When you meet a team in the playoffs that you faced during the regular season, preparation can be accelerated because you've already installed a game plan once.
Of course, that's offset because your opponent is also ahead of the curve - it knows how you're likely going to attack and defend.
Such is the case with George Washington and Spring Valley, who tangle at 7:30 Friday night in the opening round of the Class AAA playoffs at Steve Edwards Sr. Field in South Hills.
The No. 3-seeded Patriots (10-0) and No. 14 Timberwolves (6-4) met on Oct. 7 in Wayne County, with George Washington winning 39-20.
Either team could try to spring a surprise or two, but both coaches expect to see more of the same from their first meeting.
"It's hard to tell,'' said GW coach Steve Edwards Jr. "At this point in time, you sort of think they'll do what they've been doing all year, but I'm sure they'll probably throw a wrinkle or two in there. Basically, you pretty much think you're going to see what you've seen in the past - what we saw a few weeks ago. And that's about what you'll see from us. It's always a tough, physical ballgame with them.''
GW and Spring Valley have met each season since 2007, with the Patriots winning four of the five games.
"We're very familiar with each other, and the kids know each other,'' said Timberwolves coach Brad Dingess. "When you get in the playoffs, you kind of want to play somebody new. There shouldn't be any surprises or anything like that when we line up.
"It helps a lot being able to bring out the old game tape and the old scouting report, and the game's still fresh on everybody's minds. We can tell the kids, 'They'll do this and they'll do that.'''
Edwards said that while preparation time for an opponent can be cut down some with a second game, a coaching staff also has to take time for a self-diagnostic.