De Pere, Neenah, Brillion, St. Mary Catholic boys hoops headed to state

Published: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:05 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 11, 2023 at 8:10 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Four local teams have their tickets booked to the WIAA state boys basketball tournament.

De Pere got the dominate 57-29 win over Marquette in the sectional final. The Redbirds keep their perfect season, now 28-0 entering the tournament.

“You know we fell short in this game the past two years. This one means a lot to me and the guys, and we are excited to see what’s ahead now,” De Pere guard John Kinziger said.

“We’re not finished. We have two more wins to get,” Redbirds guard Hogan Demovsky said. “We are going to get back to work in practice this week. This feels great, but I am ready to play again. I am ready for next weekend.”

“Having to earn it and having to go through some heartbreak, I think does add to it,” De Pere head coach Brian Winchester said.

Also in Division 1, Neenah’s road to defending their title is still wide open. The Rockets beat Superior 93-65 Saturday. This will be Neenah’s 29th state appearance. a record high in Wisconsin.

In D3, Brillion is heading back to state thanks to a 77-73 win over Xavier. They’re hungry to finish what they started last year at the Kohl Center.

“I think it was because we came up short last year,” Brillion’s Jeremy Lorenz said. “There were a lot of expectations on us coming in to the year. It was kind of an expectation for us to make it to state and that is quite the expectation to have. This year we know we don’t want to come home with a loss in the first game like last year, so it’s kind of just unfinished business.”

St. Mary Catholic will represent NE Wisconsin in the tournament in D4 after 75-70 sectional final win over Auburndale. Daniel Griffith scored 24 points in that one.

“It just shows that hard work pays off. It feels so good because we’ve worked so hard to get here and we finally did it,” Zephyrs senior Griffith said. “We count on taking care of the ball, making the right plays, getting stops when we need to get stops. We worked on defense all year. When we needed stops we got them, and we made our free throws.”

Some local teams coming up short Saturday.

West De Pere loses to Nicolet 66-59.

New London falls to La Crosse Central 48-44.

Kohler can’t get it done against Kenosha St. Joe’s, 77-68.

Gibraltar loses 66-54 to Newman Catholic.