From the season’s outset, Roseau coach Kelsey Didrikson knew running the table was a real possibility for her Rams’ team.
“But it’s another thing to actually accomplish that,” she said.
Sure, there’s the injuries and illnesses and various tests that pop up throughout a season, and navigating all of that without a blemish is a challenge — one top-seeded Roseau completed Saturday with its 75-64 win over Sauk Centre in the Class 2A state title game at Williams Arena.
“Personally, I didn’t really feel like we were undefeated,” said senior Kiley Borowicz. “I just thought about last year so we didn’t get too cocky, (when) we had like three or four losses. Everything doesn’t feel real this year.”
Second-seeded Sauk Centre (31-2) provided one last stout challenge Saturday, but the Mainstreeters had no answer for Roseau’s depth. Sauk Centre coach Scott Bergman said you simply have to “pick your poison” with the Rams (32-0). Sauk Centre did all it could to limit Kylie Borowicz — the Rams star forward — in the first half, holding her to just four points. But the Rams still led by 10 points at the break.
Kacie Borowicz, Kylie’s younger sister, had 11 points in the first half.
“We feel like if we get a lead, we can be really tough to play with for a 36-minute game,” Didrikson said, “because we have so many weapons.”
Sauk Centre made a push in the second half, hitting its first seven shots, but only cut the deficit to six, because every time the Mainstreeters scored, Roseau had an answer.
This was Roseau’s third-straight state tournament appearance, but Kiley Borowicz said anything less than a state title this season wouldn’t have been enough.
“I knew we were the best team, I just wished we would play like it, and we did,” she said. “If we would have lost that game, we never would have forgot it.”
Now that they’ve won it, this group of Rams likely won’t be forgotten. Kacie Borowicz said there are a lot of younger girls actually interested in basketball now because of this team’s success.
So, does that mean basketball has officially overtaken hockey as the sport of choice in Roseau?
“No, not quite,” Kacie said.
“It’ll get better,” Kylie said.
ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: New London-Spicer — Shea Oman. New Richland-H-E-G — Marnie Wagner. Roseau — Kacie Borowicz, Kylie Borowicz and Victoria Johnson. Sauk Centre — Jill Klaphake, Tori Peschel and Maesyn Thiesen. Watertown-Mayer — Claire Killian and Kirstin Klitzke.