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Luther wins WIAA D4 state title behind Bahr's strong showing

03/18/2023, 4:45pm CDT
By Mark Miller

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Logan Bahr had a huge game in leading Luther to a state title

One after another, they dropped.

The first came with 7:36 left.

The second with 6:49 remaining.

And the third, and perhaps most deadly, came with 5:17 to go.

With each made three-point basket, Logan Bahr pushed Luther High School closer to a state championship.

By the time Bahr's impressive and game-altering three-point shooting spree ended, the Knights owned a 48-39 lead over Kenosha St. Joseph in Saturday's WIAA Division 4 state-title game at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Less than a minute after Bahr's third triple of the second half, the 6-foot-7 junior sank a pair of foul shots to increase the lead to 50-39 and St. Joseph couldn't get its deficit under 10 the rest of the way as the Knights posted a convincing 60-46 victory.

Bahr completed the contest with 28 points and seven rebounds. And his three-point barrage during the crucial second-half stretch proved to be too much for St. Joseph to overcome.

"Logan is a streaky shooter," Luther coach Brad Schaper said. "Once he gets it going, that bucket gets huge for him."

Bahr, who made four-of-eight tries from three-point range in the game, went up each time with confidence and hit nothing but the bottom of the net with his sweet jumper.

"Obviously, my height helps to be able to see over them," Bahr said. "But my confidence also helps. Shooters got to shoot."

St. Joseph coach Jose Garcia said the Lancers' scouting report focused on trying to make Bahr put the ball on the floor rather than allow him to shoot from deep.

"We wanted to push up on him and not give him any clean looks," Garcia said. "In the second half, I thought we were there on him. He made some tough shots. He got the ball up quickly, and made some shots with our guys right on him. Kudos to him."

With Bahr doing his thing on the offensive end, Luther used the defensive prowess of seniors Isaiah Schwichtenberg (6-4) and Kodi Miller (6-0) to slow down St. Joseph junior guard Eric Kenesie (6-0). 

Kenesie had scored a WIAA tournament-record 51 points in the Lancers' state-semifinal win over Saint Mary Catholic, so slowing him down was vital to Luther's success.

"After he passes it, he's going to look for it back," Schwichtenberg said of guarding Kenesie. "After going through about four screens, he'd get it back and we did lose him a few times in the first half. It was a challenge because he's a great player. But in the second half, we did a better job of finding where he was at on the floor."

Kenesie, who finished with 18 points, shot seven-of-18 from the field and three-of-eight from three-point range.

"It was tough," Kenesie said of Luther's swarming defense. "They were face guarding me a little bit so it made it tough to get the ball at times."

Senior forward Peter Stapleton (6-4) added 15 for the Lancers, who completed their season with a 19-11 record.

In addition to Bahr's 28 points, Luther got 11 points from Gabe Huelskamp (6-6) and nine points from Miller (6-0). Schwichtenberg had five points, four assists, two rebounds and one blocked shot.

"The mission started at the beginning of the season with eight seniors," Schaper said. "This is a great team to be around. They love this game and they love each other."

Luther completes the most successful season in school history with a 28-2 record. 

For the latest and most up to date boys' basketball news and recruiting information, follow Mark on Twitter @wisbbyearbook. Email story ideas, recruiting info, etc. to Mark by clicking here.

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