METAMORA, Ill. (WMBD/WYZZ) — Metamora is embracing the idea it is one of the best teams in the state.

And maybe the best in central Illinois.

“I think everyone knows we are the best, the best team in the area, the best team in Peoria,” said Metamora junior Tyler Mason. “We have a target on our back, like I said. Everyone’s trying to beat us.”

Teams are taking their best shot at Metamora, last year’s class 3A state runner-up. But the Redbirds have been up to the challenge recently as they’ve won 13 games in a row.

“When you’ve got three three-year starters that makes me a better coach down the stretch,” said Metamora coach Danny Grieves. “These guys have been in these situations time and time again.”

The Redbirds have won tight games in the Mid-Illini Conference with East Peoria and Morton. And they won a holiday tournament in Mississippi which is preparing them for another postseason run.

“We have a lot of returning starters in the last couple of years, a lot of experience,” said senior Tyson Swanson. “That helps a ton in the end-of-game situations for sure.”

Monday, the Redbirds get a long-awaited rematch with Sacred Heart-Griffin, the team that beat the Redbirds in double overtime in last March’s state title game. That loss has helped fuel the fire of this Redbird team.

“I think we will try and make it back to where we were (at state),” said Mason. “And hopefully win it this time.”