The Shiocton Chiefs have been the underdog for most of the postseason, and Thursday will be no different. The Chiefs open their first ever State Tournament appearance with a contest against top ranked Aquinas (26-0). While the Bluegolds have made a statement with wins this year, Shiocton has made a statement with heart.
“We have been in the underdog roll since the Regional title game” said Coach Rob Hendrickson. We have been the underdog three games and we have been victorious by 15 points or more on average in those games.”
The girls have many reasons they credit for their late success, but most point out it was Wittenberg-Birnamwod, Amherst and the top half of the CWC-8 Conference that made them who they were. “We have played a tough schedule, and it has prepared us for this” said Coach Hendrickson. “La Crosse Aquinas is another example of that.”
“As we ended the year we were playing the best that we played this year” said Senior Madison Morack.
The Seniors say the Wittenberg-Birnamwood win was their proof that they can play with anyone.
“Our schedule lit a fire under our butts and really helped us turn things around” replied Jordan Elliot.
The girls are taking the preparation against the top ranked Bluegolds like they have taken any other game this year.
“It is important to let the kids enjoy this and let them embrace the moment” said Coach Rob Hendrickson.
“There is not much pressure on us to be honest” said Hendrickson. “Not one person has picked us to win State, and my kids don’t like that much.”
The Chiefs (18-8) on the year say they are excited about what they accomplished, but now is not the time to celebrate.
“It is really exciting to do something that has never been done before” said Madeline Herrmann.
The Shiocton community is the one doing the celebrating, as this is history for Girls Basketball.
“Everyone is congratulating us and it feels real good to hear that” said Herrmann.
“Every single minute I am hearing State..State…State and I am like YUP, State” said Elliot.
The week has been awesome, the whole town is going to be there Thursday” said Elliot. “Shiocton will be a ghost town.”
The girls can’t safely say they believed in the chances of making state all season long, but they believed in each other.
No, I don’t think anybody believed it would happened, but Coach had the faith in us” said Morack.
The Chiefs will put their hearts and will to test on Thursday in a Division 4 State Semifinal with the top ranked Blugolds.