HAMMOND, Wis. -- The St. Croix Central boys’ basketball team ended the regular season with a bang with a 78-72 road win at Division 1 Chippewa Falls Saturday night, Feb. 13, and will take a seven game winning streak into its Division 3 regional semifinal this Friday night, Feb. 19.
The Panthers, currently 19-2 and ranked seventh in the state in Division 3, are the top seed for regionals and will host the winner of Tuesday night’s regional quarterfinal between No. 4 Bloomer and No. 5 Unity on Friday with the chance to host the regional title game Saturday night.
Last Saturday in Chippewa Falls, Kelson Klin paced the Panthers with 22 points, Carson Hinzman scored 16 and Connor Nilssen had 10 and the Panthers fought off a barrage of Chippewa 3-pointers for a six point win over the Cardinals. Twelve of Chippewa Falls’ 15 field goals in the game came from beyond the arc.
Gabe Siler contributed nine points, eight rebounds and nine assists in the win and Jackson Pettit scored nine points while Colin Hackbarth added eight.
St. Croix Central finished 31-of-59 from the field and outrebounded the Cardinals 31-25.
Earlier in the week the Panthers put the finishing touches on their undefeated Middle Border Conference season with a pair of convincing victories over Amery and Prescott.
The Panthers pounded Amery, 76-25, Tuesday Feb. 9 at home before routing Prescott on the road, 78-42, Thursday, Feb. 12 to finish 14-0 in MBC play.
Hackbarth led the Panthers at home against Amery with 20 points, including six 3-pointers, and Klin scored 11 while Cayden LaVenture contributed 10. Siler finished with nine points, six rebounds, eight assists and six steals and Hinzman pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Thursday at Prescott, Pettit had 21 points, seven rebounds and four steals and Siler registered 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and six steals as the Panthers wrapped up their perfect MBC season. Klin contributed 15 points in the victory while Hackbarth had 14 points and five assists.