Menomonie (WQOW) -- Before departing for Madison, Wednesday, the Elmwood boys basketball team practices Tuesday afternoon at UW-Stout.
There's a lot of excitement in the town of Elmwood this week, because the Raiders are headed to the WIAA state tournament for the first time since 1996.
Elmwood is getting ready for a Division 5 semifinal Thursday against perennial power Randolph. The Raiders hope that their time at Johnson Fieldhouse will help them acclimate to the college-sized court and arena-style baskets that they'll see at the Kohl Center.
"It's starting to feel more natural now," says Elmwood head coach Chris Segerstrom, "I think a few days after its kind of been one of those weeks where its been hectic and chaotic and a lot going on. I'm telling the guys to let it soak in. Enjoy the moment and take it all in, and they really are, but they know that we're going down there for business as well. So we're really starting to prepare for the next game against Randolph."
"We had our time to celebrate," says Raiders senior forward Logan Wolf, "it was awesome. But now we're looking right ahead to Randolph. Looking at the film, looking at what they have, what's their tendencies and what not, and we're just getting ready to play."
Randolph, Elmwood's semifinal opponent, is a nine-time WIAA state champ, and is making its ninth trip to Madison in the last twelve years.
"Randolph, they're going to run the swing offense," says Segerstrom, "they're going to be very patient, they're going to get quality shots, they're fine holding the ball with good possessions, and we've gotten better at that, however, we've going to try to go up, get a little faster, go up-tempo, and hopefully get our guys into the open floor a little bit more. I like our chances."
"We just gotta do the little things right as a team," says senior point guard Eli Fredrickson, "not turn the ball over, and get quality possessions."
"We're going to have nerves, obviously, it's at the Kohl Center which is going to be awesome," Wolf says, "but there's the moment where you've gotta focus in and do what you need to do on the floor, and it is basketball, we need to go out there and play to the best our ability."
Elmwood and Randolph will tip it off at around 3:15 P.M., Thursday. You can watch the game live on WQOW 18, online at www.wqow.com, or on your mobile device. News 18 Sports Director Bob Bradovich has the play-by-play call, with Madison Edgewood head coach Chris Zwettler providing color commentary.
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