The Southern Door boys basketball team began the season with three goals.
Packerland Conference title. Check. No. 1 seed in the regional tournament. Check. State tournament bid. To be determined.
Southern Door defeated Gibraltar Thursday night to clinch their fifth consecutive conference crown. The team will finish its third consecutive conference season undefeated with a win over second place Peshtigo Saturday, have won 40 consecutive Packerland games.
“The goal is to get to state, so to be able to get the one seed and set us up better to be able to reach it,” said Eagles leading scorer Kyle Daoust. “It was a smaller goal inside a bigger goal.”
Southern Door received a first round bye in Division 3 Region 2 and will host the winner of No. 8 seed New Holstein and No. 9 Kiel on March 1 at 7 p.m. Should the Eagles win, they will host the regional final at 7 p.m. the following evening.
“Coach [Derik] Hawkey always tells us, one game at a time, don’t ever look ahead,” said Daoust. “Our team has followed that mindset. The ultimate is a state championship. It’s just a matter of putting together a good game plan and anything can happen.”
In other local pairings, Gibraltar earned the No. 5 seed in Division 5 Region 2 and hosts Lena. Sevastopol, seeded 11th in Division 4 Region 4, travels St. Mary’s Springs, and Sturgeon Bay earned the No. 7 seed in Division 3 Region 2 and hosts Cedar Grove-Belgium. All games are Tuesday and begin at 7 p.m.
Gibraltar coach Justin Burress said the Vikings’ regular season schedule against teams in higher divisions has prepared his team for the playoffs.
“We went into the seeding meeting with eight wins at the time, and because of our strength of schedule we were awarded a five seed,” Burress said. ”Playing division 3 and division 4 teams every night definitely helps sharpen our fundamentals and will help with overall confidence going into the playoffs. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to be .500 or better and win a regional title for the first time in school history. We are excited for the post season to begin.”