OHIO COUNTY, W.Va. (WTRF)–Coach Ben Howlett says it was a rush of excitement as the West Liberty Hilltoppers took down IUP in the Atlantic Regional Championship on Tuesday. 

Now the team must shift their focus to a new opponent, as they prepare for the Elite Elight quarterfinals against the New Haven Chargers.  

We’ve been putting in a lot of work since August and we’ve been doing this everyday so for these guys to get rewarded with a championship was a really good feeling. Now it’s time to move on and hopefully get a couple more wins.

I think it’s really important for our guys to stay humble, move on from the IUP experience and really get focused with New Haven. They’re a really good team. They’re different than what we are used to playing so we are really trying to dissect the film as much as we can and just have a good hour practice.

Ben Howlett, West Liberty head coach

Zach Rasile says Coach Howlett has pushed them to get to this point.

He says there is still plenty of work to be done before they hit the court in Evansville.  

I think just focusing on our defense, getting the press right, just shooting the ball really well and just playing as positive and confident as we can.

I think there are four of us who have been to the Elite Eight before. So, kind of like the older guys have been stepping up, just kind of telling them what it’s about and what they’re going to see and stuff. Like what the atmosphere is like.

Zach Rasile, West Liberty hoops sophomore

This is their 7th appearance in program history and second under Howlett. 

The NCAA Division II quarterfinal match up takes place in Evansville Indian on March 21st at 2:30 Central time.