PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Metamora Township High School was buzzing with excitement today as students packed the gym for a pep rally.

The boys basketball team will travel to Champaign to play against East St. Louis in the Class 3A state semifinals. The Redbirds are hoping to avenge last season, when they lost the state championship on a buzzer-beater in double overtime

Senior team leader Drew Tucker talked about the devastating loss and how it has fueled them this season.

“We had probably the toughest loss a team has seen in the state championship game, to lose in double overtime on a buzzer-beater is something you don’t see very often, so we want to come home with the first place for sure,” Tucker said.

The fans have supported the team all season long, even internationally. Head Coach Danny Grieves appreciates the support.

“Our support during the season, and even moreso in the postseason, has been off the chains, everywhere we go we dang near sell the place out,” Grieves said.

The student body is also reveling in the moment, and not taking it for granted. Senior cheerleader Anna Thomas believes this is a special experience

“It’s truly history, my junior year we made it, my senior year, I’m a part of history right now,” Thomas said.

The Redbirds are seeking their first state basketball championship.