‘A good day to be a Pirate’ - 02

Pewaukee junior Nick Janowski holds up three fingers signifying the Pirates’ third straight title near the end of the WIAA Division 2 Boys State Basketball Tournament championship game Saturday at the Kohl Center. The Pirates became the first Division 2 boys basketball team in state history to win three straight gold balls on Saturday, as Pewaukee defeated Whitnall 71-54 in the title game at the Kohl Center.

PEWAUKEE — Athletic Director Jeff Behrens said the air around the Pewaukee School District was full of excitement on Monday following the boys basketball team’s third consecutive state championship win. "It’s a great accomplishment by our players, the coaches and everybody involved," said Behrens. "A lot of people are coming in and looking at the trophy in the office. It’s a good day to be a Pirate."

The team defeated Whitnall High School 71-54 in the WIAA Division-2 State Boys Basketball Tournament Championship Final on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

Behrens said the championship game was exciting and nerve-racking at the same time, and the support from the students was fantastic as they cheered loudly and were great to be around.

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The immense support backing the team and the school came from not only the students but the community as well.

"We have a great community. Leading up to the state tournament, we had a lot of inquiries as to how to get tickets and buying state-bound T-shirts," said Behrens. "And then at the state tournament, looking up and seeing the sea of red or black for the Pirates was amazing."

Pewaukee School District Superintendent Mike Cady said that’s what makes high school sports special — the way the community rallies around their team.

“This is a tight-knit community that really supports its schools and its students, and you could see it in the stands at the Kohl Center,” said Cady. “It’s really a community celebration. Whether people had kids on the team or not, there were so many people from Pewaukee alumni or other parents of kids from other grade levels that turned out to support our guys in that championship effort.”

‘A good day to be a Pirate’ - 01

Pewaukee High School sophomore Autumn Xiong sings the national anthem at the boys’ basketball state championship game on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

In supporting the basketball team, students and the community also showed support to everyone involved. Pewaukee High School sophomore Autumn Xiong sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the semifinal and championship games over the weekend.

“I was pretty nervous, but it was a really fun experience,” said Xiong, adding that a lot of people cheered for her and her friends were there to support her. “Throughout the day today, a lot of people have come up to me to tell me how good I did. A lot of people are super supportive at this school. We all support each other.”

Xiong started singing when she was two years old and sang for the first time at a football game in 5th grade. Since then, she’s sung at some soccer, softball and football games with plans to sing at more in the future.

“It was a really nice opportunity, and it was an honor to sing at the championship game,” said Xiong. “I’m just really proud to be a Pewaukee Pirate.” After Saturday’s win, the community participated in a parade through the village on Sunday morning. The players sat in the back of pickup trucks as they drove past the crowd and were accompanied by three squad cars and a fire truck.

“Even though it was 22 degrees, we had a great showing of our community coming out to see our players parade through town,” said Behrens. “We have great coaches who do good things for kids, and we have hardworking kids that play their hearts out. I’m just happy to be a part of it.”