Regional Final recap: Huskies, Panthers, Macks advance - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Regional Final recap: Huskies, Panthers, Macks advance

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North advances to Sectionals for the second straight season North advances to Sectionals for the second straight season
Eau Claire North sophomore Dalton Banks Eau Claire North sophomore Dalton Banks
Durand wins a Division 4 Regional Title Durand wins a Division 4 Regional Title
The Macks are Regional Champs for the 4th straight season (file photo) The Macks are Regional Champs for the 4th straight season (file photo)
Clayton returns to State for the third straight season (file photo) Clayton returns to State for the third straight season (file photo)

(WQOW) -- A number of area basketball teams advanced past Saturday night's action.

In Division 1, the Eau Claire North boys basketball team topped Appleton West to win the Regional title for the second straight season, and just like last year, it wasn't easy.

Down by 2 in the final seconds, senior Jack Kron came up with a key steal that eventually forced overtime. And sophomore Dalton Banks took over in the extra frame, scoring 6 of the team's 7 overtime points.  Banks finished with a team high 26 points, but as they've done all season, the entire team found other valuable ways to contribute.

"I want to give kudos to Jaelin Williams there because at the end of the game, we had a play call that he said 'Let's try a different play,' and we scored on it," head coach Todd Marks says, "So I want to give kudos to coach Williams on that one. But Dalton's been fantastic. When we've really needed guys to step up, he was super clutch on both ends, and we had a ton of guys who were really clutch tonight."

"It's unbelievable," Banks says, "We had a goal this season to hopefully get down to Madison. This is a step in the right direction and to do it in this fashion, it's ridiculous."

Next up for the Huskies, top seeded Oshkosh North - tipoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. this Thursday night.

In Division 4, third seeded Durand also advances to the Sectional round. The Panthers knocked off second seeded Eau Claire Regis, 69-59, in large part thanks to their free throw shooting down the stretch, and playing team ball.

"There guys have shown what a real team can do," explains head coach Justin Redetzke, "You look at our team and nobody wows you with a 20 point average. It's 10 points here, 10 points there, and one guys steps up every night and that's kind of been our whole thing. Let's have everybody step up and bring that playoff competition."

The Panthers will take on fourth seeded Melrose-Mindoro this Wednesday night at 7 p.m.

And in Division 5, McDonell Central wins their fourth straight regional championship, this time in dramatic fashion over Owen-Withee. They will take on top seeded Rib Lake this Thursday at Chetek-Weyerhaeuser.

In girls hoops, Clayton returns to the state tournament for the third straight season. The Bears topped Shell Lake in the Division 5 Sectional Final Saturday night, and they will face Bangor in the State semifinals this Friday morning at 10:45 a.m.

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