Central Lyon high school has won state title in numerous sports, but never in basketball. In fact the boys and girls teams have a combined zero for total state tournament appearances, until now. The Lions girls have clinched a berth in this year’s Iowa state tournament and the team couldn’t be more excited.
"It's surprising that we're the first, but we're excited to do this for our school. As a team we've been waiting for this moment all season and all year since last season. It's a really big deal for us," said senior Lexi Ackerman.
The purple and gold are lead by 3 seniors and a rare combo of two head coaches. They came up just shy of reaching the tournament last season but fell short in an overtime heartbreaker. But that may have been the best motivation for this team.
"It was a tough locker room afterwards, but shortly after that our three seniors started talking about we need to do to get better and what we need to do to improve. Once we started our workouts over the summer the girls worked extremely hard," said co-head coach Dan Kruse.
After finishing 22 and 2 on the season and clawing through the post season the Lions now get to hang a state qualifier banner, but they want one more to go with it.
"We received a banner for a state qualifier and that was pretty cool for the first one ever that we will hang in here. We would like to hang another one right beside it that says state champions," said Kruse.
"That would be awesome and I think our community would just love it because they have supported us through all of this and they have been so great. It would be awesome," added senior Kelsey Ackerman.
So how does a school and community that has never been to the big dance prepare?
"We can't really tell them what the experience is like but we have faith that when they get down there they're going to adjust quickly," said Kruse.