Record-setting crowds at the Kohl Center and those watching around the state on television were treated to some incredible basketball over the three days of the boys basketball state tournament, including some of the best finishes we've ever seen at state. Four contests ended on game-winning shots in the closing seconds, including three buzzer-beaters.
So, which was your favorite?
Kettle Moraine Lutheran tried to hold for the last shot in overtime of the Division 3 semi-final game against Valders, but the Chargers attacked just a bit too early, as a turnover in the lane led to a run-out by the Vikings. The ball was pushed ahead to Trent Hickmann, who crossed over to the free throw line and let loose a jumper that danced off the rim and through as the buzzer sounded to give Valders a 63-61 overtime win.
Like Kettle Moraine Lutheran, Sun Prairie tried to hold for the last shot in overtime of a Division 1 semi-final, but a turnover allowed Brookfield East the last opportunity to win. After Sam McGath missed a pair of free throws following an intentional foul call, B'East had the ball out of bounds under its own basket. The ball went into senior big man Patrick Cartier on the block, and his half hook in the lane dropped in at the buzzer to send the Spartans to the title game.
It was fitting that on the sixth anniversary of Sam Dekker's shot for the ages, Precott's Peter Brookshaw joined state history with a fall-away three-pointer to give the Cardinals a state title from almost the exact same spot as Dekker's shot. It seemed Valders' Kyle Tuma would be the hero after swishing through a three-pointer with 10 seconds remaining to give the Vikings a two-point lead, but Prescott pushed the ball up the court and Brookshaw drained it to give the Cardinals a 63-62 win and Division 3 championship.
Jordan McCabe struggled with his shot for much of the evening, but when it mattered most, the Mr. Basketball selection came through in the clutch. McCabe scored the final eight points for Kaukauna, all in the last 70 seconds of the game. After a pair of huge three-pointers, the Ghosts had the ball, tied with Milwaukee Washington in the final 30 seconds. McCabe picked his spot, and his driving finger-roll from the left side bounced through with 2.3 seconds left, and the Ghosts hung on for a 76-74 win and second Division 2 championship in three years.