PONCE DE LEON, Fla. (WMBB) – The Ponce De Leon girls basketball team hopes history will repeat itself when it comes to the region finals game on Tuesday night.

The Pirates take on Paxton, who they took on last year in the region finals and beat 72-32 to move on to the Final Four and eventually went on to win the 1A State Championship.

However, head coach Brad Alford said it’s tough to compare last year’s team to this one since they lost so many players from the state championship squad, but this team has taken on that adversity.

“This group accepted that challenge, they heard all the talk that you lost a lot and they kind of took that as a challenge. They kind of wanted to prove people wrong and so far they have. We try to not worry about what other people do or say, we try to just do what we do, come in every day with the mindset of let’s outwork yesterday and they do a really good job of that. Once the game days get here, we’ll focus on what we got to do, but let’s take care of ourselves we can’t worry about the outside noise,” Alford said.

Alford said the community has been a great support to them, just like last year. He doesn’t expect there to be an open seat in the gym on Tuesday night.

“Tomorrow night’s atmosphere will be one you don’t want to miss. You’re gonna want to see what this is all about. They are gonna play in front of a crowd tomorrow night some college teams don’t get to play in front of. So just soak it in and enjoy every minute of it,” Alford said.

They aren’t the only Panhandle team still playing for a state title. The Port St. Joe Sharks will host Chipley on Tuesday night in another region finals game.