"We don't have a lot of size," says head coach John Hailes. "But we've got a lot of fight."
The fifth-ranked Lady Colonels may be small. And they may have only snuck through regional play, winning by two points over University Heights in the finals. But they're one of only sixteen teams still playing basketball in the Bluegrass State.
"[It's] exciting, nerve-wracking," says sophomore forward DeAsia Outlaw. "My adrenaline gets pumping when I think about it and I just want to go out there and play."
There are top girls' prospects littered all around the Tri-State; Rebecca Greenwell in Owensboro, Maura Muensterman in Evansville and Tyra Buss in Mt. Carmel. But Henderson senior Ellie Fruit may be the best player no one is talking about.
"Ellie's really good," says sophomore Maci Brown. "She's our leader, she steps it up and really steps up her game every time, she's an awesome player."
"You mentioned a few of them before," lauds Coach Hailes. "Ellie's right there with some of them. Doesn't have the size that a couple of them have, but she's got a lot of heart and she plays hard 24/7."
She's been on the varsity roster since eighth grade. The humble four year starter is heading to her third, and final, Kentucky State Tournament.
"It's so bittersweet," says the star forward, who's averaging 17.9 points per game. "Every time I think about it, I have to give my all every single time. At practice and when I go out on that floor I have to give it my all."
"She shows great leadership," says Outlaw. "She encourages us every day to do our best every day in practice."
Fruit says her team has proven they're a force to be reckoned with, despite not having a player taller than 5'9". And believes no one will overlook the Lady Colonels.
But she confidently adds, "I think that's a good thing."
HCHS will take on Anderson Co. High School in Round 1 in Bowling Green on Wednesday. That game is set to tip off at 6:30 CDT.