It took all 12 conference games to finally secure it, but the only thing that matters now is the Baraboo Thunderbirds girls basketball team is sole champion of the Badger North.

With a 57-27 win over visiting Mount Horeb (3-19, 0-12 Badger North) in its regular season finale on Thursday, Baraboo (17-5, 10-2) clinched its first league title in coach Dave Crane's seven years with the team, and first conference crown since the 2000-2001 squad captured the South Central under Jim Stephens.

"We're all very happy. These are the nice things about athletics," Crane said, as he watched his four seniors lead the postgame celebrations that included cutting down the net. The kids will never forget this."

BHS held what was at the time a modest 11-point lead at the break, 23-12, before its defense put the clamps on Mount Horeb in the third quarter allowing just two points.

Baraboo outrebounded Mount Horeb 57-33, with senior Emily O'Rourke bringing down 13 to go with a team-high 10 points.

Eleven T-Birds players recorded at least one basket.

The Thunderbirds, who secured the No. 1 seed in the WIAA Division 2 Sun Prairie sectional, will meet the winner of the McFarland-Monona Grove regional quarterfinal game in a semifinal on Friday, March 11.

"A lot is expected of us," Crane said. "I like the idea of looking at the body of work that's enabled you to be conference champions, but we still have work to be done this season."


Mount Horeb 4 8 2 15 - 27

Baraboo 13 10 16 18- 57

Baraboo: Kayla McGonigle 0 2-2 2, Meghan Kreilkamp 2 0-0 5, Katie Wilke 1 0-2 3, Abby Spencer 1 1-2 4, Emily Brinker 2 2-7 6, Brianne Schwarz 0 2-4 2, Megan Digmann 1 1-4 4, Emily O'Rourke 3 4-4 10, Megan McVenes 2 1-4 5, Sam Terry 4 1-3 9. 3-pointers: K. Digmann, Spencer, Wilke, Kreilkamp. TOTALS: 18 17-39 57. Mount Horeb: Megan Lemire 2 2-5 6, Courtney Vogt 1 0-0 3, Kiarra Eith 1 0-2 3, Maddie Meylor 1 2-5 4, Liza Baier 0 3-4 3, Addison Moyer 0 2-2 2, Ellyn Hayden 2 2-5 6. 3-pointers: Vogt, Eith. TOTALS: 7 11-24 27.

JV score: Baraboo 55, Mount Horeb 36

Freshman score: Baraboo 33, Mount Horeb 16

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