Dominican Boys Basketball team bring the gold ball back to Dominican. Photo by Elizabeth Mueller.
By Quinn Porter
The Dominican boys basketball team won its 3rd WIAA and 10th overall state championship, 61-43, on Saturday against the Cuba City Cubans in the Division-Four Final at the Kohl Center in Madison.
The Cubans were undefeated (27-0) and came into the game defeating teams by an average of 35 points in the season. In the state semi-final game on Thursday, Cuba City defeated the Oshkosh Lourdes, 72-27. According to Wisssports, their coach, Jerry Petitgoue, is Wisconsin’s most accomplished coach in state history, with 820 career wins and 198 losses, and three state titles. This was his 44th career season, and his 40th season with the Cubans.
This is coach Paul Wollersheim’s 17th season as head coach. He has a career record of 350 wins and 66 losses. The Knights entered the game with a 26-1 record. After the win, Wollersheim said, “This is an amazing experience and so awesome for the players to achieve it. The seniors played mature basketball and deserve the win.”
The game began as a close match up with runs made by both teams. Dominican started the game off 9-0 with three straight three point shots, but then Cuba City scored eight unanswered. That was the closest score of the game. Dominican went on to outscore the Cubans by 10 points at the end of the 1st half, and then continued to outscore them by 14 in the 3rd quarter. Dominican finished the game strong with no players having more than two fouls.
Duane Wilson led the Knights with 24 points, four assists, four blocks, and four steals. He was five of eight from three-point range. After the game, Duane said, “We played as a team and stuck together. It feels good to win it after being with this team for three years.” Junior Brandon Quin, referring to Wilson, said, “He couldn’t be stopped. From the first shot of the game, he was playing lights out.
Senior Jamal Taylor had 18 points, five assists, and seven rebounds, and said after the game to the Journal Sentinel, “I can’t believe I’m even sitting here right now. Everything I’ve been working for my last four years and to go out like this, with a state championship, it can’t get any better for me.”
Freshmen Diamond Stone set a WIAA record for most blocked shots in a division-four state tournament final (including semi) with 19. He passed Greg Stiemsma’s record of 18 set in 2002. Stone had six blocks, eight rebounds, and nine points in the state final game.
Senior Peter Cronin at halftime said, “I’m speechless, I can’t describe how epic this is.” Junior Mo Flanagan said, “This is the best birthday present I could’ve asked for.” Senior Mary Yadgir during the game said, “I’m so pumped it’s ridiculous.”
Head of School, Colleen Brady after the game said, “I’m so proud of this team for all their hard work they put into every game and for all the fans who came to support them. This is a great day for Dominican.”
The Knights ended their season last year in the division-three sectional finals against Racine St. Catherine’s. Dominican won two previous division-three state titles in 2004 and again in 2005 in the WIAA, along with seven previous championships in the WISAA.