MADISON (WKOW) — The Brookfield Central Lancers may still be trying to cool off.
If the last 36 minutes of WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament action was any indication, odds are they’re probably still feeling it.
The Sun Prairie Cardinals suffered a 69-52 loss to the Lancers in the D1 Title Game Saturday night.
From the outset, the Lancers were on fire. Employing a collective effort led by David Joplin and the brothers Nau, Cole and Ben, Brookfield Central shot a blistering 15-22 (68.2%) from the field in the opening half — including a ridiculous 81% (nine-for-11) from two-point range.
Joplin led the charge as the Lancers blitzed the Cardinals, scoring six points, grabbing rebounds on both ends of the floor and rejecting a Sun Prairie shot in the game’s first four minutes as Central raced to 14-3 advantage.
Sun Prairie lulled their way out of the starting blocks, shooting just 31.8% (7-22 from the field) in the opening half, but had momentary stretches to not let the game get completely out of hand early. Brock Voigt and Delaware Hale did most of the heavy lifting as Sun Prairie got to within 19-12 with 10:35 left in the half, but another avalanche of Lancer points would follow.
Central responded with an 11-2 run over the next three minutes of action, capped by a Jack Cooney trifecta to extend the Lancers’ lead to 30-14. The Cards fought back though, entering the locker room for halftime down by only 11 at 36-25 after outscoring the Lancers 11 to six to end the half.
The second half began exactly how the first did, as a Joplin layup set the pace for Central. The Cards responded with a Brock Voigt three-point play to cut the Central lead to 38-28 in the opening minute of the tournament’s final half of play.
From there, the teams would trade buckets for several minutes, but back-to back Central threes — first by Cooney, then Ben Nau — restored the Central lead to 16, at 49-33.
If that didn’t spell enough trouble for the Cards, a mini-stretch that began with four made free throws by Joplin, and ended with a Cole Nau alley-oop certainly would. The Sun Prairie deficit was 18 at that point, and they couldn’t trim the lead to less than 13 at any point for the remainder of the game.
David Joplin finished with 23 points, 13 rebounds and three blocks — all game-highs. Ben Nau added 17 points for the Lancers, and Cole Nau pitched in with 13 points and six dimes.
For Sun Prairie, it was a disappointing end to an otherwise thrilling 2018-19 campaign. Brock Voigt, who played well all tournament, scored 17 to pace the Cards to go with five rebounds. Delaware Hale added 11 points (9-10 free throws), and Colin Schaefer scored 11 points as well.