High school basketball teams get energized at the start of the WIAA?post-season tournament each February and March as it is considered a new season for every team across the state.

It doesn’t matter what your record was during the regular season or if you won a conference championship, you just want to be playing your best basketball of the season heading into the tournament.

The Three Lakes girls basketball team proved that during the 2021 tournament, walking through the Division 5 Regional and Sectional. It didn’t matter that they didn’t win the Northern Lakes Conference championship and lost twice each to rivals Crandon and Laona/Wabeno in the regular season. The Division 5 tournament brought new life to coach George Lurvey’s squad and staff.

To start the tournament, the Lady Jays beat Florence 74-40 and Niagara 68-38 in the Regional and then easily topped Gresham Community 76-45 and Athens 73-30 in the Sectional to punch their ticket into the Division 5 WIAA?Girls Basketball State Tournament at the LaCrosse Center last week. 

The first game would be no easy task, as the Bluejays faced Black Hawk, seeded No. 1 and the winner of 75 straight games. It was one of the longest high school basketball win streaks in the country.

But that didn’t bother the Three Lakes girls as the Bluejays stunned the basketball world with 51-48 win over Black Hawk in the first of two semifinal matchups last Thursday in LaCrosse.

“No one gave us a chance, no one,” said Three Lakes head coach George Lurvey after one of the biggest upsets in Wisconsin high school sports history.

With the victory, fourth-seeded Three Lakes faced third-seeded Wisconsin Rapids Assumption in the State Championship Game Thursday night. 

Three Lakes lost the title game 55-48, but that doesn’t take anything away from a great tournament run and the stunning victory over Black Hawk. The Bluejays finished the season with a 20-6 record.

Hats off to all the players on the team including seniors Sydney Lurvey, Mollee Gruszynski, Taylor Kolling,  Emily Fink and Allison Zwettler; juniors Kara Sowinski, Mari Szews, Olivia Terlizzi, Jasmine Neumann and Sara Gruszynski; sophomores Kallie Volk and Karlee Weavers; and freshmen Jenna Erickson and Kaya Szews.

Also, congratulations to the coaches, including head coach George Lurvey and assistant coaches Jack Wales, Todd Riha and Jake Wales. 

It was an impressive tournament run for the Lady Bluejays — one that resulted in a silver ball in the Three Lakes trophy case!