The Kennedy Catholic girls basketball team is playing in its third state championship game and the first since 2001.

"Its a dream come true. Anytime you get to the play the Giant Center for a state championship is amazing," said coach Justin Magestro.

The Golden Eagles (25-2) play Northumberland Christian (24-3) Thursday, at 12noon in Hershey.

"We've been working really hard with coming in the summer and finally able to make it is amazing," said junior Hayden Keith.

The Eagles are on a 12 game winning streak after losing their second game in February. Their two losses were against Villa Marie & Norwin.

"Having an opportunity to go to Hershey with my teammates is everything I accomplished in high school," said senior Sophia Lombardi.

She added one of the elements to their success was staying together as a team.

The Golden Eagles are allowing 36 points in the tournament.

"Our defense is our mantra, " said Magestro. "That's what we hang our hat on and I think it comes from our culture We are truly a KC family and that's our brand of basketball.

It's the seventh straight year at a team from Mercer County is playing in the finals.

"It speaks volumes for Mercer County, especially the Shenango Valley. We take our basketball serious and we're hoping to down there and represent the valley well, "said Magestro.

"This our turn and we hope to bring back the state championship for the valley," he added.