Basketball is a way of life in the Guebert household. Their story has been one of development and learning how to win, whether it’s been playing or coaching.
Eastview senior twins Madison and Drew Guebert each have enjoyed their most successful year. It was a long time coming, a journey that started when they were 5 years old.
“We both lost a lot when we were young,” Drew said. “Our dad [Dan] kept telling us our time would come.”
Madison is coming off a Class 4A girls’ basketball championship in 2013-14. Drew’s boys’ squad struggled through a 6-21 season at the same time.
Drew’s team nearly completed a full turnaround this year, posting an overall record of 18-9. The Lightning finished third in the South Suburban Conference, one year after winding up in last place in the 10-team league.
Madison’s squad — coached by her mother, Melissa — is continuing along last year’s trail. The No. 2-ranked unit is 25-1, a year after finishing 31-1.
The road to success hasn’t come without crushing losses or tears. They both vividly recall their fifth- and sixth-grade traveling seasons, more commonly known as the friendship game years. The friendship game is part of the consolation bracket of traveling tournaments.
For Drew, a 56-7 loss to Chaska in fifth grade was the utmost beat down. His father served as an assistant coach during his traveling days.
“We were so bad, horrible,” Drew said. “We had to figure out a way to get better.”
It took some time, but they did. The Lightning won at Chaska 66-60 in this season’s opening game and Drew, a 6-7 small forward, scored 16 points. He was the team’s leading scorer this year.
For Madison, a youth game against Park Center stands out in her mind. The final score was insignificant, it was so lopsided.
“They had to take their press off, that’s how bad it was,” Madison said. “Our substitutions weren’t based on who was tired. They were based on who was crying on the court.”
Madison, a 5-8 point guard, was the first to avenge that misery. The Lightning topped Park Center 65-61 in the St. Olaf Holiday Classic during the 2013-14 season. Madison has since topped 2,000 career points.
“Everybody in our house hates losing,” Madison said. “We had to convince ourselves that things can change.”
That held true for their parents, too.
“Dan and I were both learning at the same time,” Melissa said. “Our ultimate goal was to have them keep working hard. We wanted them to do things the right way.”
Drew and Madison have been nearly identical since they were born. Drew is 2 minutes older than Madison. They have a younger sister, Macy.
They will continue their closeness — 57 miles apart — and basketball careers in college. Madison signed with Division I South Dakota State in Brookings, while Drew is headed to Division II University of Sioux Falls. They are both honor roll students.
A big part of their decision was family-based. Melissa (then Olson) was a basketball star in Sioux Falls and attended Augustana College, the same school as Dan.
“They’re a really close-knit family,” Eastview boys’ basketball coach Paul Goetz said. He also served as an assistant coach for the girls’ program in Madison’s freshman and sophomore seasons. “They do everything together.”
That includes venturing around the metro area during down time to do a little fishing. Like all fishermen, they have an undisclosed favorite location.
“When we go, it’s just family,” Melissa said. “Even fishing is competitive for us.”
Just not on as serious level as basketball.
“Basketball is a big part of their life, but they’ve kept it in the proper perspective,” Goetz said. “They have very high standards as a family.”