For the first time since 1995, the Central Red Raiders girls basketball team is headed to State.
The Red Raiders beat New London 33-28 in overtime. It's the program's fourth trip overall to the state tournament.
"It's so unreal," senior Katlyn Roesch said. "I've been waiting for this and I knew it was going to come and I'm happy we did. It's just so crazy and I love it, I love the feeling."
"I'm just excited for the girls," said Head Coach Nahmie George. "They've worked so hard since November. They deserve this, they earned this and we're just going to have a lot of fun down there."
A tie game with 10.5 seconds left in regulation, Central's Brittany Baldwin got a steal and was fouled. She missed the bonus free throw, sending the game to overtime. Brittany and Brooke Baldwin then hit crucial free throws in the extra frame.
The biggest moment in the game, however, came with five minutes to play and the Red Raiders down by five. Shianne Fair went down, injuring her back. She left the game in a stretcher. Without her, the team responded.
"That was really scary and we were very worried about her. But one of our assistant coaches went up to me and said, "Do it for Shianne." So we knew we had to work our butt off for her," said senior Brooke Baldwin.
"Shi has had a bad back she's battled through all year long. It's been sore from November," George said. "She's been playing always with a bad back. It spasmed up on her. She couldn't even sit up."
By the time the game ended and Central punched their ticket to State, Shianne was back with her team to share in the big moment.
"It means the world to me. I'm so proud of my team. They're like my family, I'm so proud," Fair said.
Fair added she will be okay to play in the state tournament. The Red Raiders face DeForest Friday at approximately 3:15 p.m. at the Resch Center.