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Prescott boys' hoops one step away from state tourney

The success which has come to the Prescott High School boys' basketball team this season is due, according to head coach Nick Johnson, to its ability to come together as a team the more it learns about the game itself.

"We put in a lot of time in study and practice not just in our opponents, but in the ways in we play defense and being able to have balance and movement in our offense," Johnson said. "In so doing, we become closer as a team trying to get better at playing basketball."

If Prescott, 21-3 overall, can improve itself even further, it will be in a position to knock-off No. 3 ranked Elk Mound in today's WIAA Division 3 Eau Claire North Sectional Final game, which tips off at 1 p.m. this afternoon, and earn the school's first-ever berth in the state tournament.

The Mounders beat Prescott 50-47 earlier this season and present one of the Cardinals' toughest challenges on the road to state given their size -  6-7 senior center Dexter Curry averages 14.6 points per game and nearly 10 rebounds per game - their outside shooting prowess and athletic ability - the Mounders' leading scorer is 6-5 senior guard Zach Doll who averages 15 points per game;  and EM's depth and senior leadership - players such as  6-1forward Hunter Kohls, 6-2 guard Travis Nelson and 5-9 guard Logan Strom and 5-9 guard Austin Hanson.

Prescott will need to learn the lessons from the first contest between the two old Dunn-St. Croix Conference rivals. Prescott led for much of the contest but couldn't control Curry as he scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and rallied EM to the three-point win in the fourth quarter. If the Cardinals' recent win over Somerset is any indication, then PHS's defense will be able to control the Mounders on offense as they did the Spartans. The Cards' have held opponents in nine of their last 11 games to under 50 points.

The winner of this game will play at 10:45 a.m. Friday morning against either No. 2 ranked Lodi (24-1) or No. 4 Marshall (22-3) in the Division 3 state semifinals at the Kohl Center in Madison.

WIAA Boys Basketball Tournament Brackets