In Saturday’s semifinal games, the Hurricanes defeated the Knights, 111-92 and the Wildcats defeated the Freeze, 109-85.

Hurricanes vs. Knights

At 10 a.m. the Hurricanes advanced to the championship after a 19-point victory over the Knights.

Hurricane Tyler Shippen started the game hot, hitting a deep three to give the Hurricanes an early 10-7 lead. However, the Knights went on an 11-2 run.

Hurricane Bryn Forbes entered the game and scored five straight to tie the game 18-18. But Forbes went down with an ankle injury soon after and did not play the rest of the game.

The Knights led 25-22 after the first quarter.

Hurricane Lee Morris scored three points the old-fashioned way with a driving layup and a free throw to give the Hurricanes the lead.

The Hurricanes kept the lead for the rest of the half, and Tyler Shippen hit a deep pull-up 3-pointer in the last minute to win the race to 50.

At halftime, the Hurricanes led 50-43.

The third and fourth quarters mostly belonged to the Hurricanes. With 4:56 left in the third, the Hurricanes had pushed their lead up to 16, 66-50.

The Knights went on a 13-5 run, with Knight Zachary Richins hitting a 3-pointer to cap it off. Tyler Shippen hit another deep pull-up 3-pointer in the final seconds of the quarter and the Hurricanes led 80-68 heading into the fourth.

The Hurricanes built on their lead in the fourth quarter and came away with a 19-point victory.

Tyler Shippen talked about what they improved on throughout the game.

“Over the course of the game, we wore them out,” Tyler Shippen said. “They were tired. We did a better job talking on defense and keeping them out of the paint.”

Hurricane coach, Daniel Fisher also mentioned halftime adjustments.

“We ended the second quarter fronting a couple of the guys in certain matchups and kept those matchups in the second half and it was working,” Fisher said.

Fisher also gave an update on Forbes’ ankle injury.

“He rolled his ankle and wasn’t feeling good after the game,” Fisher said. “Hopefully he’s good next week, but we’re going to find out.”

Forbes has been one of the premier scoring guards in the league this season.

Tyler Shippen discussed the Hurricanes’ game plan for the championship, a game plan that Fisher agreed on.

“We’re just going to keep playing our game,” Tyler Shippen said. “We’ve been successful with it all year so why change it up? Keep the intensity up on defense and keep pushing it on offense.”

Wildcats vs. Freeze

At noon, the Wildcats trounced the Freeze by 24 to advance to the championship game.

The Wildcats started strong, with Carson Weir making a pair of 3-pointers early on to give the Wildcats a 6-0 lead. The Freeze called a timeout to regroup, but the effect of the timeout was minimal.

The Wildcats were leading 29-19 with 15 seconds left in the quarter before Freeze Joseph Dougherty went coast to coast for a layup to make it 29-21 after the first quarter.

The Wildcats built on their lead in each quarter, leading 59-45 at halftime, despite eight straight points for the Freeze from Truman Skoy.

The Wildcats led 91-64 after the third quarter and finished with a 109-85 victory.

Wildcat star, Matthew Rapp poured in 27 points and analyzed what it is that keeps the Wildcat offense moving so efficiently.

“It’s just finding the best shot and working for each other,” Rapp said. “It all starts on the defensive end. We like to get out and go, so if we can get some stops on the defensive end it leads to open shots.”

Rapp played with the Shippen twins, Tyler and McKay, in 2022. The Shippens are key players for the Hurricanes this season, and Rapp is excited to face off against them again.

“It’s always fun playing against them,” Rapp said. “They got us the first time this year. It was early but we’re out for some vengeance. It’ll be fun, it’ll be good, competitive ball. I always enjoy playing with or against them.”

Wildcat coach, Hunter Bates discussed strategy against the Hurricanes.

“The Shippen twins are really good and they have good scorers,” Bates said. “We’ll need to find a way to stay home on them and play good defense. Offensively, we’ll just have to get guys in motion.”

Bates believes his team is ready for the bright championship lights.

“We have a lot of guys who have played in the championship before,” Bates said. “Myself and our center, (Konner Jackson), were there last year. (Chapman Tagg) and Rapp were there for the other team. It’ll be a little bit different playing on a different court, but I think that we’re ready for it, as far as … playing in front of a lot of people on a big stage. I think we’re pretty prepared.”

The Hurricanes and Wildcats will face off in the men’s championship game on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m. in the John W Hart Physical Education Building. The Hurricanes are 1-0 against the Wildcats this season, winning 89-74 in the third game for both teams.

Tickets for the championship games are $3.