Pershing County was not simply happy to be in the boys Division III state championship game. The Mustangs wanted to win.
But they never expected to be there Saturday afternoon and only recently figured it as a realistic possibility.
The fairy-tale run, as coach Lance Condie called it, came to an end at the hands of Lincoln County's lethal duo of Chandler Katschke and Ryan Rippetoe.
The pair combined for 54 points in the Lynx's 67-42 victory at the Orleans Arena.
The Mustangs were disappointed to head home without their first title since 1965. But they also were at peace with it.
"It would have been nice to win, of course," Pershing County senior Seth Montes said. "But the way we came together as a team and became better players is what I'll remember about this season.
"As the season went along, I kind of thought we'd end up in the show and it feels good to have been here."
The Mustangs were more than just there. They were in the game until midway through the second quarter.
Lincoln County scored 12 unanswered points as part of a 17-1 run. Rippetoe had eight points and Katschke seven during the spurt.
"They were ridiculous," Montes said.
"They brought their 'A' game," Condie added.
Pershing County never countered and did not get a scorer in double figures.
"We took some bad shots but then we'd go inside and couldn't hit. Even when we took good shots, we missed," Condie said. "If (Randolph) McLean doesn't give us 15 and if (Jacob) Adams doesn't give us 15, we're going to struggle. And we struggled.
"I'm just proud of the kids. If you're going to play poor, it's better to play poor in the last game than to never get to the last game. We had a group of kids that maybe weren't the best basketball players but they played well as a team and got as far as they could."