Winning championships never gets old. Just ask the Pershing County girls basketball team.
The Mustangs won their third consecutive state title on Saturday, and they did so in record-setting style.
The 59-34 victory over outmatched Lincoln County in the Division III title game at the Orleans Arena put Pershing County with eight other programs to win three straight championships.
"The quality of it is way better than the quantity," senior Sarita Jo Condie said.
Condie, the stalwart behind each title, tallied 29 points to establish a high mark for scoring in the Division III (formerly 2A) state tournament. Condie scored 60 in two games. She also matched the classification record with eight 3-pointers in the two games.
"This is definitely different because I knew this was my final one," said Condie, who put the crown on her four-year varsity career. "I just went out wanting no regrets, knowing I can't ever have this moment back."
Condie, as she always points out, had plenty of help.
Fellow seniors Samantha Dennler had 11 points, and Leah Holland added six and 13 rebounds.
"How about those other seniors?" Pershing County coach Steve Cerini said. "Samantha played great defensively all tournament, always getting the toughest assignment. And Leah Holland grabbed every rebound, it seemed like. What a great way for them to go out."
And all the Mustangs played a role in shutting out the Lynx in the third quarter to put the game away. Pershing County already led by 10 at halftime, but the 18-0 third period more than gift-wrapped another championship.
"We always say the third quarter is the most important one," Dennler said. "We still had a little nerves at the beginning but we worked them out and took off in the third quarter."
As the final seconds wound down, the Pershing County starters shared hugs on the bench and held hands before storming the court just before the buzzer.
"The first one was special because it was the first one in a girls sport in school history," Cerini said. "But this one is special because of the girls who have been a part of all three and because so much was expected of these girls and they met those expectations with this today."