Winning a WaMaC Conference championship.
It wasn’t something the Anamosa girls basketball team really talked much about at all before and even during the early portion of this season.
I guess that’s not too surprising. You see, the Raider girls program has never won a WaMaC basketball crown.
But as the wins began to mount, including reeling off an amazing 11 in a row earlier this season, the girls began to hear about scuttlebutt in newspapers, around the halls at school and from parents and fans that they could actually accomplish what no other Anamosa girls basketball team had ever accomplished.
Win a WaMaC Conference basketball championship.
Friday, Feb. 2, on their own home court, the Raider girls gave their school, and their program one incredible present claiming at least a share of the WaMaC’s East division title after a thrilling 39-32 victory over a scrappy team from Dyersville Beckman.
While the WaMaC title was the first in Anamosa history, it was the program’s third conference championship having won the Tri-Rivers crowns in 2004 and 2005.
“This is such an amazing feeling, it hasn’t really sunk in yet what we’ve actually accomplished,” said Anamosa senior Sydney Volkenant, who over the last four years has helped dramatically turn around the fortunes of the Raider program.
“We knew coming into this season that we were considered one of the top-3 teams in the East with Western Dubuque and Mount Vernon, but we never really talked at all about winning the conference. We actually talked more about making it to state. That has been our team goal all along.
“I started thinking we could win the conference title after we started beating those top teams, and to actually do it is a pretty incredible feeling.”
Volkenant, along with fellow Raider seniors Sophie Wilt and Taylor Zaruba, endured a three-win freshman campaign before upping the total to six as sophomores. Last season the team hit double-digit wins with 10.
“I’m not sure too many people thought we were capable of winning something like this with the teams we have in our conference,” Wilt said. “It’s crazy. We just worked hard and had fun. It feels great to be rewarded for all that hard work, too.”
In Anamosa’s final season as members of the WaMaC Conference (Raider will be members of the River Valley Conference next winter), what a perfect ending to what has been a phenomenal league campaign.
A win over West Delaware Tuesday (Feb. 6) would give Anamosa the outright East division championship. The overall WaMaC title went to class 4A top-ranked Marion (of the West division).
The Anamosa girls celebrated with a net cutting ceremony following the victory over the Blazers, which makes two WaMaC basketball champions for the school (and net cutting ceremonies) in the last three seasons as members of the league (Anamosa boys won the East and overall titles two years ago).
Celebrate success girls, you have earned it.