Hortonville girls hoops looking for first state title

WATCH: Hortonville girls hoops looking for first state title
Published: Mar. 6, 2023 at 7:25 PM CST
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HORTONVILLE, Wis. (WBAY) -This season Hortonville girls basketball has overcome several challenges, like losing their leading scorer Kallie Peppler to injury and adjusting to a new head coach.

And still, they fought their way to the state tournament with a sectional final win over No. 1 seed Neenah this weekend. Now they’re trying to keep that underdog mentality.

“It’s a really cool feeling. There was a lot of pressure going into this season, a lot of success with Coach Ratka,” Polar Bears first year head coach A.C. Clouthier said. “But we knocked down a No. 2 seed and then a No. 1 seed and the No. 1 team in the state of Wisconsin to go to the state tournament so, this wasn’t a task that these kids can’t handle.”

This will be the program’s sixth trip to state, but they have yet to take home the title. This group trying to be the first.

“A gold ball would literally mean the world to me and obviously my teammates. It would mean so much for our community and program as a whole,” Hortonville senior Trinity Mocadlo said. “That gold ball just sitting in my hands would just be the best feeling in the world.”

“If we can be the first team to do that, it would be incredible. Just bringing it back home, it has to be amazing. That’s definitely the thought right now,” sophomore Rainey Welson said.

Hortonville enters the tournament 25-3, hoping to make it 27 total wins in the end. They’re going to have to face the defending state champ Kettle Moraine in the semifinal on Friday.

“Underdog mentality is so strong. If we go in with that same energy, I think we’re unstoppable,” Welson said. “I trust this team, 100 percent to do anything with them.”

“Just knowing we have to give it our all, leave it all on the court,” Mocadlo said. “I hope we win”