LA CROSSE, Wis. (NBC 26) — The Green Bay NEW Lutheran boys basketball team rallied to keep it close in the first half, but ultimately lost its WIAA Division 5 state semifinal game against McDonell Central (Chippewa Falls) 67-40 on Thursday afternoon.
The Blazers sparked an 8-0 run to pull within two points late in the first half. McDonell's Logan Hughes hit a momentum-shifting three as the first half horn sounded to extend the Macks' halftime lead to five.
McDonell didn't look back, pulling away to win it by 27.
The Blazers have now played in eight of the last 11 state tournaments, but don't have a championship to show for it.
"It's fun to bring new kids back to the state tournament, it never gets old," Blazers head coach Mark Meerstein said.
"I don't care if we don't ever win a gold ball," he added. "Coming back to state is a blast and we're going to enjoy every minute."
The newly elected WBCA hall-of-famer said wants his players to be good examples just as much as he wants them to win championships.
"We want to be a team that people look up to and say, hey, 'I want my team to look like that.'"
After beating NEW Lutheran in the semifinals, McDonell lost to Hustiford 69-35 in the Division 5 state championship.