The Aquinas Blugolds girls basketball team will make its WIAA Girls State Basketball tournament debut Thursday night, but it will be a familiar feeling for many of its players.
A majority of the Aquinas roster has played in a championship setting through soccer, volleyball, or cross country, calming the nerves as the team prepares to battle Shiocton in the D4 semifinals.
Blugolds head coach Dave Donarski said success at state often breeds itself.
"They know how to win. I feel like that's showed up most of the time this year as well, and I hope that that is the next step for when we get down there, the environment's not too big for us," he said.
"It should help us a lot because everyone knows the atmosphere there and everyone knows how many fans come and support. It should be really fun."junior Jessa Peterson said.
The team's 26-0 record and #1 ranking in the state should also help Aquinas' confidence heading into Thursday's game. The Blugolds recently beat Melrose-Mindoro, another top-ranked squad in division 4.
"Their chemistry's outstanding," Donarski said. "As we get ready for that state tournament, we're fortunate enough to have played Holmen and Onalaska and Tomah and Waunakee. You go down the list of the quality teams we were able to have success with, now it's just the next team up and we need to be ready for that."
You can watch Aquinas vs Shiocton live on WXOW Thursday at 8:15 p.m. You can also watch the game online and on your mobile device.