Long road led to Laney's first title

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Sunday, March 11, 2012

Everything is rosy red, or maybe Wildcat red, over by Laney-Walker Boulevard today.

For the first time, Laney's basketball team woke up as State Champions this morning, but it wasn't a gold-paved street to the title.

The Wildcats had to find an identity both on and off the court this season. They lost their two leading scorers from last year, and Head Coach Jerry Hunter had to hold them together through a couple early losses, but this is a team that stayed together and found their way, and now Lucy Laney has her first basketball title.

"Once they understood that we would rather have a program with integrity over talent, then we started to move forward," Hunter said. "It's unreal, but like I said, if you would've saw the work these guys put in, it's all making sense now."

Of course, after qualifying for the Final Four the two previous years and never playing for a state title before Saturday, this championship is pretty special.

"To Laney, it's going to mean a lot. I don't know if they thought we were going to be the team that would be able to do it, but to them it's going to mean a lot. We dedicate this to Ms. Laney, and to all the fans, all the alumni and all the future basketball players, it means a lot to them."

The Wildcats finished 28-4 this season. The senior class went 105-15 in their career.