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Badgers Final Four run could help Wisconsin high school basektballSubmitted: 04/07/2014
Story By Joe Dufek

Badgers Final Four run could help Wisconsin high school basektball
- Oh so close. The Wisconsin Badgers finished just short of playing in the national championship game on Monday night.

Wisconsin fell to Kentucky Saturday night 74-73.

Wisconsin's improbable run to the Final Four is over.

But it was a great season for not only the Badgers, but the fans too.

The biggest beneficiary could be high school basketball in the Northwoods and state-wide.


"When we talk about a high school team goes far in the playoffs - it gets all those little boys shooting, dribbling, and aspiring to greatness," Lakeland coach Rich Fortier explains. "It think watching (Wisconsin Head Coach) Bo (Ryan) do this, it helps in recruiting. It gets boys out playing basketball. It gets us thinking about basketball for another week and maybe longer."

Brad Soderberg was an assistant with the Badgers during their 2000 Final Four run. His brother Kurt is the boys coach at Merrill. The Soderbergs are from Stevens Point.

"I think what is the point of Bo Ryan's teams is they don't beat themselves," Soderberg adds. "Once the nerves become an issue playing in bigger stadiums and tougher competition - the first thing you have to overcome is foolish mistakes. I don't think Bo Ryan's teams beat themselves. That's why they were on such a roll."

A dozen of the 16 players on the Badgers roster were from the Midwest. Six played high school basketball in Wisconsin.


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 IN OTHER NEWS

RHINELANDER - Stepping onto a boat and casting a line doesn't come easy for some people.

The Northwoods "Let's Go Fishing" pontoon helps veterans, seniors, the disabled get on the lake for a day of fun.

The Northwoods chapter needs volunteer captains and mates to keep the rides running.

The first training session is tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion at Hodag Park in Rhinelander.

Chapter President Mark Schroeder says the program is like lake therapy.

"Hey for one thing we are out on the water. It's something that is good for all us; it is good for everyone really," said Schroeder.

Anyone can volunteer to be a captain or a mate.

The training takes about two hours.

"When you're out in the water, there's something that happens. It is the look that people have, it's the smile have. It truly changes your attitude towards life," said Pastor Rod Ankrom of Calvary Baptist Church.

Pontoon rides run through mid-September.

If you want to schedule a ride or volunteer, call 715-219-5436.



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LINCOLN COUNTY - The Lincoln County Jail needs help finding an inmate that didn't return to jail on Friday.

Chastity Lerae Ritchie, 24, is serving a sentence for failing to pay child support.

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PHILLIPS - Each year an event in the Northwoods gives people the chance to learn about Wisconsin history. This year's theme focused on Native American culture.

"Our elders tell us by understanding where you've been then you have a better understanding of where you're going in life," said Wayne Valliere.

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This was the first-ever Open Streets Wausau event. From noon to 4 p.m., most of 3rd St. from the mall to Wausau Ave. was open to only pedestrians.

The open streets event is an international movement, but was introduced to Wausau thanks to one man.

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WAUSAU - People in Wausau walked, biked, and ran through a busy street in the downtown area Sunday afternoon. But they didn't have to worry about any cars.

This was the first-ever Open Streets Wausau event. From noon to 4 p.m., most of 3rd St. from the mall to Wausau Ave. was open to only pedestrians.

The open streets event is an international movement, but was introduced to Wausau thanks to one man.

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Luckily, he was found safe about an hour later at around 5pm.

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MINOCQUA - Girls on the Run of the Northwoods hosted a community run Saturday at Minocqua's Torpy Park.

For those who may not know what Girls on the Run is all about, it's an organization helping young girls to be confident and healthy.

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