"Last year, they played Wednesday and Friday [at the state tournament],'' Herbert said, "and got Thursday to rest, and we didn't. We had to play Thursday and Friday. Whoever gets the 1 or 2 seed is at a distinct advantage, I think. I'm not saying one or the other of us will get there, but if we do, then seeding becomes a big factor.''
Knapper, a 6-foot sophomore guard, continues to lead SC in scoring at 20.1 points per game, followed by Cunningham (15.2). Senior guard Donte' Nabors (14-2), a returning first-team all-state pick, leads Woodrow's attack, backed by 6-3 sophomore Nequan Carrington (10.9).
Three of SC's regulars - starting center Anthony Billings and top subs Kevin Williams and Shawn Cunningham - didn't practice Thursday either because of illness or injury, but all three are expected to go tonight.
In the girls finals, GW plays for a conference title for the fourth time in five years, but has yet to win one.
The Patriots (11-8) play a Spring Valley squad they lost to 61-48 to begin the regular season, albeit without two of their top three scorers - Shi Banks (11.1) and Kelli Jo Harrison (9.3).
Harrison missed the Patriots' first 12 games recovering from a knee injury. Alanna Mobayed (12.2) paces GW in scoring.
The Timberwolves (18-3), the No. 1 seed in last year's state tournament, are led in scoring by Maddie Morris (21.9, second in the MSAC) and Sarah Kelly (13.1).
"Spring Valley kind of speaks for themselves the last couple of years,'' said GW coach Jamie LaMaster. "They're very confident. They play fast and like to get a lot of shots up. With them, it's going to be a tempo-control thing. You have to have some mental discipline [on offense], play defense and go after every rebound. They're going to pressure you and grind you. You're just going to have to play hard.
"We'd like to win one and quit being the Buffalo Bills. It's a tough task. It makes my job easier having my kids back healthy. You start lining up teams like [Spring Valley] coming into sectional play and that really gets your team ready. We want to be tested and pushed and see those players.''
At halftime of the boys title game, the MSAC will announce its players and coaches of the year.
Admission is $8 for adults and $7 for students. Hand stamps, allowing fans to leave and return the Community Center, will be permitted until 5 p.m. After that, another ticket must be purchased.
Both the boys and girls title games will be streamed live by The Media Center at regionalnewsregister.com.
Tommy R. Atkinson contributed to this report. Reach Rick Ryan at 304-348-5175 or rickr...@wvgazette.com.