MADISON — Wisconsin’s newly crowned Mr. Basketball Kobe King scored 28 points as La Crosse Central held off Cedarburg 55-53 to win the WIAA Division 2 boys basketball state championship on Saturday.
Bailey Kale added 15 points for LaCrosse Central (26-2), whose collective heart skipped a beat as Cedarburg’s John Diener launched a three-quarter court shot that bounced off the backboard as time expired.
It’s the first state title for Central since 1925.
Diener, a junior guard who has committed to DePaul, scored 25 points for the Bulldogs (25-3) to set a Division 2 tournament record with 71 points. His pull-up 3-pointer over King with nine seconds remaining gave Cedarburg a chance at the end.
King, a senior guard playing on the Kohl Center court where he will spend his college career at Wisconsin, also had nine rebounds. His fadeaway baseline jumper with 2:37 to go put the Red Raiders on top for good after Cedarburg had taken its only lead of the second half.
Stevens Point 85, Arrowhead 56: Joey Hauser poured in 33 points and collected 21 rebounds as Stevens Point won its third consecutive Division 1 state championship.
Hauser had 23 points and 15 rebounds in the first half as the Panthers (24-4) built a 48-20 lead, matching their own Division 1 record for points in an 18-minute half.
The 6-foot-8 junior forward, who is being recruited by a number of major college powers, was 9-for-16 from the field and 14-for-16 from the free-throw line. He also set a Division 1 tournament record with 31 total rebounds in two games.
Beau Rosenthal and Drew Blair added 13 points apiece for Stevens Point, which scored the game’s first 13 points and never looked back en route to becoming the seventh school to win three straight state titles. The Panthers’ three-peat followed three successive Division 1 crowns by Germantown, the team Stevens Point beat in the 2015 championship game.
Trevell Cunningham led Arrowhead (22-6) with 22 points.
Appleton Xavier 73, Prescott 47: Hunter Plamann scored 30 points and Nate DeYoung had 18 points and 18 rebounds for the Hawks (28-0), who finished the season as the only unbeaten team in the state in any division. Sam Ferris added 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Plamann and DeYoung scored all but one point in a 20-3 first-half run after Prescott (24-4) took a 17-10 lead.
The win gave Xavier its first WIAA state title after taking second the past two seasons. The Hawks won WISAA state titles in 1963 and 1995.
Owen Hamilton had 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Cardinals before fouling out with 4:22 left and his team down 17. Xavier made the 7-foot-1 center work, as the Northern Illinois recruit was 9 of 18 from the field. It was a far cry from Hamilton’s semifinal performance against Lake Mills, when he made 14 of 15 shots en route to 33 points.
Prescott shot just 29 percent from the field, and 11.5 percent from 3-point range, including just 1 of 16 in the second half. Luke Murphy had 10 points and seven assists for the Middle Border champs.
Milwaukee Destiny 76, Darlington 55: Terrance Banyard scored 22 points and Sarion McGee had a double-double as Milwaukee Destiny won the championship in its first trip to the state tournament.
The Eagles (25-1) closed the game on a 21-2 run after the Redbirds (27-1) had closed a double-figure gap to just two points.
McGee had 14 points and 14 rebounds for the Eagles. Diovonte Caldwell added 14 points.
Destiny took command with an 11-0 run in the first half. An alley-oop to Banyard and a 3-pointer by Romaine Robinson capped the spurt that gave the Eagles a 25-11 lead.
Darlington, which beat Cameron in the semifinals, slowly fought back, pulling to within 55-53 on Ryan Glendenning’s 3-pointer with 5:35 left. But the Redbirds didn't make another field goal, missing their last nine shots from the floor while turning the ball over five times in the final minutes.
Will Schwartz led Darlington with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Glendenning added 16 points.
Barneveld 58, Shullsburg 28: Matthew Myers scored 20 points as Barneveld defeated Shullsburg for its first state title.
Malcolm Reed added 12 points and Mike Zouski chipped in 11 for the Golden Eagles (26-3), who shot 57.1 percent from the floor while stifling the Miners (26-3) to the tune of 25 percent. Reed, a sophomore forward playing a week after the sudden death of his mother due to a brain aneurysm, scored eight of his points in the first half.
The championship is the first for the Barneveld boys, but the seventh for coach Jim Myers, who previously led the Golden Eagles girls to six state crowns.