Sugar-Salem goes back-to-back; Kimberly is the runner-up for the second time in three years
The last time Kimberly won a state championship in boys basketball was all the way back in 1952. George Keil was the head coach and the Bulldogs represented the B classification (there were just two at the time, A and B).
Two years ago Kimberly had a chance, but fell short against Fruitland.
The Bulldogs entered the state championship on Saturday with a 23-1 record and a season-sweep of Sugar-Salem.
But you know what they say, 'it's always difficult to defeat a team three times'.
Sugar-Salem jumped out to an early lead, that quickly turned into a double digit deficit for the Bulldogs.
At halftime, Kimberly was down 43-28 and could never recover.
The Diggers' Crew Clark already accumulated 19 points. As a team, they shot 66.7% from the field and 64.3% from long range.
Clark would end up with 21 points. Fellow Digger Hadley Miller added 20.
Kimberly's Dawson Cummins led the Bulldogs with 19 points in the game.
The Diggers repeated as state champs, after the 72-54 defeat, the most points the Bulldogs gave up all season long.
Kimberly is the state runner-up for the second time in three years and finishes with a 23-2 record.
"We played them twice before and we felt pretty good defensively and they just shot the ball better than they have," explained Kimberly head coach Daren Garey.
Senior Dawson Cummins added, "we had a hand in their face sometimes and they knock it down, it's tough to come back from, but I have to give it to everyone on my team and we battled until the end."
Brant Etherington, a fellow senior who had 11 points said, "we have a great group of seniors and we had a great season. We fought through a tough battle."
"The seniors are great, I wouldn't trade them for anything so," Peyton Bair, another senior who chipped in 12 points.