Enterprise girls battle for chance at Northstate basketball history
REDDING, Calif. - Basketball season lives on in the Northstate with a chance to make history.
The Enterprise Hornets Girls Basketball Team will play in its first NorCal CIF Championship Game Saturday.
"To win a NorCal title, in the same year we won a football NorCal title, it's something pretty big," said Enterprise head coach Ray Hermann.
The girls have run through the regular season. They have won a Sac River League title, and a CIF Northern Section championship, on their way to this weekend's regional finals.
"It feels great," said senior forward Jordan Kimbrough. "We're one of the only people to do it in the Northstate, and it just feels awesome."
There have been limited blemishes on the team's near-perfect record. With a 28-2 mark this season, including two big wins in the playoffs, the target is now a shot at history.
"It's not something that happens very often in this section," said senior forward Rachel Martin. "It doesn't happen very often even at this school. So to be on a team that's going that far and making history it's just an incredible feeling."
The Hornets play Saturday at 6:00 p.m. against a Modesto Christian team they beat 43-29 in last year's regional quarterfinals, only to fall in the semi-finals. A win in this NorCal title game will put the Lady Hornets in the state championship.
The girls get a shot at redemption.
"It almost feels like one of those inspirational movies. We're that team that's working. We're from a small section. We're working as hard as we can to get to where we want to be,"
-Enterprise senior forward Rachel Martin.
"I think [last year] was a learning experience for them. I think we had the capability to get this far - not necessarily the desire or knew what it took. So I think that they understand what it takes, and they've really battled," Hermann said.
"A lot of people think it's been really easy for us just to like fly through everyone. But it's not been as easy as everyone thinks. Yeah, we have our ups and downs, but we just pull it out," Kimbrough said.
"If you have a high goal, you're going to have to stay dedicated," said sophomore guard Kamira Sanders. "You're going to have to work hard, on and off the court."
That team mentality will be on display this weekend on the neutral court at American Canyon High School in Napa County. Hermann said the team has seen this level of competition.
"We've been fortunate enough in the last two years to really play some high-level competition out of section. We grabbed a team from Oregon that just lost the state title - South Medford - they came right in the middle of our league schedule which probably was a great benefit to us," said Hermann.
No CIF Northern Section team has made the state championship since 1998.
The girls are not afraid.
"This is like win or go home. This is like a big game that you cannot joke around for," Sanders said.
"It almost feels like one of those inspirational movies. We're that team that's working. We're from a small section. We're working as hard as we can to get to where we want to be," Martin said.
It is a chance at Northstate immortality – a chance to be in a league of their own.