The last time the girls at Lakewood High School won a basketball conference championship, half the members of the current roster weren’t born yet.
The other half was still in diapers.
With its recent string of victories, the girls’ basketball team brought home its first conference championship since 1996.
On the season, the squad went 18-3 — with only one loss coming in the West Shore Conference — and earned a fourth-seed at this weekend’s district tournament at Valley Forge High School in Parma Heights.
Head coach Mike Harper said it’s the team’s chemistry that has made the season such a success.
“With any team made up of teenagers, there’s always drama,” Harper said. “These girls do a particularly good job of leaving that drama outside of the gym. They are incredibly balanced.”
The squad has several players averaging 7 points or better, making it a nightmare for opposing teams to set up a game plan.
“On any given night, another girl can step up and have a good night,” Harper said. “Defensively, we can really get after it.”
This is a group that Harper — in his first year as head coach — has coached since the girls were in middle school.
He’s also the father of one of the team’s standouts, sophomore Mikayla Harper.
The team will try to remain undefeated at home as the girls will square off against local rival Rocky River at Lakewood High School tonight.
Next season, expect more of the same.
With only one senior on the team, all of the starters are returning.
Harper said the squad has shown flashes of the Lakewood team that was the runner-up in the state championship game in 1995.
“I don’t think we have any superstars and no lightning in a bottle when it comes to talent,” he said. “But we’ve got lightning in a bottle when it comes to attitudes.”
The team will square off in the first round of the playoffs at 2:30 p.m. Saturday against Berea High School.
Will the team be ready?
“I won’t know until the ball is tipped,” said Harper. “But we’ll go in with a game plan, that’s for sure.”