Lodi upsets East Troy
The Lodi Blue Devils stood up to the big front line of the East Troy Trojans and pulled off a 52-50 sectional final upset victory for a berth in the WIAA Division 3 boys state basketball tournament Friday at the Kohl Center.
Lodi (24-2) faces Brillion (24-2) 9 a.m. Friday in a state semifinal. East Troy, ranked No. 2 in Division 3, finishes the season 23-3.
East Troy’s formidable front line of 6-foot-9 Alex Prahl, 6-9 Brett Prahl and 6-8 Army recruit Tanner Plomb were expected to have their say in the sectional final, but nobody told Lodi. The Blue Devils’ 6-7 Jacob Haag, 6-5 John Hatch and 6-5 Dan Padley gave the taller Trojan trio all it could handle.
Plomb scored 15 points, but was held to a basket in the second half. Brett Prahl added 10 points, and Alex Prahl chipped in eight points.
For Lodi, Haag finished with 15 points, Jordan Shea added 12, including the game-winner, and Kris Seffrood chipped in 11.
“We had our 6-7 kid in Haag, but I so proud of the way they boxed out, and the toughness they displayed.” Lodi coach Mitch Hauser said of his never-quit front line. “I thought our bigs had to play the game of their lives to be in this game, and they did.’’
The thrilling battle in the packed Middleton High School gym boiled down to Lodi controlling the ball with 74 seconds to play and the game tied at 50.
The Blue Devils worked the clock for the last shot, almost lost the ball, but recovered and with less than 10 seconds remaining sophomore Jordan Shea drove around the right side and sank the winning basket with five seconds remaining.
East Troy called time with 3.2 seconds remaining, but its last-chance three-point heave missed the basket.
Lodi’s winning basket went according to its plan.
“It was set up that way,” Shea said of the winning play. “I just attacked the basket, and once I let it go, I knew it was going in. It’s an unreal feeling.”
After rolling to a 6-0 lead in the first quarter, the Trojans could never stop the Blue Devils.
Lodi tied the game 13-13 in the first quarter on Donnie Manke’s jumper with one minute remaining. The Devils kept it up the second quarter, falling behind 26-19, but tied it 28 at the half on Shea’s jumper at the buzzer.
Lodi rolled to a 37-30 in the third quarter, but East Troy went on a 10-2 run to take a 40-39 lead into the final frame.
The Blue Devils fought to a 50-47 lead, but Myles Dodge sank a three-point basket to tie it at 50 with 1:27 remaining. It was all Lodi at crunch time.
“Give their big guys credit for getting under us a little bit,” East Troy coach Darryl Rayfield said. “They were a little bit physically tougher than us today.”
Rayfield said he had respect for Lodi.
“I knew they were good coming in,” Rayfield said. “I’ve seen them three times, they are efficient, they can spread you out a little bit and you’ve got to chase their shooters and you are one-on-one in the post.’’
And the bigger they come, the harder they fall.
LODI 52, EAST TROY 50
East Troy (52)—Olson, 1-0-2; Dodge, 6-1-15; Plomb, 6-0-15; B. Prahl, 2-6-10; A. Prahl, 3-2-8. Totals: 19-9-50
Lodi (52)—Sefford, 4-0-11 Moses, 3-0-7; Shea, 5-1-12; Manke, 1-0-2; Hatch, 1-1-3; Padley, 5-2-15; Haag, 1-0-2. Totals: 21-4-52
East Troy 13 15 12 10—50
Lodi 13 15 11 13—52
Three-point goals—Lodi 6 (Moses, Sefford 3, Shea, Padley), East Troy 3 (Kaminski, Dodge, Plomb). Free throws missed—Lodi 3, East Troy 3. Total fouls—Lodi 10, East Troy 12