Battlers have sights set on Class A titleBattle Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - Coaches preach that you want to be playing your best as you near the postseason. That fits the Battle Lake boys’ basketball team to a tee this season, as the Battlers will take a 10 game winning streak to the state tournament in Minneapolis on Thursday.
By: Trevor Peterson, WDAY
Battle Lake, MN (WDAY TV) - Coaches preach that you want to be playing your best as you near the postseason. That fits the Battle Lake boys’ basketball team to a tee this season, as the Battlers will take a 10 game winning streak to the state tournament in Minneapolis on Thursday.
Dan Peterka – Battle Lake Head Coach: “It's a battling team, they work hard.”
You'd expect nothing less from a team nicknamed the "Battlers,” but the team’s first berth to the state tournament since 2005 was even a surprise to them.
Dan Peterka: “It's real exciting for this group. We're a young team, and I don't know if, midway through the year, we expected to be in this position.”
So how have the Battlers managed to win 10 straight games, at the right time of year? You can start with chemistry.
Tony Ukkelberg – Battle Lake Freshman: “It's a lot of fun to play with these guys. We seem to mesh well, we're all about the same age, been playing together a long time.”
Battle Lake also has balance.
Evan Van Erp – Battle Lake Senior: “We don't have a main guy, we have different guys contributing and leading us. That's what makes us a great team, you don't know who's gonna pull the lead for us.”
You also can't underestimate the fact that, in order to get themselves "battle tested" for the postseason, the Class A Battlers played several double-A schools this season, including perennial powers Perham and Pelican Rapids.
Dan Peterka: “We tried to prepare ourselves for these big moments. Hopefully, it'll pay off.”
It already has, and you can bet Battle Lake won't be intimidated by their state quarterfinal matchup against 30-0 Upsala.
Dan Peterka: “Think we have some firepower, we play good solid defense, so we may give ourselves a chance.”
The Battlers will play at 3 on Thursday at Williams Arena, Perham opens up Wednesday at 6.