The last two years, Bangor High School’s boys basketball team has seen its season end a win away from the state tournament.
Adding to that pain, both of those losses came by two points. Adding to THAT pain, Bangor hasn’t been to the state tournament since 1936.
Saturday, that could all change.
The Cardinals, ranked second in the final AP poll, easily defeated sixth-ranked Royall on Thursday night 75-50 to get back to that dreaded section final and a win away from a WIAA Division 5 state tourney berth.
All that’s standing between the Cardinals (24-1) is a Southwestern team sporting a 14-12 record.
Bangor will play Southwestern at 7 p.m. Saturday at Logan Fieldhouse looking to end that 82-year state tourney drought.
The Cardinals’ only loss this season came 87-67 to Gale-Ettrick-Trempealeau (18-7).
Against the Panthers (21-5) on Thursday, Luke Reader, who is committed to UW-Eau Claire, scored 17 of his game-high 20 points in the first half. Senior teammate Drew Johnson added 17.
Last season, Bangor lost in the section finals 60-58 loss to Shullsburg. Two years ago, it was a 57-55 loss to Barneveld to get to state.