ONEIDA, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oneida Nation girls basketball team is one of six programs in the state of Wisconsin that is undefeated heading into the final game of the regular season, and they have high hopes of playing in the state championships at the Resch Center in March.
“It’s very exciting. We definitely came into the beginning of the year on the first day of practice and we set some goals. First and foremost the main goal was to make sure we secure the M&O Conference title out-right and worry about the playoffs after that. We’re on pace to do that and if we finish out strong we can start getting prepared for the playoffs,” said head coach Lee Laster. “The last couple of years around this time we were kind of, I don’t want to say plateauing, or we weren’t going in the direction. But we didn’t make sure we could make a good push to the playoffs. I feel this year we are making a nice push and we are able to stay on the same page this year. There really hasn’t been any declines in the season and even the close games, the girls play together. They play strong and they know what they need to take care of this year.”
Considering the kind of season the Thunderhawks have put together, it’s easy to see how much fun they’re having after going a perfect 21-0 heading into their regular-season finale on Friday night against Coleman.
“We want to worry about the regular season first and then into regionals, so we’re focusing on one game at a time,” said M’kenzey Ackley. “It’s nice to know that we have the number one seed, so we can be relaxed more and the pressure really isn’t on us.”
The Oneida Nation girls basketball team has been in this position the past two seasons as a #1 seed in the Division 5 bracket, but in the previous two years, the Thunderhawks were upset in the regional final against their M & O Conference rivals from Gillett.
“It’s really cool because last year we got so close and then we lost so it’s really cool to be back,” said Sadie Schuman. “We’re just taking one game at a time and not like try to get too ahead of ourselves.”
The program won just 6 games three years ago and hasn’t been to the sectionals since 2013, but over the past three seasons they have compiled a record of 59-8.
“It just means a lot,” said Malia Jacobs. “We are trying to make our community proud of us and we want to show them that even though we are a small community we can still play the toughest teams out there.”