After the most recent conference alignment all eyes were on the 5A-West.
But apparently they were on the wrong team in the conference.
The Alma Airedales survived a tough schedule to reach the state tournament. But they weren’t expected to make a run to the finals. Then they found themselves in the semi-finals with two other 5A-West members. Still no one outside of Alma thought the Airedales were a contender.
None of that matter.
Stan Flenor and the Airedales have found ways to win games late in the season and that didn’t change this year.
Alma will take on Jacksonville at 7 p.m. Friday for the 5A state championship.
“Just getting there is not what we want. We want a chance to play great and have a chance to win,” Flenor said. “It’s been a great experience for us. For me, being able to be part of these guys. Being able to see these guys get better, better and better each week. Its be one of the most fun years I ever had coaching.”
Alma finished third in the 5A-West but knocked off No. 2 seed Harrison in the semi-finals to get to this point. A point the Airedale seniors are familiar with.
“Me and the rest of this senior class has been there before so we know what we expect but this being our senior year we want to end on a good note,” senior Gage Jensen said. “It’s our last game no matter what. We've been pushing our team, fighting this whole week just trying to get to the best we can so we can perform to the best of our ability Friday.”
Postseason basketball is all about playing well at the right time and Alma is doing just that.
“We are playing great as a team,” senior Brock Widders said. “We all trust each other. At this point in the season we all have great relationships with each other, great chemistry going on. I think if we continue to play as a team, continue to play as hard as we can then good things will happen for us.”