The Superior High School boys basketball team won its first Lake Superior Conference championship in three seasons and the Spartan girls ended the regular season on a winning note with a home win over Hayward.
The Spartans clinched the LSC title with a 72-70 win at Ashland on Thursday, Feb. 20.
Superior, which trailed 39-35 at the half, improves to 11-10 overall and 6-0 in the LSC.
Ashland falls to 7-15 overall.
Joey Barker led Superior with a game-high 23 points. Draden Jensen was the only other Spartan in double figures with 10 points. Johnny Rhodes, Robert Olson and Kaden Kimmes all finished with nine points.
Kevon Powell led Ashland with 22 points. Alec Lindenberg was next with 18 points and Kyle Sapper had 11.
The Spartans wrapped up the regular season with an 80-57 loss at Hudson on Saturday, Feb. 22
Kaden Kimmes led Superior with 16 points.
Hudson had four players in double figures, Luke Healy, 19 points; Charlie Neuenschwander, 14; Brandon Moeri, 12; and Carter Herink, 11.
The Spartans (11-11) are the No. 15 seed for the WIAA Division 1 tournament and play at No. 2 Neenah on Friday, March 6.
Neenah is 19-2 overall and is in second place in the Fox Valley Association at 15-2.
No. 5 Hudson (14-5) hosts No. 12 Appleton North on the same night.
SPARTAN SPIN: The SHS C team finished season 15-7 and the JV was 13-9.
Superior — Draden Jensen 10, Johnny Rhodes 9, Joey Barker 23, Ben Hunter 4, Evan Bennett 5, Lars Olson 4, Robert Olson 9, Kaden Kimmes 9. Totals: 31 8-12 72.
3-point goals — Rhodes, Bennett, R. Olson.
Ashland — Kevon Powell 22, Jackson Bonneville 8, Cory Carlson 7, Kyle Sapper 11, Alec Lindenberg 18, Preston Zak 4. Totals: 28 6-10 70.
3-point goals — Powell 2, Carlson 2, Lindenberg 2.
The Spartans wrapped up their regular season with a 66-44 win over the Hurricanes Thursday, Feb. 20, in the SHS gym.
The Spartans (13-9) will take a No. 11 seed and a three-game win streak into their WIAA Division 1 playoff game at No. 6 Marshfield on Friday, Feb. 28.
“It wasn't that long ago we were 5-7 and to finish out the season winning eight of our last 10 games is a credit to the kids and how hard they work everyday,” SHS coach Dave Kontny said.
The Spartans, who stormed out to a 43-20 halftime lead and coasted to the victory, did so without Kaileigh Miller and Julia Roe, who were both ill.
“Playing short-handed is never a good thing,” Kontny said. “We need everyone healthy for next week and that’s not going to be easy with them missing all week because of the flu. But our kids responded again and played a nice game.”
Senior Niya Wilson led Superior with 21 points. She was followed by freshmen Savannah Leopold and Emma Raye with 15 points apiece.
Emily Morgan led Hayward with 16 points.
“Our balance on the offensive end was good and we created a lot of opportunities with our defense,” Kontny said. “Give Hayward credit, they’re a young team, they’re well-coached and we want to play good programs, no matter what division they are in.”
Thursday’s win was Superior’s first over Hayward in three seasons.
“Now it’s playoff time, time to really dig in and get ready for the excitement of the postseason,” Kontny said. “I like my team, we've come a long way since day one. Our young kids are poised and our upperclassmen have been here before. This group is fun to coach, fun to watch and hard working. We are excited for next Friday.”
SPARTAN SPIN: Marshfield (15-6) won the Wisconsin Valley Conference with an 11-1 record. … Marshfield’s record included losses to Hudson (43-35) and Chippewa Falls (52-46), and a win over Eau Claire North (49-36). … Superior lost to Chippewa Falls (70-47) and Hudson (74-70 in OT), and defeated Eau Claire North (69-50)
Hayward — Brooke Quast 3, Anne Schmitt 5, Ana Johnson 7, Emily Paffel 2, Allie Zawistkowski 5, Emily Morgan 16, Eboni Trepanier 6. Totals 19 2-6 44.
3-point goals — Quast, Schmitt, Johnson, Morgan.
Superior — Lily Gidley 2, Natalee Sigfrids 7, Niya Wilson 21, Savannah Leopold 15, Izabel Swanson 5, Emma Raye 15. Totals 25 12-19 66.
3-point goals — Sigfrids, Wilson, Leopold 2.