Bailey Kale made the game-winning layup with 35 seconds remaining and Kobe King had a big second half as the La Crosse Central boys basketball team won its first state title since 1925 on Saturday with a 55-53 win over Cedarburg.
Central (26-2) used its physicality to get key rebounds late and hold off a resilient Bulldogs team to earn the WIAA State Boys Basketball Division 2 championship.
King scored 21 of his 28 points in the second half, closing out his high school career at the Kohl Center, the venue he will begin his college career next season with the Wisconsin Badgers.
Kale scored 15 points, while freshmen brothers Johnny and Jordan Davis each scored 6.
Cedarburg led 6-1 early, but a pair of 3-pointers from Kale helped Central take a 9-8 lead just over five minutes into the game.
The teams traded the lead back and forth for much of the first half before Central used a 6-0 run to lead 21-18 at halftime.
In the second half, King began to heat up, making his first seven shots as Central led 38-31.
Cedarburg's John Diener and Jordan Johnson matched King's play though, scoring a combined 28 points on eight 3-pointers.
Johnson's jumper with 2:55 remaining gave the Bulldogs a 50-49 advantage, but was short-lived after King answered with a jumper of his own.
Central struggled to put the game away at the free throw line, making 4 of 14, but tracked down rebounds to hold Cedarburg off.
The team will hold a pep rally at 12 p.m. on Sunday at the high school to celebrate the championship.