That's why the Excel Christian Eagles, even though they lost Tuesday night, are on the brink of bettering last year's win total, both in its overall and region records.
Excel, which has already matched last year's win total with five games, came close enough for head coach Gary Boulier to note its progress even though it lost 65-55 on the road.
Gordon Lee was ahead much of the game, grabbing a 15-9 lead at the end of the first quarter that was closed to 29-24 at the break.
But when the Trojans stretched that lead to 49-37 at the end of the third quarter, the Eagles came roaring back and had closed to within four points with 1:35 showing on the clock.
"We had a chance to be down two points but we lost the ball," he said. "They went down and scored, for a four-point turnaround."
Boulier's troops still had a chance to come back but couldn't turn the corner.
"We missed on our opportunities and they ended up making their free throws," he said.
Boulier still saw good things in the team's performance, saying the Eagles have been a harder team for their opponents to shake loose so far.
Joe West and Mason Butt led Excel in finding the net against the Trojans, scoring 19 and 18 points respectively. Also contributing were Seth Curlee and Greg Gore, with 6 each.
"Joe drove to basket super aggressively for us," he said, "and drew some fouls. Mason did a good job of finding the open spot when his teammates were attacking the basket."
He said he liked their effort.
"This is probably the best we've played at Gordon Lee in the four years I've been here. We feel we can play with anyone in our subregion."
With the loss, Excel's record drops to 5-8 on the year and 1-1 in Region 6A-A. It next plays Friday night when it hosts Darlington.
Gordon Lee 86, Excel 20
Gordon Lee showed why it's once again one of the premier girls basketball powers in its classification as it handled the Lady Eagles Tuesday night, 86-20.
The Lady Trojans (11-4, 2-0 in Region 6A-A) jumped to an early 18-0 lead in the game as its full court press led to easy scoring opportunities.
"We couldn't handle the pressure -- we're still learning," coach Boulier said.
He said the game showed the direction the girls need to go in to become more successful.
"Gordon Lee is one of the really good teams in our region each year and this year is no different," he said. "They put a lot of pressure on the ball handler and we have to learn how to handle that."
Walker Bell was the leading scorer for Excel, tossing down 7.