DE PERE — The last time the De Pere Girls Basketball team faced off against Germantown in late November they lost by a whopping 39 points.
Fast forward to this past weekend, the Redbirds booked a trip to the state tournament with a 72-66 win over number one seed Germantown in the WIAA Sectional Final at Sheboygan North High School.
“Fortunately we learned a lot from that loss," said De Pere head coach Jeremy Boileau. "Our players have stepped up. Especially the second half, we took a big step. Defensively playing against one the best players in the state “KK” Arnold.”
Senior guard Jordan Meulemans is the leader on the team. She also averages 25 points per game, good for fourth in the state. She’s headed to Butler University to Play Division One basketball after the season.
“Jordan is the best in the state," said Boileau. "She gets after it offensively, defensively. Impacts the game in so many different ways. There’s no give up in her. She wants to fight, she’s a winner and that’s how she’s prepared herself from day one.”
Sophomore Claire Bjorge had 18 points in their victory over Germantown and the young guard shines brightest when the pressure is on.
“She invited the pressure, wanted it and to see things that she did — passing the ball to open teammates, finding easy scores, setting teammates up for shots, handling pressure, finding scores for herself," Boileau said. "Just shows huge growth for her just being a sophomore, she played like a senior.”
De Pere was put as the three seed heading into the playoffs. Now, they’re the ranked fourth out four teams headed to state. A key motto for the team is 'D-P Grit.'
“Give it everything you got all the time and be a good teammate as well," said Bjorge. "That’s what we really look for in this team. Everything you got on the court, in practice and in the games.”
Being underestimated has driven the Redbirds and their play has done the talking. Now, they’re one game from playing in the championship.
“I feel like since we’re the four-seed, we have nothing to lose," said Meulemans. 'We can just go out there and play and see what happens. I feel like it’s going to be a great game, great atmosphere. At the Resch – I have chills thinking about it. I’m so excited for Friday.”
De Pere will play No. 1 seed Kettle Moraine this Friday at 6:35 p.m..