Five area basketball teams playing quite well

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By Ted Pennekamp


Five area basketball teams are in the midst of outstanding seasons and are hoping to maintain their momentum as the regular season winds down.

Wauzeka-Steuben Boys

The Wauzeka-Steuben boys team was 16-0 overall and 7-0 atop the Ridge and Valley Conference as of Jan. 24. The Hornets were ranked third in Division 5 in the Wisconsin Boys Basketball Coaches Poll as of Jan. 25.

“The boys got off to an awesome start and have continued to have success to this point,” said Wauzeka-Steuben Coach Isaiah Okey. “It has been such an exciting atmosphere at so many of the games, considering how close many of the games have been and a couple coming down right until the last shot. The team has worked really hard this season both in practice and in games to have the success they have accomplished.”

“The countless hours of off-season reps many of these players have put in are really paying off,” Okey continued. “We had multiple new players step into leadership roles this season and it shows both on and off the court how well they are doing. The fans have also been exceptional at the games and in the community. A lively and energetic crowd of fans really does bring more excitement to the gym and helps motivate the players to play hard. It’s always a good feeling when you hear students in the hallway talking about the exciting game from the night before, telling the players ‘good luck’ for the upcoming game, or planning their cheers for the next one. School spirit is one of the best things about a small district, and we are feeding off that energy every night in the gym. Thank you to all the fans and community that have supported the team in some way, and we hope to continue our success for the rest of the season and into the playoffs. Go Hornets!”

Wauzeka-Steuben Girls

The Wauzeka-Steuben girls are doing well also, so the community has had a lot to cheer about this season. The girls were 14-3 on the season and 8-0 in the conference as of Jan. 26.

“After losing eight seniors last year, we knew we would be low on experience. However, our returning players have done a very nice job helping the younger players develop into their roles,” said Wauzeka-Steuben Coach Ben McCullick. “All the girls have had high expectations for themselves and the team since the start of the season, and those goals and expectations will continue through the remainder of the regular season and the post season. We look to be contenders for the conference title and, if we continue to work hard and improve, make a run in the post season.”

“The fan base has been very supportive, showing up and cheering us on every game, and it’s been great to see the student section so involved in the games and the team,” McCullick added. “They are one of the best student sections in the area.”

River Ridge Boys

The River Ridge boys have also been impressive this season, sporting a 15-1 overall record and a 8-0 mark to lead the Six Rivers West Conference as of Jan. 26. The lone loss for the Timberwolves was 55-53 to the undefeated Hornets of Wauzeka-Steuben (third in D5). River Ridge was ranked eighth in Division 4 in the Wisconsin Boys Basketball Coaches Poll as of Jan. 25.

“Well, offensively we’ve been up and down,” pointed out River Ridge Coach Tom Neises. “Defensively, we’ve been pretty consistent except for one game. We’ve had some injuries and some guys didn’t go out but those who did play hard and play together. We practice hard but try to have fun. We hope to keep it going as best as  we can.”

Seneca Boys

The Seneca boys are another team having success so far. The newly named Royals were 9-2 on the season and 4-1 in the Ridge and Valley Conference as of Jan. 25. Seneca’s two losses came at the hands of top area teams River Ridge and Wauzeka-Steuben. The Hornets nipped the Royals 54-53. 

“Our team has been playing well,” said Seneca Coach David Boland. “We have had two tough losses, but played well in those games also. We have an experienced group who has worked very hard. We continue to improve, and our goal is to continue showing growth, and be playing our best ball at the end of the season. Our community has been very supportive, and we appreciate them following us.”

Prairie du Chien 


Another team making noise this winter is the Prairie du Chien Lady Blackhawks. The Prairie girls were an outstanding 18-1 on the season and 7-0 in the Southwest Wisconsin Conference as of Jan. 26. The only loss for the Lady Hawks was a 71-60 defeat by powerhouse Waupun in the second game of the season at the Beaver Dam Classic. As of Jan. 25, the Wisconsin Girls Basketball Coaches Poll had Waupun ranked first and Prairie du Chien ranked third in Division 3. Waupun was ranked first and Prairie du Chien fifth for all divisions, according to MaxPreps as of Jan. 25. 

Once again, Prairie du Chien and their fans are looking forward to an SWC Championship and a deep run in the playoffs. Go Lady Blackhawks!

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