The Mount Notre Dame girls basketball team has it's annual seven-week conditioning program underway as they begin their "Drive for Five." Five state championships in a row that is, and the sixth in seven years.
With the loss of seniors Ashley Fowler (Ohio University), Gabby Smith (Vanderbilt University), and Kendall Hackney (Northwestern University) there is doubt and skepticism about the Cougars chances at a fifth straight title this year. Head coach Dante Harlan responds to the criticism saying, "Players graduate, but the tradition of this program lives on. Our girls understand the expectations and are working hard to carry on the legacy of our program."
While this 2009-2010 team has yet to prove themselves as state champions, they certainly are putting in the work to get there. They condition, lift weights, and play in open gym three times a week, for three to four hours a day. They are one of the hardest working and best conditioned teams in the state.
It's just two months before the Cougars season opener at their cross-town rival Lakota West, where they will prove that they are ready and able to bring a fifth straight title home to Mount Notre Dame High School.
So, come March when the Ohio State Girls Basketball Tournament is underway in Columbus, Ohio, look for the Cougars of Mt. Notre Dame. They will be back and ready to defend their title as the Division I Girls State Basketball Champions.