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Lady Lumberjacks log first playoff win in over 20 years

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Paul Bunyan was a giant lumberjack, but these lumberjacks are giant underdogs.

"I think being the underdog has kind of given us something to fight for," said Wausau East senior Elizabeth Boulanger. "Knowing that people don't expect us to win that's just pushed us even further."

The Wausau East girls basketball team went into the first round of the WIAA playoffs Tuesday as the last seed. On a 13 game losing streak.

But then the unthinkable. The girls upset the seven seed Merrill 39-38 on their home court.

"When it happened it was crazy," said Senior Gabby Braatz. "It was like a dream come true."

"I knew we were going to win the game," said Lumberjacks Head Coach Jeff Waldvogel.

"I didn't know how we were going to win the game, but I could see in the kids eyes they were going to make a play to help us win the game and that's what happened."

Not only was the win an upset in regards to this season, but in the grand scheme of things, it gave the program their first win over a conference opponent since 2010.

But perhaps even more incredible than that, the victory was the Lumberjacks first in the postseason in over two decades.

"We had no idea it was the first playoff game we had won," said Boulanger. "It was amazing."

"I was really overwhelmed," recalled Braatz. "It was crazy to think that my last year something big happened."

"As soon as I got done talking they celebrated like i've never seen a group of kids celebrate," said Waldvogel. "It's a moment i'll never forget."

Now, with a new found confidence and a 1-0 record, this team believes the Cinderella story isn't over yet.

"I think teams that will play us need to fear us," said Braatz. "Because we know what we've got."

The Lumberjacks will look to continue their run in the playoffs Thursday night at Rhinelander.

Alex Stewart

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