Burlington High School

Late collapse ends Demons’ season

The Demons Ethan Safar gets behind the Franklin defense for a close-range shot during a sectional game Feb. 25 in Franklin. (Photo by Mike Ramczyk)

Crucial injury, turnovers down the stretch bounce team from playoffs

By Mike Ramczyk


Dane Kornely turned into perhaps the most important player on the Burlington basketball team since Feb. 1.

Just ask Mukwonago – or Muskego.

Drive east on Highway 50, stop in Paddock Lake, and walk up to Westosha coach James Hyllberg.

Ask James how strong Burlington’s “role players” were in a regional championship Feb. 20.

All of these teams’ players and coaches will tell you they were concerned about Joey Berezowitz’s sharpshooting and JR Lukenbill’s other-worldly athleticism, but they’ll also mention the senior moxie, consistency and downright toughness of Kornely and Ethan Safar.

Oh, and don’t forget the sheer size of 6-foot-7 sophomore center Danny Kniep.

The Demons lost in a WIAA Division 1 sectional semifinal at No. 2 Franklin Feb. 27, but believe it or not Burlington High School, all 1,000 students give or take, enjoyed a 35-33 lead with about 12 minutes on the clock.

Though the third-seeded Demons eventually fell, 61-52, Burlington played up into D1 when every single other year over the last 10 they’ve been in Division 2 and they held their own.

Kornely was leading the Demons in scoring when he exited due to injury, with 10 points on 5-for-9 shooting.

Safar ended up leading the team with 13 points.

Berezowitz was held to 1-for-6 from beyond the arc, and the Demons shot only 20% (3-16) from 3-point land.

Burlington finished 19-7 overall, its best mark in a decade.

To read the full version of this story see the March 4 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.

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