History-Making Monticello Girls Eye States

By: Nate Sulham Email
By: Nate Sulham Email

It's been a season of firsts for Monticello: first Region II Championship and now the Mustangs embark on their first trip to the state tournament.

Monticello will travel across the mountain to James Madison University Saturday to face Poquoson in a Division 3 quarterfinal.

If they win Saturday, it's on to the Siegel Center in Richmond. Fitting for a team who's rallying cry all season has been 70.4, or the distance in miles from Monticello High School to the Siegel Center.

"It's a goal we set at the beginning of the year so we feel like we're striving for something but anytime you get to this point in the season it's a reward," Monticello coach Josh McElheney said Thursday at practice.

"It definitely races my heart every night thinking about it. Knowing that we're going to states for the first time and knowing how far we can go is just incredible," added junior guard Cierra Hall.

The Mustangs have got to this point by going unbeaten in the Jefferson District, sweeping both the regular season and postseason tournament.

They then dispatched of district rival Western Albemarle in the Region II Championship and gained somewhat of a cult following at school.

"When we won district and regionals it was like walking the red carpet. Everyone wants to know when your next game is and when they can go. So the more we win, the more exciting it gets, the more everybody else wants to get involved and it's just insane," Hall explained.

While the focus is on Poqouson this week, McElheney and his team are enjoying their historic season.

"It's actually been a blast. I don't feel like I've slept all week just trying to get stuff together. The girls have come in excited everyday, there's been a buzz around the school, everybody's talking about this weekend," McEleheny said. "It's been a lot of fun. It's a good reward for all the hard work we put in this season."

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