The 99th WIAA Boys State High School Basketball Tournament opened with a bang, the NEW Lutheran Blazers used a big second half and bigger performance from Senior Dakota Zinser to beat Sheboygan Lutheran 77-63 in the Division 5 semifinals. Zinser hit 10 of 12 shots for a career high 33 points, adding 10 rebounds as the Blazers won their 25th straight game to reach the title contest for the second year in a row. Trailing by one at the half, NEW Lutheran outscored the Crusaders 19-7 in the third and hit 16 of 24 second half free throws to seal the win. Nathan Toenjes added 14 points nad 12 rebounds, Noah Gosse scored 11. NEW Lutheran, ranked number one all year, is now 27-1 and will be a big favorite in Saturday's title game against Thorp. The Cardinals held off Cochrane Fountain City 54-52 after nearly pitching a shutout in the first quarter. A three point hoop at the buzzer made it 11-3 Thorp. CFC battled back to make it a game but Thorp held on to improve to 18-9 on the year. The D5 final is set for 11:05 AM Saturday.
In the Division 4 semifinals, the Brillion Lion were sacrificial lambs to two time defending champion Whitefish Bay Dominican. The Knights dominated 78-47 as 6-10 junior Diamond Stone poured in 30 points with 12 rebounds and 7 blocked shots. The Lions just didn't have an answer. Dominican will take on Blair-Taylor in the final. They defeated Unity 47-32.
Friday's games have Manitowoc Roncalli meeting Brown Deer in the Division 3 semifinal, West De Pere goes against Wisconsin Lutheran in Division 2 and Neenah closes out the night against Mukwanago in Division 1.