Sports hold finite moments, often captured in photograph or words on a page.
Bishop Garrigan head coach Brandon Schwab chose the latter.
He had been thinking about it in the days leading up to Dec. 8, before the Garrigan girls defeated Eagle Grove 79-43 at Wells Fargo arena. There needed to be a way to capture the storied grandeur of playing on the big stage in Des Moines.
As the girls filed into the locker room after the game, the idea finally came to Schwab. He pulled out a pen and paper.
“I wanted the team to write what it’s going to take to get back here,” Schwab said. “We hid it in the steel tile in one of the locker rooms and took a picture of where it is, so we can remember which tile it was in.”
First, it took a 44-40 victory over Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire to earn Garrigan its first Regional Final since 2002. But it would take one more win to get to state, and senior Jenna Boelter knew what she had to do.
On Tuesday, Feb. 20, Boelter stayed after practice to practice shooting 3s. She knew that Coach Schwab prefers his players to shoot as many 3s as possible, even if all of them are missed. Boelter is the classic perimeter-shooter, letting them fly no matter where she is on the court.
Schwab was wrapping up the day’s practice before Wednesday’s Regional Final against Kingsley-Pierson.
“I asked if she was ready and she said, ‘There’s no way we’re losing this game.’” Schwab said.
The next day, with three seconds left in the fourth, Boelter clocked in a game-tying 3-pointer.
That would send the Golden Bears into overtime, and eventually earn them the 73-67 win over Kingsley-Pierson. Boelter would rack up 34 points to become the Golden Bears’ all-time career scoring leader with 1,510 points, breaking Ashley Arndorfer’s record of 1,507 points.
But for the first time since 2000, the Golden Bears were going to state.
On Friday, Feb. 24, Schwab was overwhelmed with phone calls and t-shirt orders, preparing for his first trip to state. He now has a new goal for his team.
“The paper better be sitting there for us, hopefully with a trophy by it.” Schwab said.