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Memorial beats Horlick for D1 WIAA crown

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Associated Press
March 22, 2009
— After losing a midseason game to a conference rival, Madison Memorial standouts Jeronne Maymon and Vander Blue called a team meeting - the first players-only meeting the Spartans have had since 2005.

That meeting four years ago led to a state championship, and history repeated itself Saturday night as Memorial defeated Racine Horlick 56-41 at the Kohl Center to claim the WIAA Division 1 boys state basketball crown.


Maymon and Blue both registered double-doubles as the top-ranked Spartans stepped on the gas early and never let up en route to their 17th straight victory since a loss at Madison East on Jan. 16 that led Maymon and Blue to call their teammates together.


"We all made the decision that if we're going to do this, we're going to do it together, work hard in practice, and play each possession like it was our last," Blue said. "We all had one goal. ... We all got on the same page and we all made it happen."


Maymon, who earlier in the day was introduced as the state's Mr. Basketball, finished with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Blue, who was named the tournament MVP, added 19 points and 11 boards.


The Spartans (26-1) raced out to a 15-5 lead at the end of the first quarter, then pushed their advantage as much as 18 in the second period and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way.


"We were on a mission," Memorial coach Steve Collins said.


Blue's thunderous dunk off a Horlick turnover gave Memorial a 23-5 lead midway through the second quarter. The Rebels (24-2) never pulled closer than 14 the rest of the way.


Horlick shot just 20 percent in the first half, as the Spartans took a 27-11 lead into the break.


"We got out of the blocks about as slow as we could," Rebels coach Jason Treutelaar said. "It just seemed like we couldn't get the lid off the bucket. . Against a team like that, it's no hidden secret, you can't get off to a start like that and expect to reel it back in."


The Spartans led by as many as 25 points in the third quarter after a 3-pointer from Blue, a junior guard and a University of Wisconsin recruit, with 2:42 to go in the period.


Maymon, a Marquette recruit, scored on Memorial's first three possessions of the second half and added a dunk of his own late in the third.


The Spartans held Horlick star Jamil Wilson, a University of Oregon recruit, to just nine points on 4-of-12 shooting. Wilson made just 1 of 6 shots in the first half, and was saddled with foul trouble as he picked up four personals in the first half.


"I think it threw them off synch a little bit, to be honest with you," Collins said. "Then we were able to pressure them a little bit, and we didn't have as many worries on the court as far as scoring."


Antwon Oliver led the Rebels with 13 points.



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