Westosha Central won another regional title Saturday, courtesy of a double-double by Cooper Brinkman and a decisive 3-pointer by Dylan Anderson, and advances to Thursday’s sectional semifinal against Elkhorn at Burlington High School (Photo courtesy of Nancy Switalla)

No. 2 Westosha Central wins regional title, plays No. 4 Elkhorn Thursday

By Jason Arndt

Through more than 34 minutes in Saturday’s WIAA Division 2 regional final at Westosha Central High School, the clash with visiting Waukesha West could have gone either way, until Falcons junior Jaeden Zackery found Dylan Anderson in the corner.

With 1 minute, 35 seconds left of regulation, and the score deadlocked 52-52, Anderson took a dish from Zackery in the right corner where he drained a 3-pointer and sparked a 9-0 run to help the second-seeded Falcons capture a 61-52 regional title.

Zackery, who finished with 13 points and had seven assists, said the pass to Anderson was similar to daily practices.

“We are always partners for shooting and he shoots that all the time. It was just like practice,” said Zackery. “Right when I passed it to him and he shot it, I knew it was going in. After that, I knew we were going to win.”

The Falcons win against No. 3 Waukesha West (16-8) moves them to Thursday’s sectional semifinal at Burlington High School, where they will play Southern Lakes Conference opponent and fourth-seeded Elkhorn.

The Elks, who claimed their regional title with a 47-35 decision at top-seeded Union Grove, split the season series with Westosha Central.

While Westosha Central (20-4) defeated visiting Elkhorn (17-7) in its second game of the season 59-42, the Elks returned the favor on Jan. 30, when the Falcons lost 60-57.

Anderson, whose team looks to avenge the loss, looks forward to Thursday’s contest.

“I am ready and look forward to that game,” Anderson said.

Tight regional contest
In the regional final against Waukesha West, the contest saw eight deadlocks, including five in the second half.

“It could have gone either way to be honest with you,” said Westosha Central coach James Hyllberg. “We were fortunate enough to get some open jumpers.”

The Falcons, who trailed 27-25 entering halftime, took their first lead of the second half when senior Cooper Brinkman drew a personal foul with 10:15 left to send him to the charity stripe where he converted both free throws.

Brinkman, who collected 14 rebounds and scored a game-high 20 points, then added a bucket to extend the Falcons lead to 42-39.

Hyllberg credited Brinkman for his clutch shooting and knew he would come through when it mattered the most.

Waukesha West, however, knotted the contest up on the next possession when 6-foot-10 junior David Skogman buried a 3-pointer in the right corner.

The Falcons responded with buckets by junior Adam Simmons and Brinkman, but Skogman answered with another 3-pointer from the same spot to cut the Falcons lead to 46-45.

Skogman finished with 12 points, two behind Wolverines leader Rocky Martinez Jr., a 6-4 junior.

Waukesha West freshman Cam Paleese then added a 3-pointer of his own, which gave the Wolverines a 48-46 edge.

The Falcons answered, drawing back-to-back personal fouls, leading to a Brinkman free throw followed by two from Zackery at 5:34 to help the Falcons reclaim a 49-48 lead.

Martinez pulled the contest in Waukesha West’s favor with a bucket to give the Wolverines their last lead at 50-49.

At 4:21, Falcons 5-11 senior Nic Frederick steered the contest in Westosha Central’s direction with a 3-pointer, which gave the Falcons a 52-50 lead.

Junior Alex Regenfelder of Waukesha West put the contest in a 52-52 stalemate with a jumper, which was enough for the Falcons, according to Zackery.

“They were knocking down shots and we knew we had to come together and play as a team,” Zackery said. “We just had to keep working how we have worked all season because we didn’t come all this way just to stop here.”

The Falcons came together with 1:35 left, when Anderson took a pass from Zackery and made the shot from the right corner.

“All I thought was I had to make that shot and we got to win this game,” said Anderson.

When Anderson floated the ball in the air, Westosha Central coach James Hyllberg believed the shot would fall in.

“I got confidence in Dylan because Dylan is a confident player,” he said.

Westosha Central extended its lead with 37.5 seconds left, when Zackery made one of two free throws after drawing a personal fouls.

Simmons, meanwhile, capped off the 9-0 run with a 3-point play and a layup. He finished with 11 points and had eight rebounds.


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