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WIAA hoops: St. Croix Central advances; NR and Somerset beaten by top seeds

The St. Croix Central boys basketball team has advanced to Saturday's WIAA Division 3 regional final game, while the New Richmond and Somerset boys teams saw their seasons come to an end in Friday night's regional semifinal games.

St. Croix Central (16-7)will play at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Prescott in the regional final game. The fourth-seeded Panthers defeated Osceola 62-49 on Friday to advance. This game was close until late. Central led 43-42 with eight minutes left, before pulling away with a 14-2 run. Junior Austin Kopacz was the key to Central's offense, hitting six three-pointers on his way to a team-high 21 points. With a huge number of fouls being called, both teams needed to rely heavily on their benches. Centrals reserves came through in a big way. That was led by Zac Jourdeans, who scored 15 points off the bench. Nick Weber and Justin Freyholtz contributed on defense, particulary Weber, who was Central's best post defender of the night.

Prescott advanced with an 80-44 win over Somerset. Prescott is the top seed in the bracket. Sophomore Ty Madden finished with 16 points to lead Somerset. The Spartans finish the season with a 7-17 record.

In Division 2, New Richmond played at top-seeded La Crosse Central, the number two-ranked team in the state in D2. New Richmond kept the game competitive through the first half of the opening half. Central then broke away, finishing with a 69-29 win over the Tigers. New Richmond finishes the season with a 10-14 record.

Dave Newman

Dave Newman has been the sports editor at the New Richmond News since 1988. He has covered the action in the Middle Border Conference, Dunn-St. Croix Conference and Big Rivers Conference for more than 30 years.

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