Xavier boys win Division 3 state title

Xavier boys win Division 3 state title

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Xavier boys win Division 3 state title

Xavier players celebrate with the trophy after the Division 3 championship game against Prescott on Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison. See more photos at postcrescent.com.

Xavier players celebrate with the trophy after the Division 3 championship game against Prescott on Saturday at the Kohl Center in Madison. See more photos at postcrescent.com.

MADISON – Championship Saturday finally lived up to its name for the Xavier boys’ basketball team.

After back-to-back years of bitter disappointment losing in the state championship game, the third time was the charm for the Hawks.

Xavier rode the unflappable guard play of Hunter Plamann and Sam Ferris, and a dominant inside game from Nate DeYoung to a 73-47 victory over Prescott in the Division 3 title game Saturday at the Kohl Center.

It is the first WIAA state basketball title for Xavier, which also won private school titles in 1963 and 1995 under the now-defunct Wisconsin Independent Schools Athletic Association.

“I’ve been a part of a lot of really good basketball teams. I’m very humbled and very appreciative of those experiences that I’ve had, but this team was just driven in a way that I’ve never seen,” said Matt Klarner, who finished up his sixth year as head coach of the Hawks. “Part of it came from our leaders and part of it came from being really, really close last year to that dream that you have your entire life and not getting it.

“I think all those things combined just pushed us to a new level that — I don’t want to say I don’t think we had — but they continued to impress me how hard they would work, how consistent they would be, and how well they would play. These guys are very well-deserving of that state championship.”

Plamann scored 29 points to lead the Hawks, who finished the season unbeaten with a 28-0 record. He was fearless in taking the ball to the basket against Owen Hamilton, the 7-foot-1 center for Prescott who will play in college at Northern Illinois.

Despite Hamilton’s presence, the 6-foot-4 DeYoung was the best big man on the court for most of the game and finished with 18 points and 18 rebounds. Ferris had 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.

Xavier came out of the gates slow, trailing 17-10 with 10:49 remaining in the first half before its high-octane transition game finally started to click.

The Hawks tied the game at 17-17 on a basket in the paint by DeYoung, then took their first lead at 19-17 on a jumper by Plamann with 6:03 remaining in the first half.

“To be honest, they outplayed us the first five minutes,” Klarner said. “We took a couple of bad shots. Maybe just a little bit of nerves, a little bit of anxiety. We had to get used to how they were feeding (Hamilton) the ball and what it’s like to play against a kid that takes up so much space in the lane. We just hadn’t seen anything like that this year.

“So I think the first five minutes is kind of a feeling out period. They had us by a few points, but I don’t think it ever rattled the guys or worried the guys. We had to settle in, figure out what was working and kind of fine-tune, not change it, just emphasis the things that were working for us and I thought we did an outstanding job of that.”

Xavier led by nine at halftime and quickly built the lead to 16 points at 48-32 after a 3-pointer by Ferris with 13:11 remaining in the game. The Cardinals never got closer than nine points the rest of the way, allowing the Xavier players and fans to soak up the championship atmosphere.

“Last year and the year before that it was hard,” Plamann said. “Last year we lost by one point and this year we won by 22. It just feels amazing. It hasn’t sunk in yet. I’m sure once we get back to Appleton it will feel pretty good.”

Plamann was especially happy for the five seniors on the Xavier roster, along with the seniors who graduated the last two seasons without being able to hoist the gold ball.

“They really wanted to win the state championship and they both went to the state championship game,” Plamann said. “It’s kind of cool to win it for them and win it for all the classes before us, and it’s cool for ourselves, too.”

Hamilton led Prescott (24-4) with 21 points and 16 rebounds before fouling out with 4:23 remaining in the game.

Prescott…

…25

22

— 47

Xavier…

…34

39

— 73

PRESCOTT (24-4)

Hamilton 9-18 3-5 21, Murphy 5-11 0-0 10, Brookshaw 1-12 3-5 5, Tayson 1-5 1-2 4, Simon 1-5 1-2 4, Roosen 1-7 0-0 3, Roeder 0-0 0-0 0, Rundquist 0-0 0-0 0, Bartsch 0-0 0-0 0, Block 0-1 0-0 0, Holte 0-1 0-0 0, Smith 0-1 0-0 0, Sterud 0-1 0-0 0, Nielsen 0-0 0-0 0, Rieken 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-62 8-14 47.

XAVIER (28-0)

Plamann 11-21 6-7 29, DeYoung 9-14 0-3 18, S. Ferris 6-12 3-4 17, Schlicht 2-5 0-0 5, Teerlinck 1-2 0-0 2, D. Ferris 1-2 0-0 2, Otto 0-1 0-0 0, Geenen 0-0 0-0 0, Schmitt 0-1 0-0 0, Farr 0-2 0-0 0, Christensen 0-6 0-0 0, Burton 0-1 0-0 0, Kippenhan 0-1 0-0 0, Egan 0-4 0-0 0. Totals 30-729-14 73.

3-point goals—Prescott 3-26 (Simon 1-5, Roosen 1-7, Tayson 1-3, Block 0-1, Smith 0-1, Brookshaw 0-7, Murphy 0-2), Xavier 4-22 (S. Ferris 2-5, Schlicht 1-3, Plamann 1-3, D. Ferris 0-1, Otto 0-1, Schmitt 0-1, Farr 0-1, Christensen 0-3, Burton 0-1, Kippenhan 0-1, Egan 0-1, DeYoung 0-1). Fouled out—Hamilton. Rebounds—Prescott 35 (Hamilton 16), Xavier 56 (DeYoung 18). Assists—Prescott 9 (Murphy 7), Xavier 19 (S. Ferris 7, Plamann 7). Total fouls—Prescott 15, Xavier 13.

Mike Sherry: 920-996-7244 or msherry@postcrescent.com; on Twitter @MikeSherry14

Xavier High School's Henry Egan celebrates following the Hawks' 73 to 47 victory over Prescott High School during their division 3 WIAA state basketball championship game on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Xavier High School’s Henry Egan celebrates following the Hawks’ 73 to 47 victory over Prescott High School during their division 3 WIAA state basketball championship game on Saturday, March 18, 2017 at the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. Wm. Glasheen/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

Xavier won the WIAA Division 3 state basketball title Saturday with a 73-47 victory over Prescott in Madison.

Xavier won the WIAA Division 3 state basketball title Saturday with a 73-47 victory over Prescott in Madison.

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