It was a long season for the Pekin girls basketball team, which won just six of 30 games.

It’s been an even longer season for the Dragons’ Taylor Goss, but that’s a good thing.

The 5-foot-10 sophomore has advanced past regionals and sectionals all the way to the Class 4A championship round in the IHSA’s Three-Point Showdown.

After surviving the state finals preliminaries Thursday at Redbird Arena in Normal, Goss will compete for the state championship Friday night at Redbird between the Class 4A semifinal games.

“(Getting to the championship round) hasn’t really sunk in yet,” Goss said Thursday night after the prelims. 

Thirty-two girls competed in the prelims and Goss was one of just four to advance to the championship round.

By the luck of the draw, Goss was the last of the 32 girls to shoot in the prelims. 

“Waiting was nerve-wracking,” she said.

Jalysa Stokes of Joliet Central went 12-for-15 in the prelims and moved on. 

Five girls including Goss tied with 10-for-15, sending the competition into overtime for the final three spots in the championship round.

Downers Grove South’s Maggie Greco went 8-for-10. Goss and Addison Ebeling of Wilmette Loyola Academy each went 6-for-10 and earned the last two spots in the final four.

Downers Grove North’s Ellie Gross was 5-for-10 and Oswego East’s Christine Corpuz was 2-for-10 in overtime.

Being last was a theme for Goss during her Thursday at Redbird.

Besides being the last of the 32 girls to shoot in the prelims, she was the last of the five girls to shoot in overtime.

“And in both the prelims and overtime, I had to make my last shot to advance,” Goss said.

Goss said she’s trying to make the experience of competing at Redbird as enjoyable as possible. She advanced to the Three-Point Showdown sectionals last year as a freshman, but no further.

“I want to take it all in and see how many shots I can knock down,” she said. “It’s weird shooting with nobody defending you. You feel like you should make all your shots.”

The three-point shot isn’t the only weapon in Goss’ diverse offensive arsenal during games. She finished the season with 68 points in the Dragons’ final three games, two of them wins.

“I think I’m a pretty decent shooter,” she said. “But I also like to take the ball to the basket.”

None of the area’s four shooters in Class 3A advanced past the Three-Point Showdown prelims Thursday.

Rachelle Vallianatos of Peoria Notre Dame went 7-for-15 to top the area field. Her teammate, Lexi Snyder, went 5-for-15, as did Canton’s Sydney Hannam. East Peoria’s Madelyne Aaron went 3-for-15.

The Class 3A finalists are Emmy Nyquist of Highland (12), Lilly Oliver of Freeburg (10), Maggie Bair of Glen Ellyn Glenbard South (10) and Regan Bollant of Charleston (10).

The winners of the Class 3A and Class 4A titles will join Class 1A champ Jaydn Mitchell of Flanagan-Cornell and Class 2A champ Caitlin Bowersock of Red Hill on Saturday in the Queen of the Hill competition at Redbird.

Steve Stein can be reached at (248) 224-2616 or Follow him on Twitter @SpartanSteve. GateHouse Media Illinois contributed to this story.