PARKERSBURG-With the Little Kanawha Conference's Night of Champions slated for Saturday at Doddridge County High School, one thing is certain-the Panthers from Clay County will be representing the South Division in the title game.
Just who will be Clay's opponent from the North Division will be determined tonight at Parkersburg Catholic where the No. 3 Crusaderettes (13-3 overall, 9-1 LKC North) will meet No. 2 St. Marys (16-1 overall, 9-1 LKC North).
A Blue Devil victory would assure St. Marys will play in the championship game for the second year in a row. St. Marys owns a 57-44 decision over the girls in Columbia blue and white and thus would win the tie-breaker-if one is needed-to determine the divisional champion.
However, a Parkersburg Catholic win tonight would send the Crusaderettes into the LKC title game, even if Catholic would lose to Williamstown on Tuesday night.
Should that scenario occur, both teams would finish with two league losses and the league's tie-breaking method would be employed. Criterias No. 1 and No. 2 would be eliminated from the discussion with No. 3-record against highest rated division teams in descending order not involved in the tie-becoming the determining factor.
That order, prior to this week's games, would have Ravenswood (11-5, 7-3) in third followed by Williamstown (12-6, 5-5), Doddridge County (6-11, 3-7), Ritchie County (9-9, 2-8) and Tyler. Parkersburg Catholic owns a pair of victories over Ravenswood (54-32 and 39-35) while St. Marys earned a split with the Red Devils-winning by a 58-36 margin at home, but losing by two points, 54-52, on the road.
Thus, the Crusaderettes control their destiny tonight.
"This is what you work for," Parkersburg Catholic head coach Marty Vierheller explained. "If we take care of business, we're in. We are a much different team than we were in December."
Seeding criteria could come into play in determining the final order of teams in the North Division. Doddridge County presently holds a one-game lead over Ritchie County for the No. 5 spot in the division. However, should the Rebels split their final two contests against Tyler Consolidated and Ravenswood and Doddridge drop its two remaining contests against the Red Devils and Williamstown, then Ritchie would be awarded the higher seed based on criteria No. 6-the WVSSAC's power rating system used for football.
The tie-breaking method could come into play one final time as Roane County (8-6, 6-4 South) presently holds a one-game lead over Gilmer County (10-7, 6-5) for the No. 2 spot in the South. However, a Raider loss in either of its final two divisional games against Calhoun and Clay and a Gilmer victory over Calhoun would give both teams identical 7-5 marks.
Just like before, criteria No. 3 would come into play and would favor the girls from Glenville as the Titans own a 2-0 mark over Braxton County (7-11, 5-6), while Roane dropped a 51-46 decision to the Eagles back on Jan. 13.
There is one other contest, however, that is set in concrete as Calhoun County (1-14, 1-8 South) will play host to Tyler Consolidated (3-16, 0-10 North) in the LKC's 13th place showdown on Thursday, Feb. 11. The remainder of the playoff games that will decide 5th through 12th places in the league will not be finalized until the outcomes of Tuesday night's games are determined.