WIAA D1: Racine Horlick 46, Oshkosh North 39
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- With a team that lives by its length, Racine Horlick coach Jason Treutelaar found himself in a unique position Friday during the Rebels' WIAA Division 1 state boys basketball semifinal.
He needed to shorten the game.
Horlick survived star forward Jamil Wilson's bout with foul trouble and defeated Oshkosh North 46-39 to advance to the championship game Saturday for the first time since 1985.
Wilson spent much of the third quarter on the bench after picking up three fouls in the first half, and played most of the fourth quarter with four fouls.
"We were just able to weather the storm. We had to shorten up that game a little bit," Treutelaar said. "With Jamil on the bench, that definitely hurts us. That's not a hidden secret.
"I thought the guys adjusted and kept us in the game, and that's all we were looking at doing just staying in the game until we got Jamil back out there."
Antwon Oliver scored 15 points and Wilson added 13, but it was the duo's defense that did in the Spartans. The 6-foot-7 Wilson registered five blocks, while the 6-5 Oliver had three of his own as the Rebels tallied 10 rejections.
Wilson and Oliver helped hold North to just 25.5 percent shooting (12-of-47) from the floor.
"Our ability to block shots and alter people's shots is really a luxury to have," Wilson said.
The stifling defense allowed Horlick (24-1) to escape with a win despite posting a season-low point total. The Rebels' previous low was 52 points in their only loss of the season, a 55-52 loss to Brooks (Ill.) College Prep. Academy.
Horlick took a 22-19 lead into halftime, and started the second half with Wilson on the bench with three fouls. The University of Oregon recruit didn't re-enter the game until North tied it at 26 with 3:34 left in the third quarter. Neither team scored again the rest of the period.
Wilson picked up his fourth foul early in the fourth, but spent just over a minute on the bench. With the score tied at 33, he started a 6-0 Rebels run with a bucket down low. Oliver scored on a putback, then slammed home a Wilson feed for a 39-33 lead.
Tank Johnson, North's burly 6-foot-5 center, led the Spartans (21-4) with 11 points and nine rebounds. But he was only able to play 18 minutes due to foul trouble of his own.
"I think (the foul trouble) probably hurt us more than it hurt them. Overall, I think they have a little bit more skill and a little bit more talent," North coach Frank Schade said. "We had a little bit more to lose than they did."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)