MILWAUKEE — This is it for St. Thomas More. The school’s boy’s basketball team is going to state, hoping to bring home their first WIAA state title.
"It's an accomplishment to be there, but you'd like to be successful there,” said coach John Hoch
Tuesday, they held one more practice before the team takes off to Madison on Wednesday afternoon.
"We just gotta focus on our job to win games and we put a lot of work in this season,” said senior Drew Reindl.
That work was almost for nothing following a late-game brawl involving some members of the team on March 4.
The school took the WIAA to court for suspending players, forcing the team to forfeit its next game, ending their season.
Last week, a Milwaukee County judge ruled in favor of St. Thomas More, putting them back in the tournament.
"We were at a very low point last week so the fact that we were able to get back on the court, play and compete. I was really happy for those 15 guys,” Hoch said.
"I was so happy. I just wanted a chance to see what we could do. Now that we got our chance, we've seen how far we can make it. Hopefully, we keep going,” said senior Drew Reindl.
Monday, WIAA put out a statement saying the increasing trend of schools appealing to the court has been troubling and decisions by its officials are now under scrutiny.
WIAA also notes it will look to potentially update its bylaws to address the trend. Coach Hoch didn’t comment on WIAA’s statement but notes he has a good history with officials at games.
"I have great relationships with them. My school has great relationships with them. I think all of them have enjoyed coming into our gym the last 10 to 15 years working games and I don't think that's going to stop,” Hoch said.
St. Thomas More will send off its basketball team Wednesday afternoon at 2 p.m. They play their next game against Lake County Lutheran Thursday afternoon.