CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Herbert Hoover's girls are an eclectic bunch.
They're not locked in solely on basketball and have a wide array of interests.
Five are soccer players, two compete in volleyball and several more focus on softball, but coach Greg Ullman has brought all of their talents together for what has already been a special season.
The Huskies (15-2) won 12 in a row and didn't lose for nearly two months, and now have their sights set on a trip to the state tournament, something that hasn't happened at Hoover since 1988 on the hardwood.
The Huskies' recent successes in other sports are beginning to carry over to the floor. The soccer team set a school record for wins and finished No. 11 in the state rankings this past fall while the volleyball team advanced to the Class AA state championship game before falling. The softball squad, which is usually a contender for a state tourney berth, finished No. 2 and lost in the regional semifinals.
"Everybody's strong mentally and physically,'' said Hoover's Hannah King, who was an all-tournament and all-state performer in volleyball. "We have a winning mindset. That's all we want to do. We've played together all of our lives and we know what each one of us can do.''
"We go straight through fall, winter, spring and summer,'' added the Huskies' Bailey Aab, who was a Class AA-A all-state soccer honorable-mention selection at goalkeeper. "We've kept up the intensity all year. We bring it on the court. We're really scrappy. We're not that big of a team. I feel like everyone thinks they can push us around. We're physically tough and can give a push back.''
Huskies junior guard Bethany Romine is the only player who sticks with basketball. Sophomore forward Hannah Schoolcraft, Aab, a junior forward, sophomore forward Kari Harding and junior guard Caroline Thornburg play soccer; King, a senior forward, and senior guard Hope Johnson are on the volleyball team; and senior guard McKenzie Edmonds, junior guard Zoey Carte and Thornburg compete in softball. Schoolcraft also is a cheerleader.
"They're a joy to coach,'' said Ullman. "They're ambitious and energetic. I think they're confident that if they play to their abilities they can play with anybody.''
The Huskies' basketball program is beginning to catch up with the school's other sports. Hoover advanced to its first regional since the early 1990s in 2012 then finished last year with its first winning record since 1996 with a 12-11 mark.
The Huskies' 1988 team, which advanced to states for the first time in school history, finished with a school-best 18-4 record, another milestone within reach of the 2013-14 edition.
"What has happened, I think, the success in all the other sports has boiled over,'' said Ullman, who is in his fifth season at Hoover. "These kids are confident in anything they do and talented.
"They think they're going to win. It used to just be softball, then volleyball picked it up, then soccer picked it up. It's just really a snowball type of effect.''
That confidence wasn't shaken when Hoover lost at rival and Class AA No. 5 Sissonville 68-52 last Friday to snap its winning streak. The Huskies' only other setback was a 55-47 loss Dec. 14 to AA No. 10 Scott.
Hoover, which leads the Cardinal Conference with a 10-1 record, followed up its loss to Sissonville with a tight 51-46 home decision over Poca, then pulled out a 68-59 win in overtime at Chapmanville on Wednesday.
"At times in the past it was almost a sense of dread sometimes in certain games,'' Ullman said. "We got beat at Sissonville, but the girls didn't come out of that shaken. It wasn't a defeated attitude that you'd see in the past. A loss here and there isn't going to deter them from what they want to do.''