LA CROSSE, WI - It's becoming an annual tradition for the Central boys basketball team. For the 3rd straight year, the Red Raiders are heading to Madison.
The last time the Central boys played at the Kohl Center, they brought home the Division 2 state title. Despite being a younger group this season, only 3 players remain who logged minutes in that title game, the Red Raiders are playing some of their best ball. Since suffering a loss to Onalaska back in January, Central has won 13 in a row, winning all their postseason games by double digits.
"We feel really good team wise. Our chemistry is really good. Very unselfish going into these next two games if we win the first one. We are just really focused on defense," Sophomore Johnny Davis said.
"I think our biggest struggle at the start of the season, we weren't playing like a family. Now we are playing like a family. We are sharing the ball and playing unselfish. That's what is keeping up better and better," Sophomore Jordan Davis said.
Central will have a tough test in the semifinal round Friday. Milwaukee Washington comes into state with a 23-3 record.
Their best player, junior Deontay Long, averages 29 points a game. Washington also features 6'9'' inch freshman Michael Foster Jr., who already has several Division 1 offers.
"We've played a challenging schedule and this is going to be right at the top of the list of teams that we have played. Extremely athletic very skilled, well coached. It's going to be a challenge for our guys. I think they are looking forward to it. We have to have a great week of preparation. A good week of practice and see what happens on Friday," Head coach Todd Fergot said.
"We know they are super big and super athletic so we will have to play fundamentally sound and take care of the ball and play defense like we are right now and we will be fine," Junior Noah Parcher said.