Beyer High point guard Ben Polack is motivated by the close-call he experienced on this floor a year ago.
The Patriots advanced to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division II final during a captivating postseason run, only to watch Whitney lift the blue banner at the University of the Pacific.
With just three seniors back, Beyer has beat the odds, surviving its growing pains, a tough push through the Modesto Metro Conference, and early-round battles with Manteca and Rio Americano.
The Patriots will battle top-seeded Central Catholic in Saturday's Division III final. The Raiders are the two-time defending D-IV champion, but moved up in weight class after winning the Valley Oak League.
Beyer has won the last two meetings with Central Catholic, including a 53-48 decision last year.
"This is definitely personal," Polack said of the all-Modesto final. "Last year we almost had a chance to win sections. This year, I'm trying to finish it."
Polack sat down with The Bee before the game to discuss the opponent, his mentality as a point guard in the Patriots' system, and the impact last season's finals run had on a new-look roster.