CARTERVILLE (WSIL) -- The Carterville girls basketball team graduated three key seniors from a Lions team that finished third in State.
This year's squad is pretty good too, 8-1, 4-1 in the Southern Illinois River-to-River Mississippi Division
The success starts with the Doyle sisters.
Kendra Sheehan Goes Beyond the highlights with the Doyle sisters.
"We have a lot of laughs and want each other to work hard and excel," Carterville junior Alecia Doyle said. "We want to see each other succeed so it's very exciting. I'm happy she's on the court with me."
"My favorite part is sharing that love and connection and we always want to see each other succeed and it's so important to have each other's backs. So if something happens to her, you know I'm going to be there," Carterville freshman Amayah Doyle said.
The Doyle sisters are inseparable, their chemistry obvious on the court but basketball runs in Alecia and Amayah's blood. Their mom Terica was one of SIU's leading scorers averaging 13 points a game her senior year. Now Terica's same love for the game has been passed down a generation.
"So I started out letting them play everything and not letting them focus on one thing hoping they would pick basketball but it was really ok if they picked something else but when they picked up basketball and loved it I was like yes" Alecia and Amayah's mom Terica Hathaway said.
"Whenever I play I don't know how to explain it I just get joy, I'm happy when I play, it's something I love," Alecia Doyle said. "Whenever I touched a basketball in fourth grade I know this is what I like to do."
The two sisters have shot countless hoops in their front yard. Basketball has been a way for the entire family to stay connected.
"We've always been outside with our mom shooting and playing defense with each other. We are both very competitive so if someone fouls someone else that is where we are trying to get better with each other."
Who would you say is more competitve?
"We are both pretty competitve but I wuld say I'm probably the most competitive," Alecia said while Amayah points to herself and Alecia shakes her head and says no."
"It used to be all of us all of the time and when they are little I would never let them win and that's probably why they are so competitive themselves. They work for everything they get," Hathaway said.
The Doyle sisters are tough on each other, never settling for the bare minimum.
"If one of them is taking a break, the other doesn't let them do that very much so they keep each other on track and they are each other's biggest cheerleader," Carterville Girls basketball head coach Todd Rogers said.
"We know basketball and sports don't last forever so as long as we have that love and passion and eternity through life we know we'll be there for each other," Amayah said.
After this year, the sisters have one more season of playing basketball together.