Photo courtesy Neenah Joint School District on Facebook

NEENAH — The Neenah Rockets boys’ basketball team finished its winning season with a state championship.

Neenah defeated Brookfield Central 64-52 Saturday evening in Madison to claim the WIAA Division 1 state title.

It is the Rockets’ first boys’ basketball championship in 44 years.

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UPDATE: The Neenah Rockets saw a comfortable lead slip away in the second half, but held on to advance to the the WIAA Division 1 championship game with a 60 – 52 semifinal win over Racine Case.

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NEENAH — Top-seeded Neenah is back in the WIAA Division 1 state boys’ basketball tournament for the first time since 2019 and for the membership-leading 28th time in the school’s history.

The face No. 4 seed Racine Case at 6:35 p.m. Friday at the Kohls Cente in Madison, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s championship game.

WATCH LIVE: The game will be broadcast live on WCWF, CW-14, in Green Bay and the Fox Valley, on the Magic of March app or streaming HERE.

The Rockets have won three championships. Those came in 1930, 1975 and 1978. In addition, they have an abundance of runner-up results, including 1920, 1939, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1988 and 2014.  The Rockets are the champions in the Fox Valley Association this season, and they advance to the final four in the bracket following a 62-47 victory over Eau Claire Memorial in the D.C. Everest Sectional final.

The Racine Case Eagles return to State for the first time since 2005 and for the eighth time overall. Their most crowning achievement in the tournament was winning the gold trophy in 1999.

STATE TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE:  The single elimination tournament features a five-division format with four teams qualifying in each of the five divisions. This is the first year the State Tournament is seeded by a WIAA-designed computer formula.

Thursday, March 17

Division 3
#1 West Salem (26-1) vs. #4 Brillion (26-2) – 1:35 p.m.
#2 Lake Country Lutheran (26-2) vs. #3 St. Thomas More (25-3)*

Division 4
#1 Milwaukee Academy of Science (22-5) vs. #4 Cameron (19-7) – 6:30 p.m.
#2 Roncalli (24-3) vs. #3 Marshall (22-6)*

Friday, March 18

Division 5*
#1 Randolph (26-2) vs. #4 Gibraltar (19-10) – 9:05 a.m.
#2 Bangor (24-4) vs. #3 Hurley (24-4)*

Division 2
#1 Pewaukee (25-3) vs. #4 Ashwaubenon (24-4) – 1:35 p.m.
#2 La Crosse Central (27-1) vs. #3 Westosha Central (25-2)*

Division 1
#1 Neenah (27-1) vs. Racine Case (22-6) – 6:35 p.m.
#2 Menomonee Falls (25-3) vs. #3 Brookfield Central (23-5)*

Saturday, March 19
3-Point Challenge – 9:30 a.m.
Division 5 Championship Game – 11:05 a.m.
Division 4 Championship Game*
Division 3 Championship Game*
Division 2 Championship Game – 6:35 p.m.
Division 1 Championship Game*

*Note: Subsequent games of each session will begin approximately 15 minutes following the previous game.

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By Dan Plutchak

Dan Plutchak, born and raised in Kaukauna, is cofounder of Kaukauna Community News.