Even so, the Ladycats managed to fight through three lead changes and two ties. Sophomore forward Chasen Howard led the way for Santo with a team-high 15 points and 10 rebounds to go along with two blocks and a steal.
Santo only saw three other Ladycats score, as seniors Payton Billue, Breeana Raffaele and Courtney Flanagan scored nine, eight and seven points, respectively.
"Payton Billue stood out all year long," coach Raffaele said. "She's been taking it to a different level all season.
"Chasen is starting to come into her own. She played really well. So did all of my seniors."
With the loss, Santo will bid farewell to a phenomenal senior class that included Madison Lasater and Taylor Nemeth in addition to Billue, Flanagan and Raffaele.
Raffaele thanked the entire Palo Pinto County community, especially Santo, for its support throughout the Ladycats' playoff run. But don't count on it taking another 57 years to happen again.
Despite this season's sour end, Raffaele said Austin has not seen the last of the Santo Ladycats. With Howard leading a talented core of young players, Raffaele said he is excited about the future.
"I have a very good freshman and sophomore group and we will return a couple of juniors from this team," he said. "I think the talent's there. We'll be less experienced, but we'll definitely have the talent to get back (to the state tournament)."
Now they can say they've done it before. They made it to the dance. Now all Santo needs to do is find that glass slipper and go back. And with the right work ethic and a little luck, Santo could be closer than ever to finally achieving championship glory with Raffaele at the helm.