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Brendan Ortiz

Madison Memorial's Brendan Ortiz is overcome with emotion as the triple overtime game ends. Madison Memorial played DePere for the WIAA Division 1 state basketball championship on Saturday, March 19, 2011 in Madison, Wis. (Wisconsin State Journal/Craig Schreiner) (Published on 03/20/2011) Madison Memorial's Brendan Ortiz, left, is overcome with emotion after his game-winning shot in triple overtime gave the Spartans a state title.

Thirteen lucky times. Thirteen talented times. Thirteen terrific times.

Over the first 98 years of the state high school boys basketball tournament, Madison-based high schools have collected a baker's dozen of championships.

A city school has kept the “Gold Ball” championship trophy in Madison at least once per decade — except for the turbulent 1960s — since Madison Central won the third tournament sponsored by what is now called the WIAA, back in 1918.

Madison La Follette has won three times, West and Wisconsin High twice and East, Edgewood and Central once. The dominant program lately has been Memorial, which enjoyed a run of seven finals appearances in eight years (2005-2011), with three titles.

Aside from the Madison-based schools, only three other times have Dane County teams won WIAA boys championships: McFarland, under brash young coach Sam Mills, in 1973 and 1974; and Marshall in 2002, under Jason Treutelaar.

In fact, 2002 was a unique year in that three Dane County schools (not to mention nearby neighbor Randolph in Division 4) won championships, with La Follette taking Division 1 and Edgewood winning Division 2.

A closer look at the city’s championship successes:

WIAA state boys basketball: The 13 Madison boys hoops teams that can be called state champions

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Wisconsin High (15-3) — also known as “Whiskey High” in a time which fell in the Prohibition era — earned the first state title in school hist…

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Madison West owns the oldest gold ball of all the city schools that remain open. The Regents (22-1) beat Lena (25-2) in the final after beatin…


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