PARKERSBURG - The coaches and administrators from the 24 remaining girls' basketball teams met at the WVSSAC office on W.Va. 47 Sunday to prepare for this week's 36th annual W.Va. State High School Basketball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center.
Among those schools were a trio that call the Little Kanawha Conference home -Williamstown, Clay County and Ravenswood.
"It speaks to the competitiveness we have in our conference," said Clay County head coach Mary Ramsey. "Sometimes it is more difficult to reach the Night of Champions in our conference than it is to reach the state tournament."
The Red Devils of first-year head coach Cara Williams will get things rolling for the local contingent when they take on No. 1 seed Westside (25-0) at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Clay County will close the first day's action when the No. 4 seeded Panthers take on No. 5 Lincoln at 9 p.m.
Williamstown opens Thursday's opening round games when the No. 3 seeded Yellowjackets of veteran head coach Fred Sauro tangle with No. 6 Tucker County at 9:30 a.m.
Missing from this year's showcase, however, will be five-time Class AA state champion Summers County, the victim of a 69-51 loss to No. 1 seed (and undefeated) Westside in the regional championship game.
W.Va. Girls State Tournament
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - Pairings for next week's girls state basketball tournament at the Charleston Civic Center:
No. 2 South Charleston vs. No. 7 George Washington, 11:15 a.m.
No. 1 Bridgeport vs. No. 8 Robert C. Byrd, 7:15 p.m.
No. 4 Wheeling Park vs. No. 5 Morgantown, 11:15 a.m.
No. 3 Greenbrier East vs. No. 6 Huntington, 7:15 p.m.
Bridgeport-Robert C. Byrd winner vs. Wheeling Park-Morgantown winner, 5:30 p.m.
South Charleston-George Washington winner vs. Greenbrier East-Huntington winner, 9 p.m.
Saturday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 7:15 p.m.
No. 3 PikeView vs. No. 6 Frankfort, 9:30 a.m.
No. 2 Scott vs. No. 7 Oak Glen, 1 p.m.
No. 1 Westside vs. No. 8 Ravenswood, 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Clay County vs. No. 5 Lincoln, 9 p.m.
PikeView-Frankfort winner vs. Scott-Oak Glen winner, 9:30 a.m.
Westside-Ravenswood winner vs. Clay County-Lincoln winner, 1 p.m.
Saturday, March 10
Semifinal winners, noon
No. 3 Williamstown vs. No. 6 Tucker County, 9:30 a.m.
No. 2 Wheeling Central vs. No. 7 Charleston Catholic, 1 p.m.
No. 1 St. Joseph vs. No. 8 Midland Trail, 5:30 p.m.
No. 4 Trinity vs. No. 5 Pocahontas County, 9 p.m.
Williamstown-Tucker County winner vs. Wheeling Central-Charleston Catholic winner, 11:15 a.m.
St. Joseph-Midland Trail winner vs. Trinity, Pocahontas County winner, 7:15 p.m.
Saturday, March 10
Semifinal winners, 2:30 p.m.
"It was a great game, a great atmosphere, almost like a state championship atmosphere," explained Westside head coach Jamie Lusk. "Our girls really stepped up their game.
"But, now they have to go down there (the Civic Center) and do it three more times."
Standing in the Renegades path will be a Scott team that not only ended Summers County's record 105-game winning streak, but possesses the Mary Ostrowski/W.Va. Player of the Year in senior Makenzie White.
"She (White) was very excited when she heard the news (that she had won the award)," said Scott head coach John Porter. "But, she would also be the first to tell you that her No. 1 goal is to win the state championship."
Action gets under way at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday with Class AA No. 3 Pikeview (17-9) taking on No. 6 Frankfort (17-8). That game will be followed by the first of four Class AAA games as No. 2 South Charleston (21-3) begins its hopeful journey to a state title game berth when it collides with Kanawha County rival, and No. 7 seed, George Washington (16-9).
Closing out the first session will be No. 2 Scott (22-2) and No. 7 Oak Glen (18-7).
Then evening session begins with No. 1 Westside (25-0) taking on No. 8 Ravenswood (14-10) followed by a Class AAA matchup between No. 1 Bridgeport (24-1) and No. 8 Robert C. Byrd (16-9). Rounding out the trio of games that make up the session will be No. 4 Clay County (19-6) facing No. 5 Lincoln (18-7).
Day two (Thursday) at the Civic Center begins with the Yellow jackets (20-4) and Tucker County 20-5) followed by No. 4 (Class AAA) Wheeling Park (21-4) looking to advance to "Semifinal Friday" with a win over No. 5 Morgantown (19-6).
Session three ends with No. 2 Wheeling Central (22-3) facing No. 7 Charleston Catholic (13-10).
The final quarterfinal session of the tournament opens with No. 1, and three-time defending Class A champion, Huntington St. Joseph (17-6) beginning its journey to a possible four peat when it takes on No. 8 Midland Trail (11-13).
No. 3 Greenbrier East (23-1) takes to the court next when the Spartans take on No. 6 Huntington (19-6) in the final Class AAA quarterfinal while No. 4 (Class A) Trinity (23-1) looks to fend off the challenges from No. 5 Pocahontas County (21-4) in the final Class A quarterfinal game.
Semifinal Friday begins at 9:30 a.m. with a clash between the winners of the Pikeview/Frankfort and Scott/Oak Glen first round games and concludes with the 9 p.m. Class AAA showdown between the winners of the South Charleston/George Washington and Greenbrier East/Huntington contests.
Saturday's championship round begins with the Class AA title tilt at 12 noon followed at 2:30 p.m. by the championship game in Class A.
Class AAA closes out the tournament's trio of championship games at 7:15 p.m.