Appleton North (28-0) earned the State championship and an unblemished season with a 49-34 win over De Pere in the Division 1 title game Saturday night at the Resch Center in Green Bay.
It appeared Appleton North may cruise its way to perfection when the Lightning scored the first eight points of the game, but De Pere rallied to tie the game at 14-14. The low-scoring first half ended with the Lightning possessing a 20-16 lead.
As it would turn out, Appleton North never trailed in the game.
With the game tied 27-27 at the 12:24 mark of the second half, the Lightning took control of the game by outscoring the Redbirds 20-4 over the span of 11 minutes.
Paige Schabo led all scorers with 16 points and grabbed a team-high seven rebounds for the Lightning. Kari Brekke added 13 points and dished out a team-high four assists. Rachel Kerkhoff was the
only Redbird to score in double figures with 11 points.
The Appleton North bench outscored De Pere’s bench 20-2 in the game, and the Lightning held a 26-12 advantage in scoring in the paint. In addition, the Lightning shot 47 percent from the floor game, including 50 percent in the second half. In contrast, the Redbirds converted 29 percent of their shots.
The Lightning’s title comes in its fourth State appearance, and the Redbirds finish runner-up in their eighth State Tournament.