BRIMFIELD, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — First-year coach Josh McKown knew what people were saying.

“We weren’t expected to do much with everyone gone,” said McKown.

Last March, Brimfield won its first girls basketball state championship. But four of the five starters from that 1A title winner graduated.

And head coach Maribeth Dura took the girls’ basketball job at Canton. That appeared to leave the Indians with a depleted roster.

“Losing so many key players was an adjustment for everyone,” said senior Elly Doe, the lone returning starter from last year’s team. “But now seeing how we play, I don’t think people would be shocked if we went far.”

Shocked is a good word to use. Instead of having a depleted team, Brimfield is unbeaten in conference play (5-0) and has won 17 of its first 23 games with a relatively young roster. The Indians might be shocking those who doubted them.

“It’s really fun, we are catching a lot of people off guard,” said sophomore Ava Heinz. “We are shocking a lot of people with our record. It’s really fun.”

The Indians enter a key stretch with a game against state-ranked Havana on Monday.

“Maybe intially we caught people off guard but I don’t think it’s a secret anymore,” McKown said. “We’re starting to play pretty well. The last couple of weeks, we’ve really started to click.”

The Indians are winning with a roster featuring only two seniors. It’s a team that that is may be young but seems to be growing-up fast this year.

“I think we are better than I thought but I think we have so much more potential and I think we can be even better than we are now,” said junior Olivia Kappes. “The games we are playing right now, we’re starting to come together as a team. I think it’s all happening at the right time.”