A celebration was held Monday night for the State Champion Guardian Angels Central Catholic Girls Basketball Team. Senior Lauren Wobken says the team was determined to win state this year after being denied last season. “We worked really hard ever since last basketball season we came up a little bit short. So we knew we didn’t want to do that again so we worked really hard at Summer League. I mean weightlifting in the summers. Then shooting hoops everyday after weightlifting. And then when practice time started we knew we would work really hard. And we pushed each other a lot. It just means everything to be a state champ cause we’ve worked so hard for it, and it’s just the best feeling in the world.”
The Bluejays knocked off Dundy County-Stratton 53-50 in double overtime in the D-1 State Championship Game a couple weeks ago in Lincoln.
Senior Maddie Knobbe says she’ll never forget the two overtime periods in the game. “My biggest memory will be those two overtimes. It was a lot of fun. We got to play 8 more minutes with our team. And it was a lot more running too so that was memorable.”
Knobbe is one of 5 seniors the Bluejays lose to graduation.
Head Coach Jerry Stracke says consistent defense and leadership allowed his team to win state. “I think it was our defense through most of the year. It kind of carried us through a lot of games. There were games that we struggled offensively, but seems like our defense was there every night. And good leadership out on the court, and good group of girls who like I said in my speech just resilient and refused to lose.”
The State Title was Stracke’s 5th as Bluejays’ Head Coach.
Senior Hannah Hunke says playing basketball for the Bluejays taught her many things. “Playing basketball at GACC taught me a lot about working hard and adjusting to your new surroundings. I mean we played with basically a whole new team this year, and it just taught us how to adjust and get used to what you’re given and just roll with it and give it all you’ve got.
GACC’s State Championship was their 6th in school history.
Junior Lexis Haase says it won’t be easy getting back to the Pinnacle next year. “Our underclassmen are definitely going to have to step up. We lost a lot this year including our height. So we’re going to have to come back and work harder than we did this year, and hopefully do the same thing.”
Haase will be the lone returning starter next season.
Stracke gives the outlook for next year. “Well we’re going to miss these seniors, we’re going to be young. It’s too soon to tell, but depends on how much work they to want to put in.”
GACC will look to make state for the 21st straight year next season.