'He is still with us': Team inspired by fallen teammate headed to championship game

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Fans from Henning, a town with a population of 850 people, have waited 53 years to come cheer on their team in the high school boys’ state basketball tournament.

Friday, the Hornets took on Spring Grove at the Target Center in the semifinals.

Almost from tip-off, Henning dominated the hardwood, but time on the court is constantly bittersweet for players, friends, fans and the numerous family connections on the team. 

Teammate Jacob Quam was killed when his car was hit by a semi two years ago, but he continues to be with the team every step of the way. 

“We found out we won by 33 points and that was his number, so we know he is still with us,” said senior guard Sam Fisher.

“We’ve come together even more so through that experience and kinda learned a lot about life in general and that’s it’s bigger than basketball," said Henning Coach Randy Misegades."Basketball is just the icing on the cake."

“We just know he’s here with us and I get goosebumps thinking about him, I can feel him right now,” said B.J. Oseien, Jacob's relative.

While they still have the state championship game ahead of them, in many ways fans feel their beloved Hornets, including Jacob, have already won it all.

“This is a total win and this is something they’ll have forever,” said Oseien.

The final score was 34 to 67. The Hornets will play North Woods in the 1A championship game Saturday morning at 11 a.m.