If girls high school basketball teams were part of the futures market, there wouldn't have been many buyers for Gahanna going into the tournament.
The Lions finished fourth in the Ohio Capital Conference Ohio Division, had no name players after 6-foot-2 center Haley Schmitt and were in a power-packed lower bracket.
A lot of people would want shares in the team now after it defeated fifth-seeded Northland and second-seeded Tri-Valley to win its first Division I district championship since 2006.
What everyone found out is Gahanna (17-6) played in perhaps the deepest conference in the state, with Pickerington North (23-1) and Reynoldsburg (19-5) also having made it to the regional at Otterbein. Pickerington North plays Xenia and Reynoldsburg plays Gahanna in the semifinals Tuesday.
"We knew our division was tough because I complained about it all year long," Lions coach Rick Hauser said. "We had five league losses. We lost to Pickerington North by three points and one point and to Reynoldsburg by six points and eight points."
Hauser said that this isn't the most talented team has coached.
"These kids play together," he said. "The last thing is team spirit. It's contagious."
Guard Casey Salopek said the Lions win because of their toughness.
"We just never back down from anyone," she said. "We play hard. We have a lot of confidence. I think our conference (schedule) helped. In the beginning of the season we were a little shaky. We had to teach the new players. We've progressed as the season has gone along."
Reynoldsburg, which finished second to Pickerington North in the OCC Ohio, is in the regional for the first time since 1991.
The Raiders broke through after having lost in the district final two of the previous three years.
"But we're not done," senior forward T'Shera Lucas said. "We're getting right back into it. We aren't going to take a day off. You can't do that at this stage."