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Winter Boys Basketball Breaks Records While Winning Conference Championships

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The Winter School District has an enrollment of just 86 students in the high school, making it one of the smallest schools in the state of Wisconsin.  However, this small school has been making some big noise locally, regionally, and nationally in the boys basketball program.

The Warriors just 15 months ago entered the 2022-2023 season as a perennial 3-22 team which spanned over a decade.  The last time the boys had won a conference championship was in 1996, and the last time a regional title was won came in 1995.  Almost a three decade drought came to an end on February 16, 2024. 

Joshua “Hootie” Hautamaki and Curtis DeCora took over coaching duties on November 14, 2022 and immediately dove into transforming the culture and commitment of the team, the players, and the parents.  The 2022-2023 saw a rapid transformation with a 13-13 overall record, and the 3rd most wins in school history.  The Warriors were the 3rd highest scoring team in the state of Wisconsin, while also leading the state in team rebounds.  A big summer of team activities which included the Ashland summer league, 6 players participating in Rising Stars Basketball, and multiple athletes participating in over a dozen college exposure and skills camps.  The summer was fully loaded with opportunity for the Winter Warriors to do great things on the hardwood in the 2023-2024 season. 

The 2023-2024 season was led by co-captain, Carter Petit (Class of 2025), a member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and co-captain, Gunnar Greuel (Class of 2024), the Winter Boys started the season on a 2-0 start averaging 90 points per game.  The Warriors went on a 5 game losing streak while getting hit by the Flu bug, Covid-19, and RSV.  However, once back at full strength, the Warriors won 15 of their last 17 games which included a 10 game winning streak.  The Warriors concluded the result season with a 116-82 victory over Lake Holcombe to secure the Lakeland East Conference Championship on a career-high of 38 points by Carter Petit.  116 is the school record for most team points, and the win pushed the Warriors to a 17-7 record on the season, 17 wins is also the school record.  

The Warriors have the nation's leading rebounder in Gunnar Greuel, as identified by MaxPreps in an article titled, “High school basketball: Gunnar Greuel of Wisconsin tops national rebounding leaderboard.”   The Wisconsin Sports Network also cited the feat with an article, “State's top rebounder getting 22.8 rpg for tiny Winter”  The Winter boys are one of the highest scoring teams in the state with 81.8 points per game.  Adam Bednorski leads the state of Wisconsin with most 3-point makes (92 and counting).  The Warriors lead all small Division 5 schools in scoring, rebounds, assists, steals, and blocked shots. 

The Winter boys have secured a 3-seed in the WIAA playoffs, making it the highest seed awarded in school history.  The Warriors open up WIAA playoff action by hosting the 13-seed, Gilman Pirates, on February 27, 2024 with a 7:00pm tip-off. 

1 Comment

This blog post was a welcome reminder of the importance of self-care.

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