What a difference a year makes.
The C. Milton Wright boys basketball team is banking on it.
Last year, the Mustangs won the program's first region crown and then scurried off to Xfinity Center for their first state tournament.
They were a bit nervous. With the bad weather pushing back the region playoffs, they had little time to enjoy their region crown and prepare for the big trip.
The No. 9 Mustangs (22-3) believe what they learned from falling to eventual state champion Centennial in the semifinals will pay dividends this time around.
Already, as they prepare to take on Huntingtown in Thursday's 3 p.m. semfinal, they feel more relaxed and prepared.
After beating Woodlawn for the region title on Friday, they had a team-bonding scavenger hunt at the school on Saturday. Each day, they are amping up practice more and more to be ready. This time, it's their opponent, the Hurricaned from Calvert County, that are new to the big stage.
"I definitely think it's a benefit," C. Milton Wright coach Jon Stefanides said.
"When we came in [last year], there was a lot of talk about kids being nervous and I think the coaching staff was a little overwhelmed, too. Walking into the regional final [this year], we calmed down a lot, saying 'We've been here and we've done this before.'"
Senior guard Corey Bays, who surpassed the 1,000-point plateau, is averaging 22.7 points per game as the Mustangs leader. Fellow seniors Kyle Harkins and Chris Lorenzo are both at 10 points per game.