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Arrowhead win sets up playoff rematch

Feb. 22, 2013

Before the 2012-13 boys basketball season began back in November, fans from both Arrowhead and Sussex Hamilton surely had this in the back of their minds - that the two Waukesha County powerhouses could very well meet in the WIAA Division 1 regional championship game.

That game became reality Friday when the Warhawks downed visiting Kettle Moraine in a first-round regional game, 68-57, and Hamilton defeated visiting Menomonee Falls. Arrowhead and Hamilton will play 7 p.m. Saturday at a sold-out Hamilton.

Arrowhead (19-4) had all kinds of trouble pulling away from the spunky Lasers (12-11) in the first half. The two teams battled to a 14-14 draw after the first period and the score was still tied at halftime, 35-35.

Once the third quarter began, the game changed in Arrowhead's favor. With AHS turning up the defensive pressure, the Lasers went the first 6:30 of the period without making a basket. The Warhawks had an 11-1 run to make the score 46-36 with under two minutes to go in the quarter.

Kettle Moraine, thanks to a pair of baskets by Mike Ottusch and Beck Chase, cut the deficit to five going into the final period, 46-41.

Arrowhead then put the game away with a 12-0 run to start the fourth quarter.

"Kettle Moraine played a great first half against us and we expected them to come out like that," said Arrowhead coach Craig Haase. "Our defense turned the game around for us in the second half. That was the difference. Our kids made it very difficult for them to score. We finally got some breathing room against them in the last two quarters."

Kenny Finco led the Warhawks with 18 points. Teammates Kyle Keranen chipped in with 12 tallies and Don Todarello had 11.

Kettle Moraine was led by Paul Miller with 15 points, Ottusch 14 and Mitchell Oleson 11.

"I'm proud of our guys for how hard they competed tonight," said KM coach Brad Bestor. "We asked the guys about three weeks ago to play as hard as they could the remainder of the season. They did that, too. We ran into a good basketball team tonight. I thought our guys did a great job tonight."

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