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Jaguars looking for WIAA state title this weekend

By Rich Palzewic
Sports Editor

ASHWAUBENON – For the first time since 2006, the Ashwaubenon Jaguars (24-4) boys’ basketball team is heading to the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 State Tournament after a pair of convincing sectional wins.

After reseeding the four state teams – Ashwaubenon, La Crosse Central, Pewaukee and Westosha Central – the Jaguars earned the No. 4 seed and play No. 1 Pewaukee in the state semifinals at 1:35 p.m. Friday, March 18, at the Kohl Center in Madison.

No. 2 La Crosse Central and No. 3 Westosha Central play in the other semifinal game later Friday.

The winners play for the state title at 6:35 p.m. Saturday, March 19.

“We’re excited to be playing in Madison,” Ashwaubenon Head Coach Mark Tomashek said in a Zoom call with Wisconsin media March 13. “It was our goal before the season, and now we’re going. We started this journey when the kids were four years old. It’s a blast having all these kids on the team. We have a great bond.”

Tomashek said the Fox River Classic Conference schedule prepared his team to play in big games.

“We’re battle-tested,” he said. “We’ve played in front of big crowds and held our own in most of those games. When you play Division 1 schools like Bay Port, De Pere and Sheboygan North, and a tough Division 2 school in Notre Dame (Academy), it prepares you. I thought maybe we’d get the No. 3 seed (at state) because of our tough schedule, but the computer rankings didn’t feel the same way.”

The Jaguars swept Bay Port and split with De Pere, North and Notre Dame this season.

Ashwaubenon’s first opponent at state, Pewaukee, has some familiar faces to Tomashek.

“There’s lots of stuff going on with Pewaukee,” he said. “My son (Marcus Tomashek) and Matt Imig have played on the same AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) team as (Pewaukee’s) Ashton (Janowski) and Josh Terrian for four years. They’re great friends and hang out lots. It’s a unique relationship and crazy how it’s all come together. We have a tough task ahead of us.”

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