SALEM, Ind. (WAVE) – You cannot drive through Salem without seeing the signs, balloons and pompoms celebrating the girl’s basketball team.
For the town it is on the road to a dream. The team left for Indianapolis Friday morning to compete for the state championship.
After 43 years at Salem High School, biology teacher Greg McCurdy didn’t think his hypothesis would ever come true.
“Never, never,” McCurdy said. “It’s unbelievable.”
The boys were the last Salem team to make it to state finals. That was 90 years ago during the Great Depression. The girls are ending that drought and they’re shooting to be the first team to ever bring the win home.
"I would put our girls up against anybody,” Salem Lady Lions head basketball coach Jerry Hickey said.
Hickey said he knew this team was the one because they always push through, even when they didn’t make it to finals in 2019.
The whole community has rallied behind the girls. So much so that Hickey had to ask for 1,000 more tickets and that still wasn’t enough.
"We’re telling everybody lock their doors because nobody is going to be in Salem tomorrow,” Hickey said.
One of the team’s key players tore her ACL at the start of the season but the team said it never took its eyes off the road to gold. When the Lions play NorthWood on Saturday they want to turn their 25 and 3 record to 26 and 3.
“I’m retiring at the end of the school year,” McCurdy said. “I can’t think of a better way to go out than to watch these girls play for a state championship.”
The game starts at 6 p.m. at Banker’s Life Fieldhouse.