Cardinals advance to the championship game for the first time.
Semifinals: Friday, March 15 - 6:35pm
#1 Brookfield Central (22-5) 61, #4 Neenah (19-8) 47 - stats
#2 West Allis Central (22-4) 60, #3 Sun Prairie (21-6) 62 (OT) - stats