(FAUCETT, Mo.)— The Mid-Buchanan Lady Dragons basketball team finished second in 2018 in the Class 2 state tournament—and now they're back in the Final Four, with their eyes on capturing the title.
"Probably the best feeling especially since it's our senior year and because there are so many of us that are going back again," Senior Jaele Barber said. "People said we couldn't and we're going."
The Lady Dragons heard the rumbles—this team couldn't do what last year's Class 2 state runner-up team did and they heard they couldn't be as good this year, but the noise didn't get them down. It motivated them—to prove the doubters and haters wrong.
"I'm not taking anything away from last year's class, but to be able to do it without them—it feels pretty good, and especially back-to-back," Senior Brylee Kemper said. "It just shows how talented our grade is and how hard we worked for this."
Last year's team was a special Mid-Buchanan group—ask anyone on this year's squad and they'll tell you that, but it's about this group and what they've fought and battled through to get to this point.
"They stuck together through thick and thin and there were some times this year, that they could have folded in some of these games the last month in the Hamilton, East Atchison and Skyline games when things got rough, but how they showed that resilency as a team and stuck together and talked to one another as a family," Head coach Rod Elms said.
The pressure is on come Friday, but it's not a normal pressure—it's knowing they've been in this spot before and just need to take care of business.
"Last year we hadn't been in that environment before, we were all kind of nervous and played kind of nervous, this year we know what to expect and what's going to be down there," Barber said.
Mid-Buchanan (25-5) takes on Hartville (27-4) Friday night at 8:10 at Missouri State in Springfield in the Class 2 semifinals.
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