Gordon Lee ready for more history in first state final - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Gordon Lee ready for more history in first state final

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MACON, Ga. (WRCB) -- Gordon Lee basketball's biggest motivation is hidden in plain sight.

Every day at every practice, championship banners hang above the Lady Trojans in their home gym, and they don't own any of them.

"Our goal coming into the season was to hang a banner because on the wall. There's not a word up there about basketball," said head coach Lester Galyon. "But to hang a banner in our school, you have to either be a state champion or a state runner-up."

Despite averaging 20 wins a season for the last decade, Gordon Lee has never had the chance to earn either title because it's never even advanced to the state semifinals.

That changed two weeks ago when Gordon Lee beat Seminole County 73-68 in the state quarterfinals to clinch its first-ever trip to the Final Four. There the Lady Trojans knocked off Towns County, securing their first appearance in the state championship game.

"It was surreal for a moment because we thought about how we've seen other teams do this, but now we get to do it ourselves," Galyon said. "The girls are excited, and we as coaches are ecstatic because we understand there's no guarantee that you'll get to play at this level.

"We may never get a chance to be here again, so we're trying to make the most of the opportunity."

Galyon admits Georgia's recent public-private school split in Class A was a big boost for his team. Gordon Lee plays in the same region as Class A Private School state finalists St. Francis and Southwest Atlanta Christian, who have often stood as road-blocks on the Lady Trojans'  road to the title game in year's past.

However, Galyon is quick to point out that's not exactly the only reason for year's breakthrough. A talented group of five seniors also had plenty to do with it.

"We've been playing together since we were five years-old," said senior guard Kassidy Blevins, who is signed to play at Samford next year. "I'm best friends with everyone in that locker room. We love each other and we have such a good time."

Blevins' class has 99 wins in their four-year run, making Thursday afternoon's championship showdown with Randolph-Clay an opportunity for the perfect career exclamation point.

"We have one game to achieve all our goals," said senior forward Madelyn Lee. "We have to have a refuse to lose attitude because we don't want to spend the rest of our lives wishing we had done more to get that last win."

While this will be the biggest stage yet for the Lady Trojans, they don't expect to be overwhelmed by the moment.

In their first-ever state semifinal, Blevins hit the bench with two early fouls and sat out most of the first half. The team never wavered.

They expect to have that same poise at the Macon Centerplex this week.

"We've been looking forward to this all season, so I think we've been mentally preparing ourselves for it all year," said senior guard Katie Barger. "Even though it is the state championship and it's a step up, I think we're ready to just play like we can."

Galyon probably already has the number to call to order his program's first championship banner, but there's one important detail missing.

After waiting their turn to finally hang one on the wall, the Lady Trojans are not ashamed to be a bit greedy about what they want their banner to say.

They've certainly waited their turn to put a banner on the wall,

"I think we've put in enough work in the summer, over the past year and really over our entire careers," said Lee. "We definitely want that to say state champs, not runner-up."

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