SILVER LAKE, KS. (KSNT)- Silver Lake girls’ basketball is setting high goals for itself after a stellar 2021-22 season.

“We have great kids that work hard each and every day,” Silver Lake high school head girls’ basketball coach Kyle Porter said.

This hard-working group is almost identical to last year in terms of the roster.

“We look pretty much the same as last year except we’ve improved a whole lot more,” Silver Lake senior Taylor Ross said.

The Lady Eagles finished 24-2 last season. Their year ended with a third-place finish in the state tournament. Although overall it was an impressive campaign, the semifinal loss motivated them.

“We were disappointed with the outcome of the end of our season and I think it fuels our girls every day to work- to use every day as an opportunity to get better,” Porter said.

The goal is obvious: Get back to Hutchinson for that state tournament. However, the team has no plans of leaving with a third-place finish this time.

“We have a big picture of the Hutch stadium in our locker room that we see every day before we go to practice so it’s some good motivation,” Ross said.

“That is like the thing I’ve been looking forward to the most my whole four years,” Silver Lake senior Mariah Farmer said. “I really want a state title.”

Porter’s team features a balanced attack. It’s able to beat you in multiple ways and with multiple players.

“It makes teams kind of have to struggle when they guard us because, you know, if they shut out the outside we have the inside players,” Farmer said. “[If they] shut out the inside, we have the outside players. I think that’s what makes us a really dangerous team.”

Equally, if not more, impressive than the team’s on-court accomplishments is its ability to see that some things are bigger than the game of basketball.

“Mental health is a big thing [we care about],” Farmer said. “I think that’s really important. [The coaching staff] keeps everyone kind of engaged so no one gets burnt out or anything.”

“We want to create a program where kids are valued as people, where they’re challenged to get better and grow each and every day,” Porter said. “We want a program that encourages and supports one another through that process.”