"It means everything in the world,'' he said. "[Our players] didn't have the confidence and the energy they should have had with an opportunity to go to the state tournament [the last several times we played the regional co-finals away from home].
"The girls are fired up. We've got a lot of momentum. They've exceeded a lot of people's expectations. I want the people of St. Albans to come out and support the Red Dragons. We need a packed gym.''
GW is getting on one of its patented rolls as it has the past two years when it went all the way to the AAA semifinals.
"I feel a whole lot better playing here in Kanawha County at GW than going down the turnpike, and that's something we addressed,'' said Patriots coach Jamie LaMaster. "We like to play here. We don't want to travel for that game."
The Patriots should be brimming with confidence after strolling through their sectional tournament, winning two games by an average of 311/2 points. GW has also already defeated Princeton at home a couple of weeks ago to lockup the East Division of the Mountain State Athletic Conference.
"That's huge," said GW junior post Kelli Jo Harrison of the home-court advantage. "Traveling all the way down to where we would have to play wouldn't be good for us. Being here is good for us. We'll have confidence"
Staff writer Ryan Pritt contributed to this article.
Reach Tommy R. Atkinson at takin...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-4811.