Five Boys Basketball Tournament Champions Celebrate at Kohl Center

MADISON – The 108th WIAA Boys Basketball Tournament crowned champions in five divisions Saturday at the Kohl Center. 

Third-seeded Marquette (26-4) led for all but 50 seconds in its 84-62 win over top-seeded Arrowhead (27-3) to win the Division 1 State championship. 

The Hilltoppers led by as much as 11 in the first half and maintained a 41-32 advantage at intermission. The Warhawks could get no closer than a 10-point deficit in the second half. Marquette stretched its lead to as many as 22 points at 82-60 with just over two minutes to play in the game.

Nolan Minessale led the Hilltoppers with a game-high 29 points, a team-high six rebounds and four blocked shots in the game. Jeremiah Johnson and Cade Kohnen also scored in double figures with 14 and 10 points, respectively. TJ Adams contributed with a game-leading six assists.

Arrowhead was led in scoring by Bennett Basich with 17 points. Jace Gilbert and Sam Leoni each chipped in with 14 points apiece. Gilbert also had a game-high 11 rebounds and Leoni dished out a team-leading four assists.

Marquette wins its first WIAA State Championship in its third tournament appearance, and Arrowhead finished runner-up in its sixth State experience.

In Division 2, the much-heralded match-up between undefeated and top-seeded Wisconsin Lutheran (30-0) and second-seeded Pewaukee (25-5), the former three-time defending champion, resulted in an 83-62 Vikings’ victory.

Wisconsin Lutheran shot a sizzling 82 percent from the field in the second half and 68 percent for the game, which shattered the Division 2 State Tournament record.  The Vikings’ 22 assists that set up many high percentage shots also set a Division 2 record. 

The Vikings never trailed in the game, leading 38-20 at the half. They led by as many as 29 points at 81-52 with two minutes remaining in the second half. Wisconsin Lutheran held a commanding 50-20 advantage in points-in-the-paint for the game.

Logan Rindfleisch led the five starters scoring in double figures for the Vikings with 20 points, converting 9-of-11 field goal attempts. Zavier Zens added 16 points, with Kon Knueppel, Isaiah. Mellock and Alex Greene each contributing with 11 points. Knueppel tied the Division 2 State Tournament record with 11 assists.

The Pirates were led in scoring by Nick Janowski and Luka Momcilovic with 13 points apiece. Janowski also paced the squad in assists with eight. Pewaukee converted on 49 percent of its field goal attempts in the game, including 46 percent from beyond the arc.

Wisconsin Lutheran wins the school’s third State championship in their fourth tournament appearance. Pewaukee finishes runner-up in its fifth experience at State. 

Top-seeded St. Thomas More (29-1) captured the Division 3 crown by downing second-seeded Lakeside Lutheran (27-3) 65-54 in the championship game. 

The Cavaliers erased a 32-29 deficit early in the second half and went on a 14-2 run later in the half to match their largest lead of the game at 63-50 with 2:46 to play in the game. St. Thomas More’s second-half surge was fueled by its 70 percent shooting from the floor in the half. 

Sekou Konneh led the Cavaliers with a double-double, tossing in a game-high 20 points and grabbing a game-high 14 rebounds. Kyle Alivo contributed with 19 points, and Amari McCottry added 11 points and a team-high eight assists.

The Lancers had four players scoring in double figures, led by Kaycee Guzman with 16. Wes Rahn and Alex Reinke each scored 13 points, and Kooper Mlsna added 10. Rahn led Lakeside Lutheran on the glass with nine boards, and Reinke doled out eight assists.

St. Thomas More wins its first WIAA championship in its second State experience, and Lakeside Lutheran finishes runner-up in its third appearance in the State Tournament.

Second-seeded Mineral Point (28-2) captured the Division 4 in dramatic fashion with a 65-64 win over fourth-seeded Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic (20-10) in the title tilt. 

The Pointers’ Drew Aschliman put back a missed shot with one second to play in the second half to provide the winning margin after a desperation heave from beyond half court by the Lancers missed the mark at the buzzer. Mineral Point led by 11 points at 2:42 remaining in the game, but the Kenosha St. Joseph staged a frenzied comeback and took a 64-63 lead with 13 seconds to play to set up Aschliman’s heroics.

Jaxson Wendhausen came off the bench to lead the Pointers in scoring with 20 points, including six three-pointers in 10 attempts. Landon Thousand scored 15 points and handed out a game-high eight assists. Eli Lindsey and Alex Ross also scored in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Pointers outscored the Lancers bench 25-4 in the game.

Eric Kenesie scores 23 points and dished out six assists to pace the Lancers. Dominic and Tommy Santorelli both scored in double figures as well with 14 and 11 points, respectively. The Lancers shot 62 percent in the second half and 50 percent for the game.

It’s the first State championship for Mineral Point in the Pointers’ fifth State appearance. Kenosha St. Joseph finishes runner-up in its fourth experience in the tournament.

In Division 5, top-seeded Columbus Catholic (29-2) won the title with an 81-75 victory over third-seeded Abundant Life Christian (28-3) in the championship game.

The first half featured torrid three-point shooting by both teams. The Challengers led by as many as nine points and led 43-42 at the break with the help of converting 9-of-14 three-pointers in the half. The Dons made 8-of-16 field goals from beyond the three-point arc in the half.

Columbus Catholic led for most of the second half and by as many as 10 points on three separate occasions. The Dons made all eight of their free throws in the final 52 seconds of the game to secure the win.

The two teams set a Division 5 record for the best combined free throw percentage in a game at .909, making 30-of-33 attempts from the charity stripe. The Dons broke the Division 5 record they set a day earlier with 14 three-pointers made in the game, which also set the record for the tournament with 27. 

Emmitt Konieczny led all scorers in the game with 31 points for the Dons, which included 10-for-10 shooting from the free throw line. That set the Division 5 record for free throw accuracy. Charlie Moore added 18 points, and Blake Jakobi chipped in with 12. Mac Konieczny dished out a team-high six assists.

Abundant Life Christian was led in scoring by Jonah Koon with 20 points. Jacob Koon netted 17 points and distributed a game-high seven assists and made four steals, and both Jimmitrius Davison and Nolan Wallace added 14 points. Davison also contributed with a game-high 11 rebounds.\

Columbus Catholic wins its first WIAA State Tournament championship in its fourth appearance, and Abundant Life Christian finishes runner-up in its first tourney experience.

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