Shiocton's postseason run ends in state semifinal loss
GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- Midway through the season the Shiocton girls basketball team had a record of 7-7 and likely the thought of making the state tournament was nothing more than a pipedream.
But then the Chiefs started stringing wins together and entered the postseason having won seven of eight games. They had momentum and rode it through regionals and sectionals which earned Shiocton its first state tournament berth.
Thursday, Shiocton played undefeated Aquinas in a Division 4 state semifinal and its great run came to an end as the Chiefs fell, 56-36, at the Resch Center. The run was done, but what a run it was.
"I've never been more proud of a group of girls in my entire life," Shiocton coach Rob Hendrickson said. "These girls have put their hearts and souls into being better basketball players. A short four years ago Shiocton was in rough shape, the program was happy with 10 wins. A short four years later we have a first-time qualifier state team."
Shiocton (18-9) played Aquinas tough most of the game but turnovers were a telling statistic. The Chiefs committed 19 turnovers and the Blugolds turned that into 22 points.
Meanwhile, Shiocton scored four points off six turnovers.
"I think we were prepared for the pressure but we didn't handle it very well," Hendrickson said. "They're athletic and very long and will give everyone problems."
"That was something we weren't used to all year," guard Madi Morack said. "They were unbelievable with the pressure they put on us. I think that's what got us."
Despite the defense, Shiocton stayed close to Aquinas (27-0) for most of the game, trailing 44-35 with 5:13 left in the game. However, Aquinas closed the game on a 12-1 run.
The loss hurt the Chiefs, but they know they accomplished a lot this season.
"We've had a lot of doubters, been through al lot as a team too," Morack said."It was amazing to get here."
Follow Doug Ritchay on Twitter @dougritchay