Eddie Muench knows what it’s like to be on a team that is undefeated, only to lose in the game to qualify for the state tournament.
The Ripon High School senior started on an Oshkosh Lourdes team as a freshman that found itself in the same situation.
He wasn’t about to let his new teammates experience the feeling.
Muench, who transferred to Ripon prior to his sophomore year, scored a career-high 36 points last week Saturday to help the Tigers remain undefeated and qualify for state for the first time since 2003.
They defeated Martin Luther 78-63 in Whitefish Bay to set up a semifinal match-up Thursday with the only other undefeated team in Division 3, Xavier, at the Kohl Center in Madison. That game, which will be aired live on CW14 is slated to tip off at 3:15 p.m.
The Hawks, meanwhile, defeated Valders 63-57 in their sectional final game to clinch their third-straight state tournament berth.
“Freshman year, undefeated and [we] kind of had our hearts ripped out at sectional final [at Lourdes],” Muench said. “This year, we weren’t really going to take a loss. Words can’t describe it.”
Muench isn’t the only player on Ripon’s roster that had to overcome adversity on their road to the state tournament.
The Tigers reached the sectional finals themselves in 2014 before losing to eventual champion Brown Deer and were eliminated the past two years at sectional semifinals.
“I’m so happy for this group,” Ripon head coach Dean Vander Plas said. “They made believers out of their community and believers out of me. Where we are right now, with some of the stuff that we went through, it’s just incredible.”
Read the full story, which includes information on how the Tigers broke the game open, in the March 16, 2017 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.