NORTHWESTERN (19-7) AT SAINT CROIX CENTRAL (22-2)
What: Wisconsin Division 3 Sectional 1 final
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
Outlook: The third-seeded Tigers advanced with a dominating 80-52 semifinal victory over second-seeded Aquinas in La Crosse on Thursday night. Cole Lahti, who was seventh on the team in scoring during the regular season, led a balanced attack with 15 points. Monte Mayberry, the team’s leading scorer with a 13.3 per-game average, had 14. Northwestern routinely goes nine players deep. Harrison Nelson leads with a 42.6% average from 3-point range, while Mayberry (7.5) and Jase Nelson (7.0) are the top rebounders. The Tigers are seeking a fifth appearance at the state tournament, having last qualified in 2019. … The top-seeded Panthers crushed Neillsville 70-34 in the other semifinal. Jackson Pettit and Gabe Siler each had a team-high 18 points in the team’s 10th consecutive victory. Pettit leads all scorers with a 16.4 per-game average, followed by Kelson Kim (13.7) and Colin Hackbarth (12.6). The Panthers won the Middle Border Conference with a 14-0 mark. The school has never qualified for the state tournament.