Last season, the Smith Center girls basketball team didn't suffer its first loss until the 23rd game of the season.
That one loss cost the Lady Red everything, as it came in the Class 2-A sub-state finals, one win away from the state tournament.
This season, Smith Center reeled off 10 straight wins to open the year. But then the team took a 73-63 overtime loss to Ellis (13-1) Saturday in the finals of the Mid-Continent League tournament.
Head coach Nick Linn feels that because the team suffered its first loss of the 2012-13 campaign in the middle of the season, it might serve its purpose later on down the road.
"I'd rather have a loss earlier where you can learn from rather than a victory where you make mistakes," said Linn, whose team is now 11-1 and ranked No. 3 in Class 2A by the Kansas Basketball Coaches Association.