Roncalli can't keep up with Destiny in state semifinal
MADISON (WLUK) -- Roncalli's impressive postseason run brought to the Kohl Center on Thursday for a state semifinal against the top-ranked team in Division 4, Destiny.
Sporting a 13-13 record, the Jets were underdogs against the Eagles but they weren't about to shy away from the challenge.
Roncalli played tough but in the end couldn't keep up as its season came to an end with a 71-54 loss.
"They were more athletic than we're used to seen," Roncalli coach Joe Garceau said. "They're athletic, long. They did a nice job of dictating tempo. We didn't get back defense as much as I would've liked.
"They're number one in the state for a reason."
If Roncalli was to be successful it had to control the paint against a team that had an obvious size advantage, and that didn't happen. Destiny scored 40 points in the paint, including four dunks and multiple tip-ins.
"Our motto was if they beat us from 15 to 20 feet, so be it," Garceau said. "If they beat us from one to two feet, we're going to be in for a long night. Unfortunately, with their size and height they were able to do that; too many looks around the rim."
Despite the size and quickness disadvantage, Roncalli stuck with Destiny and trailed by four points midway through the second half. However, Roncalli's offense ran out of gas as Destiny outscored the Jets, 19-6 to grab a late 62-45 lead.
Jets leading scorer Mitchel Schneider said the toughest part of playing Destiny was dealing with its defense.
"They got after it," said Schneider, who scored 22 points. "They were pressuring us high up. We weren't used to pressure like that. It gets to you after a while. It runs your legs out."
Roncalli enters the offeseason much later than many expected, especially after a 3-10 start to the season. Thursday's loss aside, it was a great ride.
"It's an accomplishment when you get to play at the Kohl Center," Schneider said. "I'm proud of the guys. We got to play at the Kohl Center, which is an unbelievable feeling."
"I'm proud of our guys," Garceau said. "A lot of people wrote us off early on. I'm proud of the boys and the way they persevered."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay