La Crosse Central 55, Cedarburg 53
La Crosse Central (26-2) edged Cedarburg 55-53 to win the Division 2 championship of the 2017 State Boys Basketball Tournament Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis.
The first half featured five lead changes, three ties and no lead that exceeded five points. The Red Raiders had the advantage inside the lane in the first period, outscoring the Bulldogs 12-0 in the half. Cedarburg shot-4-of-5 from beyond the arc keep within three at halftime, 21-18.
The Red Raiders built a double-digit lead in the second half at 38-28 with 12:33 remaining in the game. A John Diener three-pointer sparked a Bulldog rally over a eight-minute span that put Cedarburg in the lead at 50-49 with 2:55 on the clock. Kobe King hit a jump shot and Bailey Kale scored on layup to La Crosse to give the lead back to the Red Raiders. They hung for the win despite misfiring on four free throws in the final 23 seconds.
The Red Raiders held a significant advantage around the basket, outscoring the Bulldogs 26-4 in the paint and outrebounding Cedarburg 30-21, which led to a 14-2 edge in second-chance points in the game. The Bulldogs relied on their marksmanship from beyond the arc for their offensive catalyst, converting 11-of-18 three-pointers.
King led all scorers with 28 points and nine rebounds for the Red Raiders. Bailey Kale also scored in double figures with 15. Diener paced the Bulldogs with 25 points, and Jordan Johnson and Matthew Barber added 13 and 11 points, respectively.
In its 16th State appearance, La Crosse Central wins its second State championship and its first since 1925. Cedarburg finishes runner-up in its third State Tournament experience.