WIAA D2: Wis. Lutheran 61, N'Western 58
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- Wisconsin Lutheran's Cedquon Holmes had the hot hand in the first half of the Vikings' WIAA Division 2 boys state basketball semifinal game against Northwestern Friday.
The senior guard cooled off in the second half but was able to stoke the embers late in the fourth quarter, hitting a go-ahead jumper that propelled the Vikings to a 61-58 victory and a berth in Saturday's title game.
Holmes' 15-foot jumper with 1:37 left -- his only field-goal attempt of the second half -- put Wisconsin Lutheran up 59-58, and the Vikings held off the Tigers down the stretch.
"They're a competitive group," Wisconsin Lutheran coach Ryan Walz said of his team. "At the end of the game, they just find a way to make plays. That's their competitiveness coming through, and I hope it continues tomorrow."
Holmes finished with 17 points, though his effort was overshadowed by an epic one-on-one battle between a pair of juniors, Wisconsin Lutheran's Flavien Davis and Northwestern's Steve Tecker.
Davis scored 24 points and had seven rebounds and three assists, while Tecker finished with 28 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
"He's a heck of a ballplayer. I didn't realize he was that good," said Davis, who has played against Tecker in summer AAU ball. "Coach told me it was up to me to stop him. It was a competitive match. He was a hustler. I had to just out hustle him -- not saying that I did, but I think I matched his composure out on the court."
Tecker converted a 3-point play with 3:27 left to give the Tigers a 58-56 lead, but those were the last points Northwestern would score as the stretch effort was marked by missed opportunities.
Aaron Corry missed two free throws after being fouled on a breakaway layup, and Donnie Hissa missed a lay-in from the block with 35 seconds to go.
Holmes missed the front end of a one-and-one with 16.9 seconds left, but Vikings' center Andrew Rumler grabbed the offensive board and scored on the putback to make it 61-58. The Tigers could not get a shot off in the final seconds.
"We had our chances," Tecker said. "We just couldn't connect."
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)