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Season for the ages in St. Paul

Tanner Wroblewski (3), a senior at St. Paul, before a semifinal game in the LPC tournament, Feb. 2, 2018 (KHGI)

To say winters have been unkind to the boys of St. Paul basketball would be an understatement.

They haven't had a winning record since going 12–9 in the 2011–12 season. Yet they've already eclipsed the win total from six seasons ago, and if it weren't for a couple overtime losses plus each of the last two by three points a piece, we could be talking one of the best teams ever.

"If we can just come in and take care of the ball and execute offensively and just rebound, rebounding has been a huge thing for us limiting teams to one shot everywhere down the floor," said head coach Derek Reinsch, in his fifth season. "It will give us a chance to be around at the end of every game and finding out how to win those close ones are crucial."

The turnaround has been tremendous for the Wildcats, who were mired in a stretch of three consecutive four–win seasons before busting out with double digit victories a season ago.

"I guess with my last year I'm just hoping to go to state, we haven't been there in I don't know how long and I've never been part of a team that has made it to state in basketball, so I think that's where we want to end up - we want to end down in Lincoln," senior Tanner Wroblewski said.

This group of seniors could be ready to put it all together in late February and early March, getting St. Paul back to state for the first time in more than two decades, but the road is long and tenuous.

"We got some tough games coming up; we play GICC and some other ones," said Wroblewski. "But it's just another game so we (have) to take it like we do any other game."

Four games left on the regular season slate for the Wildcats (14-6) before a daunting C1–9 subdistrict with Adams Central (12-9) and Grand Island Central Catholic (15-5) also there.

This speaks to the stupidity of the current post–season format of the NSAA, with all three at least three games above .500 and no team from the C1–10 is above even.

St. Paul is at Ravenna (15-5) this Friday and travel to Holdrege (6-11) the following night.

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