Dream Realized

THE TROPHY THEY’VE HAD THEIR EYES ON — The Tracy-Milroy-Balaton girls’ basketball team has been looking forward to getting back to the Section 3AA championship game ever since losing in last year’s finals. On Friday, they hoisted the first-place trophy and will take part in the state tournament, which begins today. For complete coverage of the section finals and a look ahead to the Panthers’ state tournament opener, see page 6.

Roseau opening foe for TMB

For the past two years, the TMB girls’ basketball team walked off the court at the R/A Facility at SMSU with bowed heads, tears and shattered dreams.

The nightmares of the past were replaced with a dream come true Friday night, as this time Panther players left the court with tears of joy — and as Section 3AA champions.

TMB (29-2) held on to defeat the Eden Valley-Watkins Eagles, 49-48, to punch its ticket to this year’s state girls’ basketball tournament, where it will face defending Class AA champion Roseau (24-5) at 8 p.m. today at Williams Arena.

“They’ve worked so hard for this, they earned this,” TMB coach Derek Ashbaugh said after the game. “I don’t know if I had to say anything to the kids (before the game). They were literally jumping up and down — they wanted to get out there, they wanted to get rolling.”

TMB had lost the last two Section 3AA finals games, both to New London-Spicer.

Friday’s game, as expected, was a classic that came down to the wire. The final point came courtesy of TMB senior Syd Lanoue, whose free throw with 6.7 seconds left proved to be the difference.