NEW MIDDLETOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Last week, the Springfield girls basketball team found itself just two wins away from making school history.
“We were able to win on Thursday and we said, ‘You know, heck, why don’t we win two?'” Springfield head coach John Matisi said.
That is exactly what the Tigers did, beating Buckeye Central to claim the first Regional Championship in school history.
“I think everyone on the team has been so excited and supportive of everyone else,” Springfield senior Jacey Mullen said. “Just being able to be the first team that does it is, it’s something special that we will probably carry on for a really long time, and I’m just glad that we could bring it back to the school.”
Now, Mullen and fellow senior Madi Lesnak have a chance to make even more history with this team.
“It’s really cool coming back to school and feeding off all the energy from the teachers, from just the students, like the signs they made for us, everything,” Lesnak said. “Knowing that people are talking about going to the game, booking hotels that like the community is all involved and they’re ready to go with us and keep going through this path.”
Over the course of this record-breaking week, Matisi added that this team’s reached an extra gear that you need to be able to get to an OHSAA State Final Four.
“We’re down pretty good in that in our district semifinal game, and just to find a way I feel like really like locked us in more than anything else could,” Matisi said. “Then [Buckeye Central] had that shot at the buzzer and I feel like maybe two months ago we would hang our heads and here we go in the locker room, we’d be kind of down like we didn’t bat an eye, I give those girls all the credit, like couple of them, like, rolled their eyes.”
And then regained momentum and control of the regional final.
“They were kind of like, oh, here we go, but it didn’t faze them, you know, we’ve been in this situation before and they came out and they just played and I thought, that’s the mentality you need at this time of year,” Matisi said.
A team already full of record-breakers and firsts will be looking to keep the momentum rolling all the way to Dayton.
Springfield faces off against Toledo Christian in the Division IV State Semifinals On Thursday, March 9 at 6 p.m. at UD Arena at the University of Dayton.