MIDDLETON - D'Rae Tullock is the only player on the Middleton High girls basketball team who remembers what it's like to lose a varsity game.
That last loss was a 62-54 setback against Centennial on Nov. 16, 2010.
Middleton has since won 72 consecutive games without a loss. The streak is the longest in the nation for a girls basketball team, according to MaxPreps, a national website that covers high school sports.
The Vikings' streak spans portions of three seasons and includes two state championships and three district titles. But until this year, the team didn't give much thought to the streak.
"Last year, I don't think anyone even really thought about it," Middleton coach Andy Jones said. "It just wasn't a big deal until we got to the state tournament."
The 2011-12 season ended with the Vikings' third consecutive 4A state championship and a 49th consecutive victory.
This season, Jones decided he would make the streak a source of motivation.
"This year, right away I figured it's out there. We might as well see if we can't turn around and use it to our advantage," Jones said. "Before we played Mountain View (in the first game of the season), I said, 'The streak is a streak and when it's over, we can all be proud of what we accomplished. It's going to be a really neat thing. But until it's over, I am very protective of what we've accomplished.' "
The streak includes 23 games this season and a 10th consecutive berth in the state tournament. Middleton has won 79 games in a row against 4A Southern Idaho Conference opponents.
"Some of the numbers when you start talking about them, they're silly," Jones said. "... It's hard to wrap your head around."
Middleton puts its streak on the line in a first-round game against Twin Falls (16-8) at 1:15 p.m. Thursday at Mountain View High.
They'll need three victories in three days to win a fifth state championship in six seasons.
"The previous 72 doesn't really have a whole lot to do with the next three," Jones said. "We're just trying to have a three-game win streak this weekend. That's way more important to us as a group and to us as individuals than the previous 72."
Rachel Roberts: 377-6422,Twitter: @IDS_VarsityX