Melrose, Wisc. (WXOW)- The Melrose-Mindoro girls team is set to make their second straight state tournament appearance on Thursday in the semifinals against Colby.
The Mustangs have cruised their way through the division 4 playoffs winning by an average of 35 points. Now, they are set to take on undefeated Colby. A team that is ranked 3rd in the state, but has no prior state tournament experience.
Mel-Min has a slight edge over their opponent having been in this position last year.
“The team has been there,” Head Coach Joey Arneson said. ” We’ve done it. We know what to expect. We know the feeling we are going to get in our stomach when we run out onto the court. I think we are a lot more hungry. We were very proud to bring home the silver ball last year, but we want something more this year.”
“That was a lot of our motivation when we talk about last year too, how much fun it was to be with the team all the time and just to get that atmosphere, and it’s every teams goal to get to Green Bay and to get to the Championship game,” Melrose-Mindoro Junior Mesa Byom said. ” Definitely being there in the championship game last year, we definitely want to get back there.”
Aquinas is the number one seed in the state tournament, and they are on the other side of the bracket, meaning the Mustangs and Blugolds could potentially meet in the state championship game once again. However, Melrose-Mindoro is focusing on the game right in front of them.
“We’re not playing Aquinas this year unless we win our first game,” Arneson said. ” Right now our focus is strictly on Colby. Obviously if we beat Colby, we would love for a re-match with Aquinas, but we have to take care of business first, and right now our eyes are all set for Colby.”
“We just have to stick to our game plan, and we know that it is going to be a pretty even semifinal games this year,” Melrose-Mindoro Junior Emily Herzberg said. “So, just focus on that game first, and don’t even mention the other word before we get there.”
Thursday’s game is scheduled to start around 8:15 pm. The winner will meet at 12:30 on Saturday in the championship game.