BELT — Despite unusual schedules and the possibility of COVID cancellations at every turn, things are business as usual for the basketball programs in Belt.
Entering the final weekend of January, the Belt boys were 8-0, while the Belt girls were 7-1.
Even with its immense success over the last decade, the girls program had some question marks after graduating nine seniors last year. Perhaps sitting behind that big class made this group feel it has something to prove.
"I've been friends with them since elementary, we played together in middle school, and we've been together for a long time, so it's really fun," senior Sabrina Wing said of playing with the current group. "We definitely want to prove a lot of people wrong. People overlook us for sure. And I think that we're definitely getting better."
After dropping its first matchup with rival Roy-Winifred, Belt recovered and won the second meeting, highlighting the challenges of getting into a rhythm this year.
"I don't think we were practicing at that level to hang with the teams like Winifred and those guys, so our practices have been much better, much more intense," head coach Jeff Graham said.
Meanwhile, the Belt boys are putting the state on notice, and not just in Class C. The boys have taken down Class B contenders too, including a 41-40 win over Fairfield and a 45-34 win over Shelby. The girls also beat Shelby and Fairfield.
"I think we're one of the hardest-working teams when it comes to the state. Honestly, we work during the summer, during football. And then even during the season, we just work really hard," senior Aidan McDaniel said. "So I think it's nice to get some wins, and just play really good basketball."
Both programs have eyes on the approaching postseason as the calendar flips to February. And while every team would like to say a state championship is the goal, the Belt Huskies truly expect to be in the conversation.
"Every season that I've been playing for this team, coach (Kyle) Paulson has just told us get another championship up on that banner," said senior Treyton Hennes. "He just wants us to win. And the goal is a championship."