MIB Girls Basketball Prepares for Return to State Semifinals

The class A state semifinal between Minneota and Mountain Iron-Buhl is Tuesday, April 6 at the Target Center. Tipoff is set for noon. 

MOUNTAIN IRON, Minn. – The Mountain Iron-Buhl girls basketball team stuck with it the entire way and only led for the final 17 seconds of their state quarterfinal game, but it was enough to get the job done as they’re now heading back to familiar territory: the class A state semifinals.

“It will feel like home,” junior forward Jacie Kvas said of returning to the Target Center.

The Rangers will be appearing in their fourth state semifinal game in the past six years.

“It’s a special feeling, it’s always fun to get to play there, to be considered one of the top teams in the state, you just want to go in there and prove that you can compete with anybody,” head coach Jeff Buffetta said.

“I’m pretty proud, I’m really happy that we have this opportunity again,” junior forward Lauren Maki added.

Despite having no seniors on the team, the Rangers feel confident in what they’ve built as a program as they hit the big stage.

“We’re built on a good foundation, we’ve been there before, we know what it’s like, we have next year still,” Kvas said.

“Some of them it will be their first time playing in this type of game and it makes it fun,” Buffetta added.

It will be tough test as they take on the defending state champions Minnesota who is currently undefeated.

“They’re one of the best programs in the state of Minnesota for the last 10, 15 years. We have our best games when we’re protecting the ball and if we turn the ball over against them, we’ll be in trouble,” Buffetta said.

No matter the outcome, the Rangers are happy about the return to the Target Center and are hoping this will be another building block for the future.

“It would mean a lot, we’ve never won a championship before, we’ve gotten really close,” Maki said.

“You just hope that all of the elementary players, junior high players and that everybody here that wears the red and gold wants to be the next, give that belief to the next kids coming up in line and make them want to put all the work in and be here too,” Buffetta added.

The class A state semifinal between Minneota and MIB is Tuesday, April 6 at the Target Center. Tipoff is set for noon.

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