ARKERSBURG - In terms of building a resume, winning ugly counts the same as dominating an opponent. By defeating Parkersburg Catholic 42-40 in the title game of the Little Kanawha Conference Night of Champions Saturday night at Roane County High School, Gilmer County locked down the top seed in Class A, Region IV, Section 1.
"I felt the winner of the LKC game on Saturday would get the No. 1 seed, so it had extra meaning," Titans coach Steve Shuff said. "There was a lot of emotion and neither team played great. The opposing teams had a lot to with that. Both teams got after it."
Gilmer enters their regular-season finale Wednesday at home against top-ranked Notre Dame at 17-4.
Their losses have occurred twice to Charleston Catholic and once to Notre Dame and Williamstown.
"We pride ourselves on who we've played in the non-conference season," Shuff said. "We've played the best of the best."
Parkersburg Catholic received the second seed and earned a first-round bye, while third-seeded Williamstown hosts Calhoun County at 7 p.m. on Saturday. At the same time in Elizabeth, Doddridge County tips off with Wirt County.
"Wirt County has Austin McVey back and the system they play is dangerous," Shuff said. We defeated Calhoun County twice, but in one game we were tied with them with 30 seconds left in the basketball game. You need to bring your 'A' game in the postseason."
The other area school receiving a No. 1 seed in its respective sectional was Roane County in Class AA, Region I, Section 2. Despite losing to Gilmer County twice, the Raiders own a 16-5 record. They await the winner of Monday's sectional opener at Ellenboro between Ritchie County and Braxton County.
Second-seed Ravenswood hosts Webster County on Wednesday, March 5.
In Class AAA, Region I, Section 1, the semifinals also are scheduled for Wednesday, March 5. Top-seed Wheeling Park welcomes Parkersburg, while second-seed Parkersburg South hosts Brooke.
In Class A, Region I, Section 2, Paden City received the second seed behind Clay-Battelle. The Wildcats, who await Saturday's winner between Valley (Wetzel) and Trinity, have experienced a rough stretch - losing four of their last five games against the likes of Bishop Donahue, Wheeling Central and Magnolia.
"We're not making well and we're hoping to get out of this tailspin," Paden City coach Fred King said. "Defensively, we're OK right now, but we're not putting the ball in the hole enough. Our opponents have a lot to do with it."
Rounding out the first round matchups are Tyler Consolidated meeting St. Marys at a site yet to be determined.
In Class A, Region I, Section 1, Magnolia is the No. 3 seed and hosts Hundred on Saturday. Wheeling Central received the top seed followed by Bishop Donahue at No. 2.
As for Gilmer County, capturing the program's first NOC championship gave the players a sense of what expect when the postseason begins.
"It will be a bonus to play on our own rims and with our own fans - that will be a huge advantage," Shuff said. "We've secured the highest seed, now it's time to play basketball."