St. Mary's Springs excited for state tournament debut

St. Mary's Springs practices at Marian University prior to the state basketball tournament.
St. Mary's Springs practices at Marian University prior to the state basketball tournament.

FOND DU LAC - St. Mary’s Springs will square off with defending champion Algoma in the Division Four semifinals on Thursday night. While the Wolves are making their eight state tournament appearance, the feeling is a new one for the Lady Ledgers. Senior center Eleanore Mueller is excited to cap her career at the state tournament. "There's no feeling like playing your last few games as a senior in the Resch Center and I'm so excited to contend for a state title," Mueller said.

St. Mary's Springs can't let the excitement of their first state tournament trip since their WISAA days lead to a slow start. Head Coach Mitch Redig is aware of the penchant of players at state tournaments to be awe struck by the moment. He’s been preparing his team mentally. "I keep talking to them enjoy the experience use that 20 minute warm up period to get focused take in the surroundings but when it’s time for tip off we’ve got to be settled down and ready to go,” Redig said.

The Lady Ledgers are led by the power and finesse post combo of 5-11 junior Kelli Schrauth and 6-2 senior Eleanore Mueller. Schrauth averages a team high 15.6 points per game and 9.9 rebounds per game. Mueller contributes 10.5 points per game and 6.4 rebounds per game. The duo accounts for more than 50 percent of Springs points. "We know our strength is getting the ball down low,” Schrauth said “but it's great when we can kick it back out and our guards are able to make their shots." Mueller explained further, "We're big in our post game and then it gets our guards open for a lot of easy looks and shots." Berg added, "It's been really nice because those two have played together for three years and I think it's culminated in them playing really well together this year. In addition to them working well together, I think our guards have done a really good job of getting the ball to them when we're not just going high low and we can just get it from guard to post. I think it's really key to establish them inside and I think those two will have a really nice game for us."

Springs is the lone division four school in the Flyway conference. The Lady Ledgers only conference losses came to Kettle Moraine Lutheran who will play in the division three semifinals. The experience of playing them, along with postseason wins over state ranked Oshkosh Lourdes and Dominican have them confident heading to the Resch Center. "We're experienced. We've been in big games,” Redig said. “We don't get rattled like younger teams do so I think it's really helped us down the stretch here." Schrauth added, "Just being confident and knowing that we're here for a reason and not to be nervous when we step on the floor. If we play our game we can achieve great things."

Great things, like possibly, a state title.