MINOT, N.D. - The Our Redeemer's Christian School Knights are on their way to their first trip to the State Girls Basketball Tournament, and they've enjoyed the process of taking the program to new heights.
"Every night I think about it and it's like 'did this really happen, are we actually going to State?' and it's just a great feeling," said Senior Forward Calissa Ree.
"They knew it was a high goal to reach, and they just dug deep on Championship Night and like I've always said we started the year as individuals playing trying to do each other's thing and then all of a sudden we became a team and we started doing good and then toward the end of the year we became a family," said Head Coach Scott Peterson.
The hard work has finally paid off, but it took the entire season to become one of the 8 Region Champions in the State Bracket with defense leading the way.
"I don't think it really clicked until the end of the year like I've always told them we're scoring enough points to win every single ball game, but we're giving up too many points and the girls have taken that to heart and they're really starting to play good defensively," said Peterson.
"We're really communicative, especially in our zone defenses and just defenses in general. On offense we swing the ball really well. We've been getting everybody shots and so I just think just really good teamwork and really good communication has gotten us this far," said Senior Guard Morgan Olson.
Ten Knights players have been on high school volleyball's biggest stage (bowing out in the State Title match this season in five sets against LaMoure), so there's no spotlight too bright for this team on the basketball court with hopes of winning a Championship on Saturday Night.
"We played in the State Championship earlier this volleyball season, and that was very nerve-wracking very big stage and so we're used to the pressure. We're used to rising to the occasion so we just have to bring it at the State Basketball Tournament. Tournament time comes it's anybody's game whoever shows up to play has a chance of winning it," said Olson.
"If you're going to play on a big stage that's very important, and it's easy to let it all get to you and get really nervous but you just have to pretend like it's just another game," said senior guard Lauren Hendrickson.
The Knights tip off against Watford City in the first round Thursday night at 8:15. If they advance they'll have the winner of North Star and Glen Ullin-Hebron in the semi-finals.