Eau Claire (WQOW) -- Eau Claire North got to celebrate on its home floor Saturday night after an overtime win against Appleton West in a WIAA Division 1 regional final, but by Sunday, the Huskies had turned their attention to their next challenge.
North will face the state's top-ranked team, Oshkosh North, in a sectional semifinal, Thursday. It's a similar situation to last year, when the Huskies had two-time defending state champ and top-ranked Stevens Point on the ropes in a sectional semi, before the Panthers pulled away for a seven point win.
"I think we can take away that we know we can compete with one of the top teams in the state," says Huskies senior guard Noah Hanson, "it's just a really big confidence booster. Even though last year didn't go how we wanted it to, it kinda sets the table so we know what to expect and how to go into these games now."
North head coach Todd Marks says his team needs to use that confidence its developed when they play Oshkosh North.
"Belief in what you do, focus on the fundamentals because it's not going to be something miraculous you do, it's gonna come down to the little things," Marks says, "you have to take care of the ball, you have to rebound, when you're open you have to make shots and you have to play with great confidence."
Oshkosh North is lead by Iowa State recruit Tyrese Haliburton, a 6-5 guard who scored 29 and 31 points in the Spartans' two regional wins, but Marks says his team won't back down.
"We're not going to be tentative," says Marks, "we are going to be in attack mode and if our guys have opportunities they've got to shoot the ball with confidence, and attack with confidence, and continue to do the things that we've done all year."
"We just believe in ourselves," adds Hanson, "we have incredible toughness,guts, like coach always preaches every day, and it's starting to show off and it's really nice to see that."
"That's exactly our mindset, we can play with anybody no matter what, if we just play our game," says Huskies senior guard Jack Kron, "that's what we do most of the time, play our fast tempo game, we'll be right there in the end."
Eau Claire North vs. Oshkosh North is set for a 7:00 P.M. tipoff, Thursday, at Wausau West.