The Pewaukee boys basketball team seeks its third consecutive Division 2 state championship when the 107th WIAA boys basketball state tournament is played this week.
In addition, De Pere will look to complete an undefeated season while vying for the Division 1 title in a final four that includes defending champion Neenah.
The tournament runs Thursday through Saturday at the Kohl Center.
All five championship games are scheduled Saturday, with semifinals on Thursday and Friday.
Seeds for the tournament were determined for the second year with a computerized formula.
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Here is what fans need to know about the 2023 WIAA state boys basketball tournament.
Tickets cost $13.50 per session for all seating at the Kohl Center. Tickets can be ordered online by selecting the “tickets” option at the top of the WIAA homepage or the tickets page at https://www.expressoticketing.com/wiaa/pickevent.aspx?ECN=44.
Parking is available at various UW lots for a charge.
The state tournament will be televised live on ABC affiliates statewide or WMLW-TV in Milwaukee and WCWF W-14 in Green Bay and the Fox Valley.
Fans can download the Magic of March app for livestreaming video, scores, highlights and more. The post-game news conferences will be shown live without subscription at WIAA.tv.
The tournament, which started in 1916, was moved from the UW Field House to the Kohl Center in 1998. In 2021, the tournament was held at the La Crosse Center (Divisions 2, 4 and 5) and the Menominee Nation Arena in Oshkosh (Divisions 1 and 3) due to COVID-19.
The 2011 state tournament had the first five-division format, with four teams qualifying from each division.
Randolph leads WIAA schools with 11 state championships, including last year’s Division 5 title. A total of 130 schools have won championships. Neenah has qualified for the most state tournaments with 29.
Division 1 breakdown
Friday’s semifinal schedule: Top-seeded De Pere (28-0) vs. fourth-seeded Wales Kettle Moraine (18-10), 6:35 p.m. Friday; second-seeded Hartland Arrowhead (26-2) vs. third-seeded Neenah (18-10), about 15 minutes after the first game.
Championship game: About 8:15 p.m. Saturday.
The field: De Pere returns to state for the seventh time and the first time since finishing second in 2011. The Redbirds won the Class B crown in 1934. The Redbirds defeated Milwaukee Marquette 57-29 in the sectional final. De Pere is led in scoring by senior guard and Illinois State commit John Kinziger (18.8 points per game), 6-foot-8 junior Will Hornseth (16.3) and sophomore guard Zach Kinziger (15.5).
Kettle Moraine qualified for the state tournament for the first time. Kettle Moraine, coached by former UW guard Trevon Hughes, defeated Franklin 63-53 in the sectional final. The Lasers are led in scoring by junior guards Drew Wagner (18.6) and Will Stuckey (13.0).
Arrowhead will make its fifth appearance and most recent since a runner-up finish in 2017. The Warhawks won the title in 2010. Arrowhead beat Milwaukee Hamilton 93-72 in the sectional final. The Warhawks are led in scoring by senior guard Austin Villarreal (18.1), 6-5 senior guard and UW-Green Bay commit Mac Wrecke (17.7) and junior guard Bennett Basich (15.8).
Arrowhead will take on defending champion Neenah. The Rockets, who have four state titles (1930, 1975, 1978 and 2022), will make a WIAA-leading 29th state trip. Neenah defeated Superior 93-65 in the sectional final. The Rockets are led in scoring by senior guard and UW-Green Bay commit Cal Klesmit (19.0), brother of UW player Max Klesmit, and junior guard Brady Corso (16.1).
Division 2 breakdown
Friday’s semifinal schedule: Top-seeded Pewaukee (25-3) vs. fourth-seeded Glendale Nicolet (24-4), 1:35 p.m. Friday; second-seeded La Crosse Central (23-5) vs. third-seeded Hales Corners Whitnall (24-3).
Championship game: About 6:35 p.m. Saturday.
The field: Pewaukee will make its fourth trip to state and third consecutive appearance. The Pirates won state titles the past two seasons and were second in Division 2 in 2001. The Pirates, coached by former UW men’s basketball player David Burkemper, defeated Wisconsin Lutheran 64-50 in the sectional final. The Pirates are led in scoring by junior guard Nick Janowski (23.7), a UW target, and 6-8 senior wing Milan Momcilovic (22.9), an Iowa State commit.
Fourth-seeded Nicolet will make its fourth state trip. The Knights are back for the first time since winning the title in 2019. Nicolet defeated West De Pere 66-59 in the sectional final. Nicolet is led in scoring by 6-6 sophomore wing Davion Hannah (19.7), a UW target, and sophomore guard David Bolden (12.2).
La Crosse Central returns for the 20th time and second consecutive year. The Riverhawks won state titles in 1925 and 2017. La Crosse Central edged New London 48-44 in the sectional title game. The Riverhawks are led in scoring by junior guard Henry Meyer (16.9), senior guard Nic Williams (16.7) and 6-7 senior guard/forward Bennett Fried (16.0).
Whitnall is back for the fifth time and the most recent trip since 2016. The Falcons won the Class B title in 1988. Whitnall beat McFarland 69-66 in the sectional final. The Falcons are led in scoring by sophomore guard Jack Lutz (17.0) and senior guard Austin Herro (15.6), brother of Miami Heat player Tyler Herro.
Division 3 breakdown
Thursday’s semifinal schedule: Top-seeded West Salem (27-1) vs. fourth-seeded Milwaukee Academy of Science (18-6), 1:35 p.m. Thursday; second-seeded Brillion (27-1) vs. third-seeded Lakeside Lutheran (25-3), about 15 minutes after the first game.
Championship game: The third game Saturday, about 2:45 p.m.
The field: West Salem, making its second appearance, was last year’s division runner-up. The Panthers defeated Osceola 68-46 in the sectional final. The Panthers are led in scoring by senior guard Carson Koepnick (14.9) and 6-8 senior forward Peter Lattos (14.6).
Milwaukee Academy of Science, an independent program, moved up to Division 3 after finishing second in Division 4 a year ago. The Novas defeated Milwaukee St. Thomas More 86-80 in the sectional final. The Novas are led in scoring by 6-7 sophomore forward Devin Brown (22.6) and sophomore guard Jamarion Bateman (20.9).
Second-seeded Brillion advanced for the fifth time and second consecutive year. The Lions won the Division 3 state title in 2012. Brillion edged Appleton Xavier 77-73 in the sectional final. The Lions are led in scoring by 6-8 senior forward and Wofford commit Jeremy Lorenz (21.1) and 6-6 junior forward Grady Geiger (12.0).
Lakeside Lutheran will make its second state trip. The first came in 2011. The Warriors shared the Capitol North Conference title with Columbus and Lake Mills. Lakeside Lutheran beat Madison Edgewood 68-65 in the sectional final Saturday night in Oregon. The Warriors are led in scoring by senior guard/forward Levi Birkholz (20.6), who’s committed to The Citadel, and senior guard/forward Trey Lauber (10.6).
Division 4 breakdown
Thursday’s semifinal schedule: Top-seeded Neenah St. Mary Catholic (26-2) vs. fourth-seeded Kenosha St. Joseph (18-10), 6:35 p.m. Thursday; second-seeded Onalaska Luther (26-2) vs. third-seeded Whitehall (22-6), about 15 minutes after the first game.
Championship game: The second game Saturday, about 12:45 p.m.
The field: St. Mary Catholic is back for the second time after reaching state in 2009. The Zephyrs defeated Auburndale 75-70 in the sectional final. The Zephyrs are led in scoring by 6-6 senior forward Cole Uhlenbrauck (21.0) and senior guard Daniel Griffith (17.8).
Kenosha St. Joseph Catholic most recently qualified for state in 2003 and will make its third trip. The Lancers defeated Kohler 77-68 in the sectional final. The Lancers are led in scoring by junior guard Eric Kenesie (21.9) and senior forward Peter Stapleton (12.8).
Luther returns for the second time in three seasons. The Knights defeated Belleville 88-73 in the sectional final. The Knights are led in scoring by senior guard Kodi Miller (17.6) and 6-7 junior forward Logan Bahr (16.8).
Whitehall will make its third state trip and most recent since 1986. Whitehall edged Cameron 66-62 in the sectional final. The Norse are led in scoring by senior guard Devon McCune (17.0) and junior guard Brayden Lisowski (12.8).
Division 5 breakdown
Friday’s semifinal schedule: Top-seeded Wausau Newman Catholic (25-4) vs. fourth-seeded Royall (22-7), 9:05 a.m.; second-seeded Chippewa Falls McDonell Catholic (28-1) vs. third-seeded Fall River (26-3), about 15 minutes after the first game.
Championship game: 11:05 a.m. Saturday.
The field: Newman Catholic will make its state tournament debut. The Fighting Cardinals topped Gibraltar 66-54 in the sectional final. Newman Catholic is led in scoring by senior guard Mason Prey (23.5) and senior guard Isaac Seidel (18.6).
Royall makes its second appearance, the other coming in 2010. Royall beat Wauzeka-Steuben 58-40 in the sectional final. The Panthers, coached by Scott Uppena, are led in scoring by sophomore guard Carter Uppena (12.4) and senior guard Brady Uppena (11.8).
McDonell Catholic will make its seventh overall trip and sixth appearance in the past seven tournaments that were played. The Macks finished first in 2016 and second in 2018 and 2021. McDonell Catholic beat Solon Springs 58-56 in the sectional final. The Macks are led in scoring by senior guard Eddie Mittermeyer (21.9) and senior guard/forward Canan Huss (21.4).
Fall River will make its second state appearance after qualifying in 2000. The Pirates earned an 82-75 overtime win over Heritage Christian in the sectional final. Fall River, coached by Arnie Oelke (470-377 in 37 years), is led in scoring by senior guard Cullen Rauls (18.0) and senior Colin Vieth (15.3).
The 3-point challenge
The event begins at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, prior to the championship games. A ticket for the Divisions 3, 4 and 5 title game sessions is required to attend the 3-point challenge.
The top two players per division were selected based on the best 3-point percentage, with a minimum of 75 attempts during the regular season.
The participants include Mason Debbink (Sheboygan North), Anthony Rise (Brookfield Central), UW target Kon Knueppel (Wisconsin Lutheran), Derek Shaw (Pulaski), Drew Kortz (Freedom), Ben Vasold (Watertown Luther Prep), Logan Alberson (Ladysmith), Vaughn Johnson (Cumberland), Blake Jacobi (Marshfield Columbus Catholic) and William Kelley (Florence).