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'We’re just an all-around great basketball team': Bonduel boys basketball eyes first-ever trip to Madison

'We’re just an all-around great basketball team': Bonduel boys basketball eyes first-ever trip to Madison
Posted at 5:29 PM, Feb 29, 2024

BONDUEL — The Bonduel boys basketball team is having their best season in quite some time. They won their first outright conference title in 12 years and earned a No. 1 seed in the Division 4 playoffs.

“Hustle. Effort. Just scrappy. We’re just an all-around great basketball team,” said sophomore Ryan Westrich.

The Bears are on fire. After losing their first game of the year to St. Mary Catholic, they’ve rattled of 23 straight wins heading into the postseason.

“i think that just got us mad,” said Bears junior guard Race Anvelink. “That just fired us up as a team, you know. Obviously nobody wants to lose but that’s a game we definitely didn’t want to lose.”

Sophomore big man Ryan Westrich was injured for that game. He had a terrific year as a freshman leading the team in points and rebounds last season (13 points and 8 boards). 

“We weren't sure what we were going to get last year (from him) as a freshman, but he gets better almost by the day,” said Bears head coach Duke Copp.

This season he’s doing the same thing. He’s averaging 15 points and 8 rebounds per game.

“It's been very special,” said Westrich. ”I get to play with a bunch of great guys who love the game of basketball as much as I do. Just being able to help them out makes me just so grateful to be on this team.”

It’s not just Westrich. They’re a high-IQ basketball team according to their head coach and they’ve had 9 players scoring in double-figures this season.

“Each grade has contributed this year,” Copp said. “We have some seniors that are just fantastic. We have some juniors playing, sophomores, we have a couple freshmen that help out,” said Copp. “It's a really well-rounded, balanced basketball team.”

No matter what happens this season, the Bears will be a contender once again next year as four of their top five scorers return.

“We’re going to be good for a long time,” Westrich said. “If we keep continuing to get better in practice and in games and making sure our relationships stay strong, I think that this group can do some great things in the future.”

It’s a ways away, but this team hopes they can be the first Bonduel boys basketball team to ever make a state tournament appearance.

“We’re just going to take it one step at a time. One game at a time and just executing our gameplan," Westrich said.

The Bears host 8 seed Valders Friday night at 7 p.m.