Spartans advance; Unity rallies past Tigers

With all of its players finally back on the court, the Superior High School boys basketball team was in top form Thursday as it claimed a 60-48 victory over the Marshfield Tigers in the opening round of sectional play at D.C. Everest in Schofield.

With all of its players finally back on the court, the Superior High School boys basketball team was in top form Thursday as it claimed a 60-48 victory over the Marshfield Tigers in the opening round of sectional play at D.C. Everest in Schofield.

The win avenges a seven-point loss Superior suffered to Marshfield in December.

The Spartans now play at DCE at 7 p.m. Saturday. A fan bus will be available for Saturday's game. Cost is $25 and includes game ticket. Forms are available in the SHS treasurer's office and are due by 9 a.m. today.

Nathaniel Knutson, out since injuring his knee about a month ago, was back on the floor and had nine points and a pair of blocks for the Spartans. Fellow senior Josh Kimmes also had a big game, going 6-for-8 at the free-throw line and finishing with 14 points, but it was Joel Lindberg who led all scorers with 21 points.

Superior played with an obvious height disadvantage, but the Spartans countered by stepping up their on-the-ball pressure to force the Tigers to settle for perimeter shots.


The Spartans led 17-14 after one quarter but widened the gap in the second by holding Marshfield to just four points. In the last six minutes of the quarter Superior outscored the Tigers 8-2, starting with an inside basket by Kimmes. The senior center went on to score the next four points, and Lindberg ended the quarter with a layup to make it 27-18.

To start the second half, Kimmes went through the lane, banked in a shot and drew the foul to give Superior a 30-18 lead. Marshfield's Elliott Ashbeck answered with a 3-point play of his own on the Tigers' first possession, and the Tigers then cut it to 30-23 on a steal and fast-break layup.

Lindberg drove the left baseline and completed another three-point play for the Spartans with about 6:30 left in the quarter to put the lead at 10 once again, and neither team scored in the next four minutes.

Lindberg finally broke the dry spell with a free throw at 2:40, and Knutson added another free throw moments later to put SHS up 35-23.

Superior began the fourth quarter leading 37-27 and led by double digits for most of the period. In the last 1:15, Superior shot eight free throws to help seal the win.

Superior 17 10 10 23 -- 60

Marshfield 14 4 9 21 -- 48

Superior -- Joel Lindberg 21, Josh Kimmes 14, Rob Kraft 9, Nathaniel Knutson 9, Ethan Anderson 4, Hobson 3.


Marshfield -- Cale Zuiker 16, Elliott Ashbeck 15, Ian Padron 8, John Bauer 5, Luke Zuiker 4.

Eagles 52, Tigers 51, OT

The Unity Eagles rallied from a 16-point third-quarter deficit to defeat the Northwestern Tigers 52-51 in a WIAA Division 3 sectional semifinal game Thursday night in Spooner.

Unity (19-6) will now play La Crosse Aquinas in the sectional championship game at 1 p.m. Saturday in Somerset. Northwestern's season ends with a 20-6 record.

Aquinas, which is ranked No. 1 among Wisconsin's Division 3 teams, advanced with a win over Baldwin-Woodville. The sectional champion will play in the state tournament semifinals at 9:05 a.m. on Friday, March 18 at the Kohl Center in Madison.

Trailing 39-25 after three quarters Unity outscored Northwestern 20-6 in the fourth quarter, thanks mostly to Brady Flaherty, who scored 18 of his team's 20 points in the quarter.

But it was another Brady, Brady Turner, who tied the game at 45-45 with two free throws with 20.9 seconds remaining.

After each team made two 3-pointers in the four-minute overtime, Flaherty provided the winning point with a free throw with 4.9 seconds left.


Northwestern's desperation shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim, giving Unity the win.

Flaherty led Unity with 31 points. He was 16-of-21 from the free-throw line, including 12-of-13 in the fourth quarter. Turner was next in scoring with 14 points.

Dee Burse led Northwestern with 15 points. Tyler Forsythe was next with 12 points, Justin Alexson had 11 and Ryan Santikko chipped in with eight.

The first quarter, which ended tied 9-9, was as close as it could get with ties of 2-2, 4-4 and 7-7.

Forsythe scored six points and Alexson made a 3-pointer for Northwestern.

Unity got scoring from five different players in the opening eight minutes.

The second quarter was a tight as the first until the final seconds when Sam Williams scored with an assist from Burse and Alexson nailed a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Tigers a 25-20 lead at halftime.

The second quarter also saw five lead changes in ties of 15-15 and 20-20.


Santikko got hot for the Tigers in the third quarter, scoring eight points in the first four minutes to help open up a double-digit lead, 35-21. Northwestern's largest lead in the quarter was 37-22 after a Burse steal and layup with 3:03 on the clock.

Unity scored the first five points of the fourth quarter to get within 39-30. A Burse layup stopped the run and put the Tigers back ahead 41-30 with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

TIGER TALES: Forsythe and Santikko both fouled out midway through the fourth quarter.

Northwestern 9 16 14 6 6 -- 51

Unity 9 11 5 20 7 -- 52

Northwestern -- Justin Alexson 13, Tyler Forsythe 12, Dee Burse 13, Nolan Graff 3, Ryan Santikko 8, Sam Williams 2. Totals 21 4-6 51.

3-point goals -- Alexson 3, Burse, Graff.

Unity -- Brady Flaherty 33, Brady Turner 14, Zac Johnson 2, Steve Krueger 3. Totals 14 20-25 52.


3-point goals -- Flaherty, Turner 3.

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