There's a new excitement filling the air after Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa, the defending state champion and top team in class 1A, collapsed in its section 6 quarterfinal game.
Feeling the vibe is Ada-Borup, having an even greater hope to "Shock da State;" a saying coined prior to this season by its coach Trevor Stewart, and the Cougars chances are as great as any other team still in contention: the north half's No. 2-ranked Ulen-Hitterdal and the south's No. 3-ranked Battle Lake and No. 5-ranked Wheaton/Herman-Norcross - AKA - the upsetters of Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.
The Cougars made it to the section championship last year, only to get spanked out of it by Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa - separated by a 42-point margin.
So it's now or never for the Ada-Borup boys basketball team, and its first task is to win the second of three meetings versus the Ulen-Hitterdal Spartans in Tuesday's 8 p.m. section semifinal game at Minnesota State Moorhead.
To have a chance at advancing, the Spartans need more production out of its entire starting five - not just Neil Henrickson and Landon Schultz, who average 21.4 and 14.3 points per game, respectively. Not enough against an Ada-Borup team who has averaged 66.4 points in its last 10 games. Definitely not enough when the Spartans next top scorer averages just 6.1 PPG.
"This is what we wanted... another shot at Ada-Borup," Ulen-Hitterdal's coach Brett Maass said over the phone Tuesday. "The guys are ready for whatever gets thrown at them... I'm sure Trevor (Stewart) has his team ready for us as my coaching staff has ours."
Stewart's gameplan in the Jan. 29, 61-47 win over the Spartans was a defense focused solely on surpressing its top two scorers - Henrickson and Schultz - you can confidently bet something similar will be shown in the sub-section title game.
"Ulen-Hitterdal is a very capable team with two talented guards. We just need to be able to shut down one (Schultz) and limit the other (Henrickson)," Stewart said. "All the focus is on Ulen-Hitterdal right now. If it's not set on them, there will not be another game for us."