The season is still alive for two area boys’ basketball teams.
Amherst and Marion won a Division 4 and Division 5 regional championship, respectively, Saturday, March 3. Fifth-seeded Amherst knocked off top-seeded Auburndale 43-39 and will take on Stratford at 7:30 tonight (Thursday, March 8) in a sectional final at D.C. Everest High School in Schofield.
Meanwhile, second-seeded Marion advanced with a 64-36 win over No. 6 Wausau Newman and will take on No. 4 Wisconsin Rapids Assumption at 7 tonight in Antigo.
Both teams also won regional final games Friday, March 2. Amherst beat Wild Rose, while Marion topped Gresham.
Semifinal winners will play for a sectional championship Saturday, March 10. If Amherst beats Stratford, the Falcons would play the Oshkosh Lourdes/Shiocton winner at 1 p.m. in Antigo. If Marion beats Assumption, the Mustangs would play the Sheboygan Lutheran/Hilbert winner at 7 p.m. in Waupaca. Sectional winners advance to state.
Amherst 43, Auburndale 39
AUBURNDALE – The Falcons overcame a 13-point deficit in the second quarter and outscored the Apaches 29-20 in the second half.
Auburndale led 12-6 after one quarter and opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run to go up 19-6. Amherst cut the lead to 19-14 at halftime and scored the first eight points of the third quarter to go up 20-19.
Auburndale turned the ball over on its first four possessions of the second half and didn’t take a shot in the first four minutes of the third quarter, but closed the quarter with a 5-2 run to tie the game at 24-24 heading into the final period.
Amherst outscored the Apaches 19-15 over the final eight minutes and scored its final seven points from the free-throw line.
Steve Maves and Marcus Jensen led the Falcons with 13 and 11 points, respectively. Maves scored all six of Amherst’s points in the first quarter, while Jensen scored all eight of his team’s points in the second quarter.
Markus Kleifgen and Cale Weiler led Auburndale with nine points each.
Amherst 43, Wild Rose 30
WILD ROSE – The Falcons used a 12-0 run at the end of the game to pull away from the fourth-seeded Wildcats Friday, March 9, in a regional semifinal in Wild Rose.
The Falcons led 9-4 after one quarter, 21-12 at halftime and 29-23 after three quarters before outscoring Wild Rose 14-7 over the final eight minutes.
Maves led the Falcons with 10 points, while Willie Doll chipped in with eight. Josh Erickson led Wild Rose with 14.
Marion 64, Wausau Newman 36
MARION – Marion led 22-11 after one quarter, 40-20 at halftime and 54-27 after three quarters before outscoring the Cardinals 10-9 in the fourth.
Adam Mielke led Marion with 16 points, while Newman’s Brad Knoblock led all scorers with 17.
Marion 60, Gresham 38
MARION – The Mustangs took a 31-17 lead into the locker room at halftime and outscored the Wildcats 29-21 in the second half.
Zach Zimmerman led the Mustangs with 14 points, while Austin Hoffman and Mielke added 13 each.
Christian Haffner led Gresham with 11 points.