Lancers turnaround happening under State Champion coach - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Lancers turnaround happening under State Champion coach

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Heading into Thursday night's showdown against Sun Prairie, Madison La Follette boys' hoops is just one game behind the Cardinals and Madison Memorial in the Big 8 standings.  Coming off a 7-win season last year, and a 5-win season the year before that - how have the Lancers been able to make this turnaround?

"These guys have put a lot of work in in the off-season - spring, summer and fall to prepare to have a better season this year," said boys' basketball coach Curtrell Robinson.  "You know, they set that goal at the end of last year - to buy into the weight room and training and they didn't miss a workout at all this spring, summer and fall."

At 9-2, La Follette is off to its best season yet under the four-year head coach.  The players say they feel a difference this year, too.

"It's really exciting," said senior point guard Anthony West.  "[Our record] shows we've been putting in work. That's what we wanted all year and it's good to see it's finally paying off.  My sophomore year, we didn't do so hot and [Coach Robinson] told me just keep my head up.  [He said] there's better days ahead of us - and he wasn't lying, because now we're here."

One of the reasons Coach Robinson thinks that the guys are able to buy into his coaching style is because he was a part of Madison La Follette's last state championship squad -from 2002.

"I can speak you know, hand-in-hand to real experiences I've had playing the game," said Coach Robinson.  "I have a story for every situation that they're going through.  You know, 'I've experienced that before.  And this is how we get through that.'  You know, I think about [the 2002 state champion team] all the time and just how close-knit of a group we are and how hard we worked - both on and off the court.  And I see a lot of those same characteristics in this group here."

The Lancers were upset last Friday by Madison East, 60-57.  But they say the loss makes them even more motivated for Thursday night's showdown against Sun Prairie.

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