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Friday, March 17, 2017

SPASH to Play Arrowhead in Pursuit of 3rd Straight Div. 1 Title

Stevens Point 48, Madison Memorial 41

Arrowhead 63, Brookfield Central 62 (OT)

Two-time defending champion Stevens Point (23-4) will go for its third straight championship following a 48-41 win over Madison Memorial in the Division 1 semifinals of the State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Kohl Center.

The Panthers led throughout most of the first half and led by as many as seven which was the largest lead of the period by either team. The Spartans shot 59 percent for the half, including 2-for-2 from beyond the arc. However, the Panthers hit 3-of-5 three-point attempts and held a 5-0 edge from the charity stripe to take a 26-22 lead into intermission.

Stevens Point increased its lead to eight points early in the second half before the Spartans responded with a 9-0 to take their only lead of the half. A basket by Joey Hauser at the 7:20 mark broke a 35-35 tie and gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish. Stevens Point secured its lead down the stretch by converting on all six free throw attempts in the final 25 seconds. 

Drew Blair led all scorers with 17 points for the Panthers. Beau Rosenthal chipped in with 12 points, and Joey Hauser added 11 points and a game-high 10 rebounds.

Chris Knight led the Spartans with 16 points and five rebounds. Billy Wilson also scored in double figures with 10 points. 

The Panthers attempt to win their sixth State championship in 19 appearances, and Madison Memorial closes its season with its 10 State experience.

Arrowhead (21-5) advances to the Division 1 championship game with a thrilling 63-62 overtime victory over Brookfield Central in the semifinals of the State Boys Basketball Tournament at the Kohl Center in Madison Friday night.

The entire game was closely contested. Both teams held leads in the first half. The Lancers largest lead of the first period was by virtue of scoring the first six points of the game. The Warhawks had a 6-0 run of their own to take a five-point lead that matched their largest lead in the half before going into halftime with a 28-25 lead. Each team struggled finding the range from beyond the arc in the half, combining to shoot 2-of-21.

The Lancers heated up in the second half. They went on a 13-1 run midway through the period to open a double-digit lead. They led by as many as 12 with 5:27 remaining at 56-44. That’s when Arrowhead began its three-point barrage and a 12-0 run to end regulation. 

Mark Matejic hit the first three-pointer to get the Warhawks deficit to under double digits. Ben Seefeld cut the lead to six, and Matejic made his second three-pointer under a span of two minutes. Three free throws in the last 2:37 tied the game at 56-56 at the end of regulation. Tommy Durand rolled in a one-handed shot on a short drive with eight seconds to play in overtime to provide the margin of victory.

Trevell Cunningham led the Warhawks, falling one assist shy of a triple-double with 17 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists. Seefeld tossed in 16 points; Alec Hamilton added 13; and Matejic scored 11. Gage Malensek led all scorers with 18 points for the Lancers, and Andres Peralta-Werns added 17 with Cole Nau chipping in with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

The Warhawks return to the championship final for the first time since winning the crown in 2010, Brookfield Central (24-2) is ousted from its 10th State Tournament appearance.

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