01STOCK_BASKETBALL

Beaver Dam’s girls basketball team cemented its status Saturday as one of the greatest in state history.

The Golden Beavers built an early lead against Monroe and eased to a 65-46 victory in the WIAA Division 2 state championship Saturday at the Resch Center in Green Bay.

Beaver Dam joined Milwaukee Washington (1994-96), Cuba City (2005-07), Flambeau (2007-09) and Milwaukee Vincent (2007-09) as programs to have won three straight titles.

A pair of future Wisconsin Badgers starred in Saturday’s final. Tara Stauffacher totaled 15 points and seven rebounds for Beaver Dam (27-1), while Monroe’s Sydney Hilliard had 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting in the final game of her prep career.

The Golden Beavers jumped to a 10-0 lead and led 30-19 at halftime. Monroe, which trailed by as many as 22 points, cut Beaver Dam’s lead to 11 points several times in the second half.

Beaver Dam has been ranked among the nation’s best all season. Its only loss came Dec. 29 to Miami Country Day, the nation’s No. 1 team, according to USA Today’s Super 25.

Division 1

  • Bay Port 50, Middleton 49—Emma Nagel banked in a shot through contact with 2.6 seconds left, lifting the Pirates over the Big Eight Conference-champion Cardinals.

Josie Lemirande sank a 3-pointer with 37 seconds left to give Middleton (22-6) a 49-48 lead.

But Nagel, who totaled 11 points and 13 rebounds, answered to deliver Bay Port (27-1) its first state title.

Lemirande led Middleton with 14 points and four 3-pointers.

The Cardinals were coming off a 62-53 upset of top-seeded Mukwonago on Friday.

Division 3

  • Marshall 64, Laconia 56—Three sophomores made big contributions for the Cardinals as they repeated as state champions.

Sophomore Anna Lutz, a 6-foot-1 forward, scored 26 points on 10-of-14 shooting, adding seven rebounds and three blocks for Marshall (26-2).

Lutz’s two-point jumper broke a 43-43 tie with about 10 minutes left.

Marshall sophomores Mia Morel and Laura Nickel each had 12 points and eight rebounds.

Kiarra Otto totaled 27 points on 9-of-22 shooting to lead Laconia (27-1), which was making its first state appearance.

Division 4

  • Aquinas 65, Melrose-Mindoro 39—Lexi Donarski scored 21 points, and the Blugolds forced 21 turnovers as they won their second straight championship.

Aquinas (28-1) led 23-20 at halftime but scored the first 15 points of the second half.

Donarski, a 5-foot-10 junior guard verbally committed to Iowa State, was 7 of 16 from the field and 7 of 8 at the free-throw line.

Melrose-Mindoro (26-2) shot 31.4 percent from the field and went almost seven minutes without a field goal to begin the second half.

Division 5

  • Black Hawk 51, Clayton 36—The Warriors outscored the Bears 30-15 in the second half to pull away for their first state title and win a battle of unbeaten squads.

Clayton (27-1) never led. The Bears got within three points, 32-29, on Alison Leslie’s layup with 11:29 left.

But Black Hawk (28-0) closed the game on a 19-7 run.

Natalie Leuzinger led the Warriors with 23 points on 10-of-13 shooting. Kailey Ketz paced Clayton with 13 points, while Leslie had 11. The Bears claimed the silver ball after being eliminated in a state semifinal each of the previous three seasons.

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