After the Bangor boys earned their spot in the Division 5 championship game of the WIAA State Boys Basketball Tournament, the La Crosse Central Red Raiders took to the court looking for a chance to defend their Division 2 state title.
Before they have a chance to defend the title they had to overcome their first opponent of the tournament, the Milwaukee Washington Purgolders.
With three trips to state and a state championship title over just three seasons, basketball is ingrained in the culture of Central High School.
"Ever since my freshman year, it has been all about basketball. Every year everybody comes, everybody gets into it even the teachers, we all talk about it. It's just a huge thing at Central," Central Senior Emmett Burgos describes.
Last year's championship title motivated fans this season, helping the Red Raiders fill the bleachers throughout the year.
"It made everybody think about basketball more, we realized how good of a team we are so people came together in that way. With the start of this basketball season everybody realized how good of a team we can be," Burgos continues.
Despite the team's success in past seasons, at the state tournament the only thing that matters is how teams play on the court.
"I know that we're not coming in cocky to this game. We're coming in ready to go, fighting, ready to win and bring home this gold ball," Central Senior Eddie Miller elaborates.
Even though fans can not help get the job done on the court they can provide some extra energy to motivate the players.
"We are always going to cheer, always gotta cheer. We've gotta be better than the other student section and that helps our players so much. You can see it on their faces, when we cheer for them they get so hyped up," Burgos finishes.
To keep fans energized student section leaders have a few tricks they've picked up throughout their years in the bleachers.
"I brought a bunch of Pixy Stix today so I am just going to toss those out. Hopefully, the crowd gets really energized and just starts screaming like crazy."
The support athletes receive throughout their seasons will continue long after the court is empty.
Central's semifinal loss ends their season with a final record of 24 wins and 3 loses.
MORE: Details From The Game