CHARLESTON, W.Va. --Their last meeting just 11 days ago undoubtedly remains fresh in the minds of South Charleston's and Woodrow Wilson's players.
The question is: Do they really want to remember it, or rather forget all about it?
SC's earlier 74-53 romp over the Flying Eagles certainly has to be addressed as the two teams lock up at approximately 8 tonight in the boys title game of the Mountain State Athletic Conference Night of Champions at the SC Community Center.
The day-long event begins at 10 a.m. with skills competitions, followed by four games - girls second-place teams (South Charleston vs. Parkersburg) at 2 p.m., boys second place (George Washington vs. Huntington) at 4, girls championship (GW vs. Spring Valley) at 6 and the boys title tilt.
As far as the finale, no one expected South Charleston's rout of Woodrow back on Feb. 11, which snapped the Flying Eagles' 11-game win streak that had vaulted them into the No. 4 spot in the Class AAA state poll. No. 2 SC (18-1) has since extended its own victory run to 14 in a row.
Woodrow coach Ron Kidd looks at the issue both ways before talking to his players.
"I think it's a little bit of both,'' he said. "You take the bad things we did and try to improve on that, and tell them some of the things that did go good and get even better at those.''
Certainly, there was enough bad to go around the first time for the Flying Eagles, who squandered a 32-31 halftime lead that night. They shot just 27.5 percent, committed 21 turnovers and were outscored by just two SC players (Brandon Knapper had 40 points and A.D. Cunningham 17).
"They've got a very good team,'' Kidd said, "and we've got to go the whole 32 minutes against them.''
Meanwhile, Black Eagles coach Vic Herbert would probably prefer to erase his team's memory banks if he could.
"As far as playing-wise, we've got a young team,'' Herbert said, "but I think they're all smart enough to respect Beckley and realize we were losing that game at halftime and got off on a run. I think our guys realize there's not going to be anything easy this time.
"We've got to bring a ton of energy early because you know they're going to be after us. These guys are strong on the glass and they've improved. I think it's going to be a real battle, a real war. They're good enough to win the state, without question.''
Woodrow Wilson fans doubtlessly recall their team's 77-60 conquest over SC for last year's MSAC crown that halted the Black Eagles' remarkable 40-game winning streak in MSAC contests, followed three weeks later by a 64-57 win over SC in the semifinals of the Class AAA state tournament.
Both sides also realize that tonight's game could carry ramifications as far as seeding for the upcoming sectionals and even the state tournament, if one or both make it that far again.
"It's a seeding game, for sure,'' Kidd said. "That was a big plus for us last year, beating them [in the MSAC finals]. If we're fortunate enough to get there [to the state tournament] again, it's big for overall seeding.''
Herbert recalls that Woodrow picked up the No. 2 seed at last year's state tournament and SC fell to fourth, largely on the strength of the Flying Eagles' MSAC victory.