VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (WTKR)- When it comes to girl's basketball, dynasty is not a strong enough word to describe Princess Anne's stranglehold on Virginia. The Cavaliers have won eight consecutive state championships and have grown into one of the most dominant programs in the commonwealth.
Of course, the goal is to play into March and win that last game of the season every year, but head coach Darnell Dozier knows that a ninth straight title might be a little bit more of a challenge.
"I have no returners, none," Dozier said. "I have two seniors. One of them sat out last year with an ACL. The rest of them never played a varsity game in their [lives]. It's a hard struggle, but so far, we're winning the game."
Despite the youth, Dozier has seen his team jump out to a 3-0 start. He's liked the way the Cavaliers have jelled together, noting that they're getting better every day. Their latest game against First Colonial saw Princess Anne trail by ten, only to have the Cavs rally for the win.
"They came back after halftime and played like the old team used to play," the head coach noted. "They've got a ways to go and a lot to learn, but I don't think [anybody] else is a lot better than we are in the area because of what happened all last year. It's just going to be a dogfight."
The players are well aware of the history and tradition that come with wearing a Princess Anne jersey. This season's version of the Cavaliers does not need to look very hard to find motivation, knowing that the target is squarely on their backs, thanks to those who have come before them.
"I'd say that we pretty much motivate ourselves," senior guard McKenna Harris pointed out. "We don't want to be that team to lose the state championship streak, so that's going to be our motivation throughout the whole season."
"We don't want to be the team to break the streak, but it's not necessarily the fact that we can't stick up to the pressure because we work every day," sophomore guard Celeste Baley added.
"I probably think about that every night before I go to bed," Harris smiled. "We're not going to be that team to lose."
Princess Anne's streak of state titles began in 2014 with a 57-52 win over Highland Springs. It includes a VHSL-declared co-championship in 2020, when the state championship game was cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cavaliers have been in the state final every year since 2009.
Princess Anne returns to action on Friday when the Cavaliers visit Bayside.