Brianna Bledsoe is making her final stand.
The Tarleton State senior has been drawing cheers from local fans since making the varsity roster as a sophomore at Stephenville High School.
Seven years later, Bledsoe is headed in the NCAA Division II Championship for the final time. And the South Central Region Championship - where each of her previous Tarleton State seasons have ended - tips off at noon today with the TexAnns battling Texas A&M-International at First United Bank Center in Canyon.
"When I got here, the expectation to win was already set," said Bledsoe, who has blossomed from a seldom-used freshman to a team captain and second-leading scorer as a senior. "We're trying to take it a step farther before we leave here."
Bledsoe was part of a Tarleton team that captured both the regular season and tournament titles in the Lone Star Conference as a sophomore in 2011-12, but never have they so much as reached the final in a regional.
That's exactly what Bledsoe and company are looking to change this time around.
"We want to set the bar so the expectation isn't just getting to the regional tournament, but winning there," she said.
And they know they are capable.
Tarleton upset West Texas A&M, the top seed and host of the regional tournament, 71-69 at Wisdom Gym on Feb. 19, and led the Lady Buffs as late as the five-minute mark of the second half before falling 76-67 in the final of last weekend's LSC Championship in Allen.
The TexAnns have other wins against teams in the field. They are 2-0 against seventh-seeded Midwestern State, a potential semifinal opponent, and 1-0 against St. Edward's, who captured the eighth seed by winning the automatic bid from the Heartland Conference.
"It's very exciting because I think we're kind of hitting our peak right now," Bledsoe said. "We have a lot to prove, so we're excited to get on the court at regionals and show how we can really play."
Her senior success has comprised just half the family's basketball joy of late. Her younger brother, Stephenville High School senior Branndon Bledsoe, was part of the Yellow Jackets run to the 3A Region I final, their deepest post season journey in a whopping 89 years.
"It's definitely really special. Before the season, we were talking to our parents about being seniors and how this is our last one. We both wanted to leave it all on the court and make the most of it," Bledsoe said. "His team had a lot of success, and now we are too, so it's a lot of fun."
Throughout her career, Bledsoe says she's been blessed with great coaching. Stephenville head coach Alan Thorpe began his run of five straight area titles with a club led by Bledsoe, and Tarleton head man Ronnie Hearne has more than 1,000 career wins.
"I've definitely been blessed with very good coaches who have pushed me not only as a player but as a person," the marketing major said. "They are there for me not only on the court, but off the court, too."
She's also made a lifetime's worth of memories.
"The most memorable times are just being with my teammates. I've made so many good friends with everyone in high school and college," she said. "I can't really just pick one favorite memory, but just being with all my teammates and the times we've had together. That's always special."
The focus now, is continuing her career one game at a time. Because in the madness that is the NCAA Championship, the next round is all you're ever guaranteed. Especially for a senior set to graduate in May.
"When you're a senior, everything is your last," she said. "We want to make sure any time we're on the court that we're giving it our everything. We want to leave it all out there if it's going to be for the last time."