Bangor, Wisc. (WXOW)- The Bangor boys basketball team is headed back to the state tournament for the second straight year. However, the road to Madison was never as simple as it sounds.
The Cardinals are coming off a year where they lost 10 seniors. Four of them were starters on the state championship team. They also took on a new Head Coach in Jacob Pederson.
The Cardinals credit their deep playoff run to the newcomers stepping up, as well as their commitment to the program.
“These guys have stepped up,” Coach Pederson said. ” I mean I don’t think there was a lot of people out there that thought Bangor would get back this year, and I think these guys had in their mind the whole time, we’re still a pretty good team.”
“We want to prove that we are still able to do things too,” Pederson continued. ” They’ve kind of made it their motto for the year that we want to put our own footprint on Bangor basketball as well, and they have done a pretty good job of that so far.”
“We’ve won 3,4 conference championships in a row now, and 2 state tournaments in a row, and it’s still showing that no matter who the coaches, players, our program is going to get it done because of the good ethic of all the kids in the program,” Senior Trevor Jones said. ” Everyone is going to work hard to try and get to the next level.”
Sophomore Zane Langrehr is one of the newcomers that has stepped up for the team this year, especially in the post-season. His game-winning three-pointer to defeat Blair-Tayor in the sectional semifinals is a moment that lifted the Cardinals to where they are now.
“Zane’s three against Blair Taylor was a big push for us because it was like alright we can do this,” Junior Grant Manke said. ” We can get back to state. It kind of just gave us that confidence.”
“If he wouldn’t of hit that shot, we might not be here today,” Jones said. ” It’s amazing seeing the way they’ve stepped up these last couple games, those younger guys, and they’ve hit big shots like he said. Zane hit three in a row that game, that really propelled us to that big win.”
Bangor will play in the second Division 5 semifinal game against Columbus Catholic at 10:45 AM Friday.