CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Woodrow Wilson's convincing victory over South Charleston in Saturday's MSAC Night of Champions may have done more than snap a couple of lengthy SC win streaks.
It may also have altered the dynamic for the upcoming sectional and regional tournament seedings.
Woodrow (17-4), now riding a 13-game win streak, lost in its only meeting with sectional rival Greenbrier East earlier this season, but gained a lot of style points with Saturday's 77-60 triumph over SC, which had won 13 in a row itself and 40 straight Mountain State Athletic Conference games.
SC (18-2) was also the only Class AAA school that had not lost to a West Virginia opponent all season. Its only previous setback was to Kentucky power Madison Central (24-5).
The Flying Eagles don't get another shot at Greenbrier East in the regular season, but South Charleston does on Thursday. If SC should knock off East, perhaps that would be enough for Woodrow to claim the top sectional seed and the home court in a potential showdown with East.
Woodrow Wilson coach Ron Kidd wasn't quite ready to stamp his team as a top contender, even though the Flying Eagles should go up to No. 2 when the AAA rankings are released today.
"We've still got to improve,'' Kidd said, "and get better at some things because I feel like we had a whole lot of turnovers [against SC]. To be a state champ, you can't turn the ball over. You've got to be poised and be able to protect the ball.''
SC coach Vic Herbert, meanwhile, was asked if Saturday's loss might drop his team below Woodrow in the minds of coaches seeding the regional teams for the eventual state tournament field - that is, if both teams wind up advancing to the Civic Center.
"Yeah, that's possible,'' Herbert said, "depending on how we finish out. They've lost four, we've lost two. We beat them on their home court, they beat us on ours. It could affect seeding if we're both lucky enough to make it to the state tournament. I hope it doesn't, but it could.''
More than a win
Herbert Hoover's against-the-odds upset of No. 2 Poca at the final buzzer in overtime Friday night not only gave the Huskies added confidence for the stretch run, it may have given them the inside track to something far greater.
If Nicholas County loses to either Sissonville or Clay County this week, then Hoover will take the No. 2 seed in AA Region 4 Section 1, giving the Huskies home-court advantage for the first round.
If Hoover wins that game, it's assured of making the sectional finals, which means it's in the regional regardless of how it does in that game. Regional winners advance to the state tournament, where the Huskies have never been.
"We feel like if we get that home court, we get a chance to get into the sectional finals,'' said coach Jeff Gandee, "and that gets you to the regionals - one shot to get there [to the Civic Center].
"We've been coaching these kids since they were fifth graders, and we feel like [the state tournament] is a goal we set for these kids. We kept them as a school team in AAU season. We didn't recruit AAA players. We played our school team against AAU teams. That makes it tough to compete in the early years, but the whole seven-year plan was to build your team so that hopefully when you're seniors, maybe we'll get a shot to do something the school's never done in its history - and that's put the boys team in the state basketball tournament.''
Gandee thinks his team has a definite shot in a one-game regional showdown with any of the other schools in Section 2 - Tolsia, Scott, Chapmanville, Mingo Central or Wayne.
"That's our big goal,'' Gandee said, "and it's a seven-year goal. We've been working toward it in-season and during the offseason. We talked about it the other day, 'Guys, it's still in our reach. All that work and all that commitment.'
"We're knocking on the door to put the final page in the chapter of that story that we've been writing since seven years ago. You'll get one shot. I feel like we've got a chance to beat anybody on the other side. We've got a legitimate chance. We've got an opportunity here, but it's up to us. An opportunity is just an opportunity - it's what you make of it.''