It's hard enough for a team to win within their district. It is even tougher to beat out other teams in the state. The 7th and 8th grade girls at Saint Michael Lutheran School accomplished those feats, and this March they accomplished much more. The ball players beat out other teams across the country for the national championship.
"I knew we were good," said coach Kyle Duport, "but going against schools from the Midwest who play good competition year-round? We don't see the best competition. I wasn't sure."
This was the 60th year for the national Lutheran basketball tournament in Indiana. Teams either qualify by winning their state championship or by applying and being accepted. Last year, the Saints came in second place.
"I think last year getting second was like, I don't know, it wasn't cool," said 8th grader, Cierra Degroot.
So this year, the girls set out to do something much cooler: snatch up first place and take home this shiny piece of hardware to prove it.
Destanni Henderson, another 8th grader on the team said, "I knew that we were going to win but we needed to work as a team."
The tournament, at times, was difficult. The girls had to sink some free throws in overtime just to succeed to the finals.
"We go with the fact that we do what we do," Duport said. "We're going to play as hard as we can and stick to our game plan."
Now that the Saints have reached their grade school goal, some have their sights on the next one.
"I'm looking forward to playing in the WMBA and go pro," Henderson said.