Edgar boys punch ticket to state
By Mike Kobs
EDGAR – For the first time in 24 years, the Edgar Wildcats boys basketball team is headed to the WIAA state tournament. The Wildcats earned the trip with a 74-60 win over Clear Lake in a Division 4 sectional championship game played Feb. 27 at Edgar High School.
“It’s a special feeling,” Edgar Head Coach Dave Huss said after the game. “Just super proud of the kids. They had us down early. I thought the guys stuck with it. We had guys step up off the bench and contribute when we needed them.”
Arguable the biggest contribution came from junior Ayden Weisenberger, who came off the bench to score 12 first-half points, during a stretch when Austin Dahlke, Konnor Wolf, and Kyle Brewster were in foul trouble, and Drew Guden wasn’t scoring.
“He’s not really a three-point shooter, and he’s knocking down 18-19-footers,” Huss added. “In these types of games, a lot of times it’s kind of the unknown player that just kind of plays a good game. Ayden was huge. I’m super proud of him. He’s a great kid, and works really hard.”
Edgar had to come from behind, as the Warriors jumped out to an early 12-point lead, and had a six-point advantage at the halftime break.
But the Wildcats chipped away at the Clear Lake lead in the second half, and their lockdown defense came up big once again, holding the Warriors to just 25 second-half points, after holding Hurley to just 16 second-half points in their sectional semifinal win Feb. 25.
In their four post-season wins this season, the Wildcats have won each contest by double digits–including a 32-point win over Abbotsford in a regional semifinal, a 12-point victory over Marathon in a regional championship, a 54-36 win over Hurley in the sectional semifinal round, and a 14-point win over Clear Lake in the sectional final.
Edgar (23-2) will face Oshkosh-Lourdes (23-5) in a Division 4 state semifinal contest at 12:25 p.m. on March 5 at the La Crosse Center. Lourdes Academy – winners of the Trailways-East Conference –defeated Sheboygan Lutheran 85-66 in a sectional final at Sheboygan Feb. 27.
The Edgar Wildcats are making their first trip to the state tournament since they won the Division 4 state championship by beating Randolph 50-44 in 1997, capping off a 23-4 season under head coach Dean Wucherer. Edgar’s only other state tournament appearance came in 1980, when the Wildcats lost the Class-C title contest to Kohler 68-58, ending the season 24-2.