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Winning a state title 'all that mattered' to Brillion star Lorenz

Two days removed from winning the WIAA Division 3 championship, Jeremy Lorenz sat down with NBC 26 to reflect on his great high school career.
Posted at 8:34 PM, Mar 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-20 21:40:49-04

BRILLION, Wis. (NBC 26) — The finish to Jeremy Lorenz's high school basketball career was unique: It ended with a win, something only five teams in the state can say.

"Playing on varsity for four years you get kind of used to that last game being a loss," Lorenz said. "It being a win, obviously it's really exciting, but it hasn't really set in yet that the season and my career is over yet."

The Mr. Basketball finalist and Wofford commit added another line to his resume over the weekend, leading Brillion to the WIAA Division 3 state championship Saturday.

Lorenz averaged 25.5 points, 11 rebounds and five blocks the Lions' two wins at the state tournament.

"He's done so much for us in so many areas," Brillion coach Chad Shimek said. "The great ones, you don't realize it until they are gone."

Prior to last weekend, Lorenz was already in Brillion's record books as the program's all-time leader in points, rebounds, assists and blocks.

Now, though, his name is synonymous with winning as he and his fellow four seniors ended their careers with a homegrown state title.

"That's really what makes it so special is that it was an accomplishment that was built from day one," Lorenz said. "We didn't have guys coming in from other schools. That was a group of guys that we've been playing with since third grade when we started.

"It was a special group and I think that was really something that was exciting was to be able to share it with them," he added.

It didn't come easy. Brillion was tested with several close games and won its last three tournament matchups by an average margin of four points.

On top of that, with just over four minutes remaining in the championship and the Lions clinging to a two-point lead, Lorenz injured his left ankle and briefly took himself out.

"I was in quite a bit of pain," he admitted.

"I was a little surprised because I didn't see him quite at first get hurt and then all of a sudden he's going off the floor," Shimek said. "And In my mind I'm thinking 'no you can't come off the floor!'"

About a minute of game time later, Lorenz checked himself back in. He made five key free throws down the stretch to help seal a 61-55 win over West Salem.

"It was painful but in a state championship game you're not going to let that pain get to you much," Lorenz said.

A warrior moment that only adds to the legacy he leaves behind in his hometown of just over three thousand people.

"I hope that I just left a legacy showing that I always put the team before myself," Lorenz said. "People bring up the accolades obviously and I'm proud of those. It took a lot of hard work to get to it but there was one thing that I wanted to achieve in my high school career and that was a state championship as a team."

"Obviously people say, 'oh, (he) came up short of two thousand points' and all that stuff," Lorenz added. "But for me I accomplished that state championship and that's all that really mattered to me. I always wanted to do things as a team and together as a whole and just make the community proud."

Lorenz plans to play college basketball at Wofford College, in Spartanburg, South Carolina. Fellow local standouts Max Klesmit (Neenah) and Jackson Paveletzke (Kimberly) have both found success at Wofford in recent seasons.