ORANGEVILLE, Ill. (WIFR) – Orangeville girls basketball has been on an unprecedented run the past three seasons. After going without a conference title for 25 years, the Broncos secured their first title in 2021-22 with a 27-win season, setting a new program record.
In 2022-23, the Broncos surpassed that 27-win record with a new 28-win record. Now, in 2023-24, before the postseason, Orangeville broke it again with a 29-2 record.
“That was one of the first things you walk in and talk about where you want to be as a program and where you want to be as a team,” Orangeville girls basketball head coach Jay Doyle said.
Although the road to 29-2 hasn’t been easy. After their record-setting 2021-22 season, the Broncos failed to win a playoff game, as Orangeville was upset by Stockton in the opener.
“I mean it really shows that anyone can beat you at any time,” Orangeville senior Whitney Sullivan said. “You can’t just feel like ‘Oh, we’re going all the way, we got this’ You just got to know that anything can happen.”
The 2023 postseason went much better, as the purple and gold locked down their first regional title since 1997. Orangeville would be knocked out in the Sectional Championship 48-17 by a Galena team that finished in third in Class 1A. In the final Class 1A AP Poll before the postseason Galena and Orangeville are respectively ranked #1 and #2 and are both #1 seeds in the Lena-Winslow Sectional.
Even with a daunting sectional ahead beginning with a 22-9 Alden-Hebron team in the Lutheran Regional semifinals, the Broncos feel their schedule has prepared them.
“With the tough competition, it’s definitely preparing us better and I think we’re way more prepared than we were last year and not as scared which gives us a lot better of a chance,” junior Laney Cahoon said.
Along with a tough NUIC North schedule that features Pecatonica, Aquin, and Lena-Winslow, the Broncos have also taken on top teams like Byron and Boylan.
“We have the connection to know what each other’s going to do and we have each other’s backs when we do something wrong,” sophomore Nadalee Doyle said.
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