It’s been more than 25 years since a Charlotte High School girls varsity basketball team has called itself “league champs.” 

It’s a drought that could end Friday, Feb. 22, and this year’s team has a chance to capture it on their home floor, in front of what should be a capacity crowd. 

They’ve earned it. They’ve put in the work … hours of sweat and determination leading to a chance to reach their goal of a league title. 

It’s time for the community to show up in mass to cheer them on.

Portland will come to town with redemption on their mind. The Raiders were undefeated and ranked in the top 10 in the state when the Orioles emphatically knocked them off their perch in their first showdown of the season. The loss is one of only two Portland has on the season, and they will be itching for payback.

Both teams have just one loss in the league as of Feb. 14. Both have a few more obstacles to get past before the Feb. 22 showdown. If the Orioles defeat Sexton on Feb. 15, they will be playing for the outright championship. If they stumble against the Big Reds, they can still secure a share of the league crown by defeating Portland.

The Raiders on the other hand still have to get past LCC and Eaton Rapids. 

“There’s some personal satisfaction that comes with winning,” said Charlotte head coach Bill Newhouse. “But so much more has come from watching these girls grow as players and as people.”

Newhouse said the team will have to bring a focused defensive effort to knock off Portland again. 

“If we can defend the way we have for the last month or so, we’ll have a good shot,” he said. “They have a lot of quickness and some good shooters, but if we defend the way we’re capable, then we’ll be in good shape.”

The Orioles will be looking to defend their home court, which can be a huge advantage for the home team when the stands are full and the crowd is in the game.

Friday, Feb. 22 is a chance to witness something that hasn’t been done for a long time here. Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of it.