Albany girls’ basketball make state for first time in team’s 51-year history

The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s State Girls Basketball Tournament begins Friday, and for one team, it’s their first time ever participating
Published: Mar. 8, 2023 at 10:41 PM CST
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ALBANY, Wis. (WMTV) - The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association’s State Girls Basketball Tournament begins Friday, and for one team, it’s their first time ever participating.

The Albany Comets girls basketball team has been around since 1972. Fast forward 51 years later, and the Comets face an opportunity they’ve never had before: winning a state championship.

Albany is state bound for the first time in school history.

“It’s incredible,” junior point guard Alana Durtschi said. “It’s something I’ve dreamed about since I was a little kid. To be able to actually say those words and know that they’re true, I hope it’s an inspiration for other little girls.”

Albany Comets girls basketball.
Albany Comets girls basketball.(NBC15)

It’s been a Cinderella-like season for the Comets, boasting the Badger State’s only undefeated record at 28-0.

It’s a journey senior center Gracie Freitag said she wasn’t expecting.

“This is going to sound bad, but probably not,” Freitag said. “To prove them wrong almost was for ourselves too because the doubts we had in ourselves, we wanted to prove almost ourselves wrong just as much as we wanted to prove everyone else (wrong).”

“Prove them wrong” has been Albany’s motto throughout the season.

Comets Head Coach Derik Doescher said he let the team’s two seniors pick the motto for this year’s campaign.

“I think there were a lot of people that thought Albany, Lady Comets basketball, was going to take a step backwards this year,” Doescher said. “We knew what we had, and those young ladies used it as motivation to say, ‘we’re not taking a step backwards, in fact, we’re going to take a step forward.’”

As the No. 4 seed in the Division 5 bracket of this year’s state tournament, the Comets look to continue proving people wrong.

“It kind of fits in with our ‘prove them wrong’ theme this year,” Durtschi said. “People doubting our abilities, not believing in us, but we believe in ourselves. Our coaches believe in us. We believe in each other, so we’ll see what happens.”

Next season, Monticello girls basketball will be joining Albany as a co-op.

This season is the last time the Comets will be just Albany girls basketball, and Doescher said the team hopes they can close their history book out on top.

Albany tips off against McDonell Central in the semifinals at 9:05 a.m. Friday, March 10.

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