Cavaliers jumped several obstacles to be national champions

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)–Few could imagine that Western’s women’s basketball team could win the national title, including several Cavaliers.

But Head Coach Brent Thill saw his team becoming champions when he came to the program in October.

Thill says that several big wins over division 2 schools had him seeing his team go all the way. However, it was an encounter with the coach of the defending NJCAA champions Hostos that had his players believing.

“I kind of joked around and I was like ‘Hey I heard every minute you’re late we get a point,’ because they showed up 20 mins late. He said ‘you’re not going to need them.’ We looked at each other like ‘whoa guys we can actually do this,'” recalled Sophomore Caitlin Young.

But there were still plenty of hurdles as the team had their regional final on the road, and other teams in the tournament had more time to prepare.

In their their final test, Western was down by 9 at the half, when coach had one question for his team.

“I looked around the room and said to multiple people. ‘do you really want this?’ And I think saying that really got their focus and got their attention and they realized ‘hey we got one half left, we better crank it up and get this thing done,'” said Thill.

And they did, outscoring Northland 23-7 in the third to bring home the hardware.

Not bad for a team picked to be last in their conference.