The inaugural Great Crossing girls' basketball team has no seniors and one healthy junior. Two sophomores, three freshmen and two eight-graders are part of its regular rotation.
Broken bones, concussions and a brutal schedule intervened in the Lady Warhawks' initial journey. They dropped the first five games in school history and seven of the first eight.
Well, guess what? With Wednesday night's 67-50 victory over Frankfort in the District 41 semifinals at Franklin County High School, GC has a winning record and is headed for the Region 11 tournament next week.
Braylee McMath, the team's junior, do-everything point guard and motor, finished with 21 points and five steals. Timothi Williams added 15 points and four thefts.
And ninth-grader Emma Boehm picked the perfect stage for the strongest performance of her young career, 11 points and 14 rebounds.
It all added up to the third convincing win of the season over Frankfort and earned GC (15-14) a date with perennial power Franklin County in the district championship at 6:30 p.m. Friday.
The Lady Warhawks joined both GC soccer teams and its volleyball program by punching a ticket to regions in year one.
Frankfort scored on its opening possessions, but baskets by Ava Schureman and Williams sparked a 9-0 run and gave GC a lead it never relinquished.
Drives to the basket earned repeated early trips to the line, which helped GC overcome a relatively cold-shooting start and build a 15-5 lead after eight minutes.
Great Crossing heated up in the second period with the help of its half court defensive pressure, which was a driving force in Frankfort's 28 turnovers on the night. Boehm's basket off a no-look pass from McMath in transition pushed the margin to a dozen.
The Lady Warhawks erased a modest 7-0 run by the Lady Panthers with a 14-2 finishing kick for a 39-17 lead at the half.
Tianna Mitchell led Frankfort with 14 points, while Jamaya Chenault and Rhealee Ellis each scored 11. Chenault grabbed 15 rebounds. The Lady Panthers were a frosty 9-for-25 from the free throw line.
For much more on the Great Crossing milestone win, please see Saturday's News-Graphic.