While the results of several games have yet to be reported, the pairings for next month's Little Kanawha Conference Girls' Night of Champions are becoming more and more clear.
Defending divisional champions St. Marys (North) and Clay County (South) appear destined to meet for the championship for the fourth consecutive year-the Blue Devils have captured the previous three by scores of 85-58 (2012), 93-73 (2011) and 68-44 (2010).
St. Marys (13-1, 8-0 North) has to get past second place Williamstown (6-7, 6-2), a team it defeated by a 108-69 margin back in mid-December, a road game at Ritchie County (7-6, 3-5) and home contests with Parkersburg Catholic (9-5, 5-3) and Tyler Consolidated (7-8, 2-6) to earn its fifth straight trip to the title game while the Panthers of head coach Mary Ramsey (12-2, 8-0 South) travel to third place Braxton County (9-5, 7-2) for a rematch against an Eagles' squad it defeated by a 46-39 score in early December.
Should Clay County escape unscathed from that contest, Ramsey's squad would close out the regular season portion of its divisional contests at home against Calhoun County (3-9, 2-5), on the road at second place Gilmer County (9-3, 5-1) and back at home against Roane County (4-11, 3-5).
The only other match up that appears to be set in stone is the No. 13 contest that will pit the North's Doddridge County (2-11, 0-9 North) against the Hawks from South Harrison (1-12, 0-8 South).
Just who will play in the NOC's consolation game on Saturday, Feb. 9, still is anybody's guess.
Fred Sauro's Yellowjackets, should they lose to St. Marys, would need to win on the road at Parkersburg Catholic or Tyler Consolidated and finish the divisional portion of their schedule with a win at home against Doddridge County. Williamstown and the Crusaderettes needed an extra period before the maroon and gold pulled out a 58-55 win in early January.
The runnerup spot in the South is appears to be just as tight as Braxton County's win over Gilmer County this past week propelled the Eagles into the No. 2 slot in the division. A rematch of that contest is slated for the first day in February and both are still in contention for the South's No. 1 position as each will take on Clay County before divisional play ends on Feb. 6.
Roane County has been selected to host this year's NOC. The evening not only feature games between the divisions top two squads, but competition at the free throw line as well as the 3-point arc.
The league's top scholar-athletes also will be recognized.
The 10 schools-five from each division-that do not advance to the NOC will face off against one another in the LKC's No. 5, 7, 9, 11 and 13 placement games.
Those contests are slated to be played at the home of the North Division schools.