Prep boys basketball: Solon Springs dominates again, earning first sectional final spot in school history
Superior also won its sectional semifinal in overtime; both the Spartans and Eagles will play on Saturday for a chance to go to state.
Solon Springs boys basketball is in uncharted territory but feeling fine, as evidenced by a dominating 48-33 win over Hurley in a Wisconsin Division 5 sectional semifinal played Thursday night, March 9, at Ashland High School.
Hurley tried to slow the game down in a manner similar to the closer of their two losses to the Eagles, a 46-39 decision for Solon in Hurley on Feb. 17, and the Northstars held a narrow 19-18 lead at the half. Dylan Taggart provided the chief impetus to Solon's offense, scoring 11 of his 13 points in the first period.
However, after the break, Hurley's offense foundered while sixth man Kaden Corlett led the Eagles to the lead. Corlett scored all 16 of his points in the second half, including all three 3-pointers the Eagles made after the break.
Isaiah Kastern added 12 points for Solon (26-1), which was making its first appearance in a sectional tournament.
Eli Talsma led Hurley (22-6) with 17 points, finishing as the Indianhead Conference's all-time leading scorer with 2,130 points.
The Eagles advance to Saturday's sectional final in Amery, Wisconsin, where they will face McDonell Central Catholic of Chippewa Falls. The Macks are ranked No. 1 and the Eagles No. 4 in the last Division 5 statewide coaches' poll.
WIAA Division 1
Superior 45, Appleton North 42 (OT)
Superior’s charmed boys basketball postseason continued on Thursday as the Spartans grounded out another big playoff victory, this time 45-42 in overtime vs. Appleton North at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield, Wisconsin.
Superior overcame a rough start, down 11-2 in the early going, to get within 21-19 at halftime and tie the game up at 40 at the end of regulation. There was only one field goal in the four-minute overtime period, a putback by Daynen Lull that gave Superior a 43-42 lead.
After a backcourt violation, the Lightning had the ball with 20 seconds to play and a chance to take the lead but a 3-point attempt from Will Sweeney drew iron. Tre Sanigar collected the rebound and made two free throws to make it a three-point game. The Lightning had one last opportunity to tie with three seconds left, but a long downcourt pass eluded its target as Superior clinched a spot in Saturday’s sectional final vs. Neenah.
Sanigar played a starring role again, scoring a game-high 25 points for the Spartans (15-11), who are one game away from their first trip to the state tournament since 1974. The game against Neenah, the sectional's No. 6 seed, is scheduled for Saturday in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin.
Cromwell-Wright 64, McGregor 49
The Cardinals took a commanding lead early to roll into the Section 5A quarterfinals.
Cromwell-Wright was up 35-14 at the half, which was more than enough of a lead to set up a meeting with Barnum on Saturday in Hinckley.
Dylan Nyberg knocked down four 3-pointers in the win and scored a game-high 18 points. Tanner Collman added 17 and Brady Dahl 13.
Chisholm 55, South Ridge 54
The Bluestreaks survived and advanced from their second-round game by the narrowest of margins on Thursday.
Once the dust settled, they could also celebrate an individual milestone, as July Abernathy scored his 1,000th career point.
Chisholm, seeded eighth, will face top seed Deer River, an 86-36 winner over Hill City, in the first of four quarterfinals on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Denfeld High School in Duluth.
Mountain Iron-Buhl 104, Wrenshall 44
The fourth-seeded Rangers had no trouble with their playoff opener as Nik Jesch led the way, scoring 28 points.
Both Asher Zubich and Josh Holmes scored 20 for the Rangers, who scored 68 points in the first half and drained a game total of 14 3-pointers.
Peyton Johnson led Wrenshall with 14 points in what is expected to be the Wrens’ last game as an individual unit before merging with Carlton. Their last season ends 8-18.
The Rangers will next meet No. 5 Fond du Lac Ojibwe in the 12:30 game at Denfeld on Saturday.
The Ogichidaag edged Carlton 76-74 at home in their playoff game on Thursday. Carlton ends its last season before merger with a 10-14 record.
The two late quarterfinals on Saturday will feature Cherry, an easy 108-38 winner over Floodwood on Thursday vs. North Woods at 4 p.m., and Northland vs. Ely at 5:30 p.m.