Linton-HMB’s girls basketball team is 9-1 on the season and it’s a big thanks to their iconic press defense that’s given up just over 35 points per game.

“Your defense always has to be there, always has to be steady, because offense comes and goes,” head coach Beau Diegel said. “That’s what we see. Some nights we shoot very well, especially from the three point line, other nights not so well. We have to find a way to still win that game.”

The Lions are hanging their hats on frustrating opponents on offense, averaging more than 10 forced turnovers per game.

“We have a lot of fast girls on our team and we don’t have much height, so we kind of have to do more of trying to create turnovers instead of trying to play half court defense against 6-foot girls because we only have one of them, so we play fast and make them turn the ball over it’s a lot easier for us,” senior Teegan Scherr said.

And the Lions are only roaring louder as the season goes on, getting more comfortable with the system that is leading to success.

“Our players have started to figure out their role and kind of buy into doing their job and just doing it as well as they can, not make them do something they can’t handle,” Diegel said.

Part of the challenge is their tough schedule with the only blemish coming against the number one team in the state. The Lions are coming off a ranked win on the road, and preparing for another top 10 matchup next week. They feel confident that they could soon be playing for more.

“Those games they help us with what the state tournament may look like, and if we play those games and do good, well hopefully we’ll do good if we make it to the state tournament,” senior Erin Kelsch said.

A state tournament birth would be the first in 10 years, and the Lions are hungry to return.