La Crosse, Wisc. (WXOW)- After winning the 2017 state championship, the Aquinas Blugolds graduated a strong senior class. They knew that they needed players to step up this year in order to fill that void and repeat as state champions. Junior Kayla Bahr was up for the challenge.
“This year with them being gone, it was definitely a different role and different atmosphere around, but still really positive,” Bahr said.
Bahr took on any role that was asked of her, playing every position on the court.
“She calls herself a utility player, I just call her a stud because she can do anything,” Head Coach Dave Donarski said.
“I think people underestimate her, I mean she can shoot the ball, and she can rebound, and she gets a ton of boards, and she is really physical for us,” Junior Taylor Theusch said.
When Aquinas punched their ticket to their third consecutive state tournament, Bahr felt confident with the encouragement of her coach.
“He was jut super positive, and he was always encouraging me and always knew that I had more to give,” Bahr added.
She proved her coach right, under the bright lights of the state championship game. Bahr knocked down five three-pointers tying a Division 4 title game record.
“She earned it,” Coach Donarski said. “She worked hard to get to that point.”
“Once the first one went in, I just had a ton of confidence after that,” Bahr said. “It is definitely a different look than a regular high school gym, so getting a feel for it was super fun and amazing.”
“Kayla Bahr played an amazing game, and when she was making the shots, we just kept giving her the ball, and she really played well for us,” Aquinas Junior Lexi Donarski said.
Bahr is a great example that patience pays off.
“I felt like Kayla got a chance to watch some great seniors last year get it done, and she and Megan Scheidt were absolutely ready to go, with Alaina and Jacy like they wanted to put their stamp on Aquinas basketball and the state tournament, and I think they really accomplished that,” Coach Donarski said.