As the regular season comes to a close, the Reedsville girls basketball team finds itself in a familiar position.
The Panthers are 19-2 overall and 15-2 in the Olympian Conference. Last year, Reedsville finished the regular season 20-2 and 16-2 in the OC.
However, head coach Paul Ourada and his squad hope that this season ends differently.
Last year, the Panthers were ousted in the regional final courtesy of a 54-48 loss to Oshkosh Lourdes. Understandably, it was a hard loss to take.
“They wanted to get back after it right away. They were sitting in the locker room and they were upset and rightfully so,” Ourada said. “We got on the bus. We had a little discussion and the underclassmen were ready to get back at it right away, but I told them, ‘you play softball, you run track, you need to do those sports. You need to step away for a bit just to absorb it all.'”
Eventually, it became time for the Panthers to get back to the grind and now, almost a year later, they are ready to do what they have to in order to keep history from repeating itself.
“They worked hard in the summer to get where we were supposed to be,” Ourada said. “I think they’re excited because they know what they put in during the offseason.”
Reedsville received a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the WIAA Division 4 playoffs. The Panthers host the winner of a regional quarterfinal between No. 3 Brillion and No. 6 Mishicot in the regional semifinals on March 7.
Ourada feels his team is finding its stride in the nick of time.
“Our goal at the beginning of the year was not to lose a game. Obviously, we’ve lost two, but we’re playing better now,” Ourada said. “We’re starting to roll now. They want to see where they can go. They think and I think that we can play a state championship, but we have to play well. They’re excited to get to that point and that’s their goal, to work hard and get where we’re supposed to be.”
1. Reedsville (19-2, 15-2)
2. Two Rivers (17-3, 11-2)
3. Man. Lutheran (12-8, 11-6)
4. Kiel (12-8, 8-4)