- Associated Press - Saturday, March 15, 2014

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Whatever respect Brown Deer lacked in the polls, the Falcons gained it where it mattered most.

Lewrenzo Byers scored 18 points and Jerry Luckett added 12 points and 11 rebounds to pace the Falcons to a 59-37 victory over second-ranked Lodi on Saturday in the Division 3 championship of the WIAA boys state basketball tournament.

“The pre-game and throughout the last few games, our mantra has been, ‘We need to get some respect,’” Brown Deer coach Kelly Appleby said. “Some of those rankings, as a coach you’re always leery about talking about rankings and what’s in the paper and those kind of things because you try to stay out of it. But obviously the kids are kids. They’re on the media, they’re all over it. They know who’s ranked and who’s not.”

Brown Deer (23-5), the only unranked team in a Division 3 field that included the top three teams in the state poll, took command with a run of 18 consecutive points spanning the end of the third quarter and start of the fourth.

Lodi (26-2) took a 27-26 lead when Jordan Shea curled in a layup with 4:15 left in the third quarter. Luckett scored six points and Donovan Lucas five as Brown Deer closed the quarter with 14 straight points for a 40-27 advantage.

A jumper by Byers and two free throws by Luckett to open the fourth quarter boosted the lead to 44-27.

“We went on a great run,” said Luckett, who did not score in the first half. “We started getting dunks and we just felt really great. We knew we had to get back on defense and make sure we lock it in. Not get overly excited, just calm down and be poised and take it home.”

Shea had 16 points and John Hatch added 13 for Lodi, which lost in the title game last year and semifinals in 2012.

“It just got away,” Lodi coach Mitch Hauser said. “Even the first half, I thought we were very fortunate to be down by two. I thought our passing just wasn’t crisp. They have a lot to do with that because of their length and their strength and their quickness, clearly, but I thought we were fortunate to be down just two. We did get a lead there I think in the second half and then they just went on a run.”

Neither team shot the ball well. Lodi made just 11 of 45 from the field for 24.4 percent and was just 1 of 11 from beyond the arc. Brown Deer shot 33.3 percent, but attempted 54 shots, thanks in large part to an overwhelming 50-26 rebound advantage. Davante Jackson, a 6-9 forward, pulled down 14 rebounds.

The Blue Devils were also bothered by Brown Deer’s press, which helped generate 10 steals and force 14 turnovers.

“The athletic part of it was huge,” Shea said. “They stopped what we wanted to do on offense. We shot early shots, and foul trouble in the 18-0 run, that played a big part.”

Brown Deer, which closed the season with 15 consecutive victories en route to its first state title, was appearing in the state tournament for the first time since 2002, a team that featured current NBA player Steve Novak.

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