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February 16, 2013 | 11:11 AMBURLINGTON - Friday night's boys basketball showdown for the Southern Lakes Conference title more than lived up to its billing.
A packed house filled Burlington High School, and the Demon and Wilmot Panther student sections sported insulting posters and went tit-for-tat with rally chants supporting their respective teams.
Two SLC heavyweights duked it out with the title on the line, and in the end, Burlington was the last team standing.
The Demons fired out to a 17-9 lead after one quarter, 30-18 at halftime and staved off a late comeback to beat Wilmot, 59-51.
The win gives the Demons (17-5, 13-1) their third consecutive conference crown. Wilmot fell to 17-5 and 11-3 in the SLC.
Burlington avenged its only SLC loss, a 53-49 defeat at Wilmot back on Jan. 4.
Midway through the third quarter, Carson Biedrzycki's layup off a nifty no-look pass by Lyons resident Ty Dennis extended Burlington's lead to 40-26. But the Panthers, led by Lake Geneva Badger grad Jake Erbentraut, picked up their defensive intensity.
Wilmot's Bryce Kothe hit a three-pointer to cut the Burlington lead to 42-39 early in the fourth quarter, and the teams were back-and-forth until the final minutes.
A Jake Reetz three-point play made it 52-46 with 1:20 left, but Andrew Lartey knocked down a trey to cut it to 54-51 with 40 seconds to play. After a timeout, Burlington finished the contest with a 5-0 run, all coming on free throws from Jimmy Penzel and Biedrzycki.
Biedrzycki, the conference's leading scorer, led all players with 26 points. He hit 7-of-8 free throws and dominated offensively by always finding a way to create his own shot. Also, the Demons were effective in transition with plenty of fast-break layups.
Nate Hensel led Wilmot with 14 points. Jake Reetz added 11 for Burlington, including two big triples in the second half.
Penzel tallied 10 points and nine rebounds for Burlington.
Burlington, a No. 2 seed in Division 1, opens the playoffs Friday at home against seventh-seeded Muskego. Wilmot, a No. 1 seed in Division 2, hosts the Elkhorn-Westosha Central winner Friday.
Badger 45, Union Grove 43
The Badgers traveled to Racine County Friday night and knocked off the Broncos just three days after Union Grove upset Wilmot.
Badger (8-14, 3-11) was up by 13 points at halftime but the Grove rallied to take a one-point lead going into the fourth period.
After Badger pulled ahead in the final minute, Union Grove called a timeout with 6.8 seconds left. But Andrew Kazikowski missed a fadeway, 15-foot shot at the buzzer.
Kazikowski finished with a game-high 23 points.
Rob Slagle led Badger with 16 points.
As they have been all season, the Badgers were hot from beyond the arc. The team knocked down five 3-pointers, led by Eric Skipper's two. Tony Ashley added seven points.
The sixth-seeded Badgers open the postseason Friday at third-seeded Janesville Craig (12-10). The Broncos, a No. 7 seed, host 10th-seeded Delavan-Darien Tuesday.
Faith Christian 61, Kenosha Reuther 46
On Thursday night, the Eagles exacted revenge on Reuther in a winner-take-all game for the Indian Trails Blue Conference title.
Host Faith captured its second straight conference crown thanks in part to a 16-7 fourth quarter.
The Eagles finished the season 19-3. A No. 4 seed in Division 5, Faith hosts No. 13 Johnson Creek Tuesday.
Adam Montsma led all scorers with 26 points, and Joe Ingersoll added 17. Alex Montsma chipped in 12 points.
At 9-1, Faith finished a game ahead of 8-2 Reuther.
Check www.lakegenevanews.net and www.facebook.com/regionalnewssportscheck Tuesday night for photos and stories from the Faith and Williams Bay games.
Other Friday area scores
Elkhorn 49, Waterford 26
Brodhead 63, Big Foot 55
East Troy 76, Whitewater 53
Williams Bay 76, Madison Abundant Life 44
Badger 38, Union Grove 33
Horicon 49, Williams Bay 28