Last season, the Sutton boys basketball team went 23-3 with two of those losses coming at the hands of eventual state champion Ravenna. One of those losses came in the district finals last year, preventing the Mustangs from qualifying for the state tournament despite their record.
Sutton made sure that didn't happen this year.
At 25-1, the Mustangs' only loss was to Freeman — which has gone on to be the second seed in the state tournament with a 23-3 record — on Dec. 29, 2012, in a 48-47 overtime battle. Sutton got its revenge in the Class C-2, Subdistrict 2 finals, winning 46-39.
The Mustangs then beat Johnson County Central 55-47 in the C2-1 District final to secure the top seed at state and clinch their third state appearance in four years.
Head coach Steve Spongberg is convinced the journey to Lincoln actually began in the fall.
"I think it all started with our football year. We were able to stay healthy and we've done the same thing in basketball. All seven of our players that are playing a large number of minutes were all key participants on our football team, which obviously had a lot of success," Spongberg said, referring to the Mustangs' 12-1 season on the gridiron that ended one win shy of a state championship. "To be 25-1, if you asked me that at the beginning of the year with the schedule we played, I probably wouldn't have thought we'd be at that good of a record. The kids have improved and they've worked extremely hard."