Congrats to the champs
It had to have been a memorable night in Ellsworth this past Saturday. That's when the community's high school boys' basketball team, fresh off winning the first state championship in its history, paraded in town shortly before 9 p.m. Word has it...
It had to have been a memorable night in Ellsworth this past Saturday.
That's when the community's high school boys' basketball team, fresh off winning the first state championship in its history, paraded in town shortly before 9 p.m. Word has it most of Ellsworth's residents turned out for a warm and noisy welcome -- one richly deserved by a Panthers squad that defeated No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams to win it all.
All season long, it seemed as if Ellsworth was destined to return to the state tournament, losing only once early in the year. The Panthers had fallen in the 2006 Class A final, and coach Markus Okeson and his troops proved to be up to the difficult challenge of not just getting back to that title tilt, but bringing home first-place hardware this time around.
We've heard from Panthers fans that the contingent traveling up to the Twin Cities for the state tourney was quite likely the largest and most vocal there. There's little doubt their cheering coaxed a little extra out of the team when it needed it most. That enthusiasm for the games, and of course during the celebration that followed Saturday's 74-73 championship victory over Cass Lake-Bena, will undoubtedly stay with the Panthers' players for the rest of their lives.
Let us not forgot about the state championships won the previous weekend by Fulda and Pipestone Area, too. Those teams, along with Ellsworth, are worthy of high praise for the hard work and dedication that went into winning, as are their fans for their loyal support.