By Sean Giggy
The Medford girls' basketball team is in the sectional round for the first time in nearly a decade.
Senior forward Olivia Smola has the led the way for the Raiders, averaging 16 points a game through the first two rounds of the tournament. Sean Giggy features Smola as our TV9 Athlete of the Week.
Read the full story below or watch the video by clicking on the video link to your left.
Medford will play in its first girls' basketball sectional since 2003. A big reasdon for the Raiders' success is senior forward Olivia Smola. Smola is the team's second leading scorer with nearly 11 points per game and has scored 32 points through the first two rounds of tournament play, including a 20-point effort against Mosinee in the regional opener.
"The game against Sparta was extremely close, but we haven't been to sectionals any of the four years I've been on the team," Smola said. "So, it was huge getting to the sectional so far."
"Olivia is a player that will step up in the real tight times of the game," said Medford head coach Scott Wildberg. "She's not scared to do that and that's huge for teams going down into tournament time when the games are really tight and you're a little bit nervous."
Smola is one of five seniors on a veteran Medford squad and it's the leadership she and her teammtes bring to the court that has led to the Raiders' best season in seven years.
"I try to be a team leader as much as I can along with the other girls because there's five seniors left and a lot of underclassmen that I just try to help them remain calm," Smola said."
"I look to those seniors to be confident and Olivia being one of them, she's confident on the floor and as a coach that's very easy when you can put players on the floor that you don't have to worry about will be performing," Wildberg said.
Online reporter: Sean Giggy