Two teams with championship traditions will meet for the Class 2A state title.
Central Lyon punched its ticket to the finals with a solid all-around performance in a 53-35 victory over Denver. The Lions, who won the Class 1A championship in 2013, will face defending champion Dike-New Hartford for this year’s crown at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
Dike-New Hartford also was impressive in its semifinal victory, blowing past Panorama 67-23.
Third-seeded Central Lyon ran its offense efficiently, took care of the ball and played stingy defense in sidelining the second-seeded Cyclones. The Lions got the ball inside with drives to the basket and sharp passes into the post and complemented that by knocking down 7-of-14 3-point shots.
And the Lions (24-2) did it with near-perfect balance. Afton Schlumbohm and Addison Klosterbuer scored 12 points each, sophomore Desta Hoogendorn had 11, Regan Van Wyhe added 10 and Kaylee Davis contributed eight.
Schlumbohm, Van Wyhe and Hoogendoorn each grabbed five rebounds, while Schlumbohm added five assists to her line. Klosterbuer , a junior who has committed to South Dakota, went 4-for-7 to lead the 3-point shooting.
Denver (24-3) struggled to make shots from the outset and led for the last time at 9-7. Davis hit a 3-pointer moments later and Van Wyhe dropped in a reverse layup at the end of the quarter for a 12-9 lead.
The Lions built on their lead from there and were up 46-26 early in the fourth quarter. The Cyclones drew to 46-32 with 5 minutes left, but Central Lyon countered with seven straight points to end any hopes of a miracle comeback.
Reese Johnson led Denver with nine points and nine rebounds and Grace Hennessy scored eight. The Cyclones outrebounded Central Lyon 33-27, but went 2-for-20 from 3-point range and shot just 29.6 percent overall.
Denver had been seeking its first trip to the finals since finishing second in 1999. The Cyclones’ only other losses this season were to Dike-New Hartford.