The Brewer High School girls basketball team will be playing in the Class A quarterfinals for the first time since the 1999-2000 season.
The Witches have been involved in several preliminary round games since 2000 but never won one.
The Witches will take on Lawrence of Fairfield in Friday’s 7 p.m. match-up at the Augusta Civic Center.
Brewer, 11-7,is the fifth seed while Lawrence, also 11-7, is the fourth seed.
And the Witches will be getting a boost from the return of two injured players, guards Ellie Horr and MacKenzie Dore.
Horr, the team’s point guard, missed seven games with a badly sprained ankle and a bone bruise. She was cleared to return to action last Thursday.
Dore, who filled in at point guard when Horr was sidelined, has missed the last three games with a dislocated kneecap. She got the OK to return on Monday.
Brewer coach Chris Horr, Ellie’s father, said they will give his team a lift although the Witches have played well without them.
Brewer will enter the tourney on a four-game winning streak.
“Ellie is our defensive leader and our point guard and MacKenzie can score and she is also a great defensive player,” said the Brewer coach.
Ellie Horr averages six points, three steals and 2.8 assists per game and Dore has averaged six points per game, according to the coach.
Horr said it has been a memorable accomplishment and he wants his players to “realize they’ve done something that hasn’t been done in a long time. We’re trying to set the foundation to build a tradition and a culture.”
But he was also quick to point out that “we aren’t going to be satisfied just getting there. We want to play our best and, hopefully, advance against a tough Lawrence team.”
Brewer beat Lawrence in Brewer 67-42 on Jan. 11.
“It was just one of those good nights for us and not as good for them. We played pretty well. But we know it won’t be the same game on Friday,” said Horr.
Brewer got off to an 0-4 start but won 11 of its last 14 games to earn the berth thanks to its turnover-causing full-court press and three-point shooting which has compensated for its lack of size.
“We’ve won pretty games and we’ve won games when we’ve had to grind it out,” said Horr.
Senior guard Cassidy Smith has been his leading scorer,averaging over 13 points per game.
Junior forward Rebecca Gideon is averaging nine points and a team-high six rebounds and Smith grabs five rebounds a game.
Senior guard Emily Lord is averaging six and a half points and four rebounds.