WIAA D3: Racine St. Catherine's 77, Fall Creek 57
MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- One year out of the running was enough for Racine St. Catherine's.
Senior guard Jake Thomas scored a career high 34 points and hit seven-of-11 three-point attempts Thursday to pace the Angels to a 77-57 victory over Fall Creek Thursday in the WIAA Division 3 boys semifinal at the Kohl Center.
It marked the fourth time in five seasons that the Angels have reached the state final. They won state crowns from 2005 to 2007 but lost in last year's sectional final.
The Angels will face the winner of the other Thursday semifinal between Manitowoc Roncalli and defending champion La Crosse Aquinas Saturday night.
"This was our goal," St. Catherine's coach Bob Letsch said. "I knew deep down these guys wanted to get back to the final. So did I."
Thomas then scored seven of the Angels final 11 points in the third quarter when St. Catherine's shook off the pesky Crickets to grab a 55-40 lead.
"I was getting the ball just about every time I was open," said Thomas, who will attend South Dakota next season. "I was due for a good game. I've been staying after practice to work on my shot and it paid off today."
"I'm sure everyone wants to get their career high at state. I was lucky enough to do it."
Racine St. Catherine's is 24-2 heading into the championship game. Fall Creek finished its season at 21-5.
Thomas received an offensive boost from senior teammate Javar Lawson, who finished with 21 points. But Lawson knew Thomas was the player of this morning session.
"Jake was hot," Lawson said. "We were just trying to get him the ball and let him throw it up."
Thomas' sharpshooting paced the Angels, who hit 60 percent of their shots on 28 of 47 shooting from the field. The Angels hit 10 of 22 from beyond the three-point line.
"He was on fire," Fall Creek coach Rick Storlie said of Thomas. "I know we left him open early a couple of times. But there were times when we had a hand right in his face. I don't know what else we could have done."
Letsch was unaware that Thomas was just a field goal shy of tying the tournament record but when Thomas took a tumble on a drive late in the fourth quarter, Letsch had seen enough.
"The only record we care about is the W," Letsch said. "I didn't want him to get hurt. I was more concerned about Saturday night."
Junior Luke Tweed paced the Crickets with 14 points.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)