Black Hawk High School has been a household name in the girls Division 5 state basketball tournament in recent years. The Warriors will play for a gold ball for the fourth consecutive season.
Black Hawk won a Division 5 title in 2019, and was favored to repeat last season, before the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled the tournament all together.
That brought a range of emotions this season.
"There were times we went through doubt, there were times we went through elation, so it's been a roller coaster," said Mike Flanagan, in his 15th season as the Warriors head coach. "To be at this moment and on the cusp of trying it again. We have guarded excitement right now."
Black Hawk heads to State with a 21-0 record on the season, and they haven't lost a game in three years. They own a 75 game winning streak for Thursday's state semifinal game against 19-5, Three Lakes High School.
The Warriors have experience from many ways.
"I remember my first year at State, we were all worked up," said Black Hawk senior guard Kaylee Marty. "
"People were crying even before the game, realizing how big the moment is. The experience will bring the nerves down a little bit."
Marty's teammate, fellow senior Macie Stauffacher said, "It's amazing but we try not to think about it too much and not let it get to our heads. We try to play every game the same and think about the competition."
The Warriors are led by senior Bailey Butler. She has only experienced one loss in her varsity basketball career, that came her freshman season in the state title game against Bangor. This season, as a senior, she's leading the state in scoring.
"It's for playing with Macie and Kaylee especially since from fifth grade like you said," Butler said. "To prove to younger kids that if you work hard, dreams can come true if you really work hard."
Black Hawk is the No. 1 seed in the Division 5 bracket. To view the bracket, click here.