DONNELLSON, IA. (WGEM) -- What they lack in roster size the Central Lee girls basketball team makes up for with talent and experience.
The Hawks boast a varsity roster of only 10 players but a pair of seniors, and four juniors, have been through the nightly battles and it's led to 11 wins in their first 12 games.
Head coach Tony Sargent says a veteran presence has been key.
We've been together now for three years. We're getting a little more chemistry (and) the girls are getting to know each other a little better," Sargent said. "All that takes into effect."
Junior guard MacKenzie Northup explains how a focus on defense has helped, too.
"We've improved a lot on defense this year. We have a really solid 2-3 (zone) defense and we can switch it up," Northup said.
"Picking up on the defensive side has really brought us more offense and being able to run in transition is what pretty much helped us get off to a hot start."
Central Lee's undefeated record took a hit in last Thursday's loss at Keokuk, but it could be a blessing in disguise.
"To me it teaches us a lot," senior guard Anna Krehbiel said.
"I think it shows us that we're not invincible and that we need to continue working hard in practice, and just keep getting better."
According to Northup, "I like to think about it like the saying, 'Forgive but don't forget.' Forgive ourselves for losing the game but we can't forget the game. We have to remember what we did wrong and how we can improve on it."
The Hawks return to the floor Tuesday night when they host West Burlington before visiting Cardinal on Friday.