Head coach Steve Smith and the Notre Dame Lady Knights are no strangers to the play-offs..
Notre Dame has made it to the regional quarterfinals the past four years.. but in 2019.. the Lady Knights are heading to the State Tournament.
“The girls that are Seniors this year were actually eighth graders, but that first summer, they started playing summer league with us. So this is the first group that has gone through a full basketball program. They didnt have a lot of off season summer like stuff when I got here. And this group of seniors is the first group that played in the summer league with me,” said Steve Smith.
In his fifth season as head coach.. Coach Smith has transformed a group of eighth graders into experienced seniors.
One of these seniors is Trisha Palomo (pa-low-mo) who has started all four years for the Lady Knights
“Trisha Palomo is the only freshman that has started for me and she has started in four regional games and now she gets the opportunity to take that next step,” said Steve Smith.
“It’s just a great thing to accomplish. My first year I played with my sister and that was great. To make it to regionals every four years is great too but then finally making it to state this year has been really amazing,” said Trisha Palomo.
Another key senior leader? You can find Ellen Parkey tearing it up in the paint.
“Going from being a post in middle school to being a post in high school was a lot different because its a lot more physical when you start to get with the high school girls.. especially being a freshman and going up agaisnt upper classmen.. it was kind of scary for sure. But I mean its all about power in your legs and just trying to get around people and use your position really well,” said Ellen Parkey.
There are only nine lady knights.. but these young ladies are battle-tested…. also advancing to the state volleyball tournament.
“Everyone of these were at the state volleyball tournament also so we’re hoping that that experience of being on this stage will help us get over the pregame jitters and being on the big stage, because four months ago they were there. The same place that the state championship is going to be in basketball, they were there in volleyball,” said Steve Smith.
The Lady Knights are not ready to hang up the jerseys.
With experience and a whole lot of determination… they’ll continue to fight for one another. Fighting for the goal of winning a state championship.