Before the season tipped off, Marietta High girls basketball coach Scott Cozzens knew that the last week of January was going to be a challenge for his Lady Tiger cagers.
For one thing, it's the only time that MHS is scheduled to play back-to-back games, a difficult task for any high school basketball team.
Then, there's the competition itself - two very good ballclubs in the Logan Lady Chiefs and the Parkersburg Lady Big Reds.
"We've got a big week this (upcoming) week," said Cozzens after Marietta defeated visiting Chillicothe, 73-7, in a Southeastern Ohio Athletic League contest last Saturday night.
"Logan is on Wednesday, and league-wise, we have to win at Logan. It's a must win."
Earlier this month, Marietta lost to Logan 53-44 in the first meeting at Sutton Gym.
Unfortunately, though, the game between Marietta and Logan Wednesday night was postponed due to the inclement weather.
Now, the Lady Tigers (11-2, 6-1) can focus on the Kenny DeMoss-coached-Lady Big Reds, who are scheduled to visit Sutton Gym at 7:30 p.m. tonight, which is also Senior Night.
MHS seniors' Maegan Grosel, Betsy Schramm, Ali Summers, and Elizabeth Stoll will all be recognized.
Class AAA, No. 9-ranked PHS, the owner of a 10-4 overall record, is coming off a 60-36 setback to No. 8 George Washington at Memorial Fieldhouse Tuesday night.
Five-foot-8 senior captain Tori Wilson is the Lady Big Reds' primary go-to player on offense, averaging 17.6 points per game. She also leads the team in steals (3.7), is second in rebounds (9.1) and is third in assists (2.8).
This season, Wilson became the first PHS girls player since 1994 to reach 1,000 career points.
A three-point threat, Wilson has drained a team-leading 43 from behind the arc.
Parkersburg has a good inside-outside game on offense, because 6-foot sophomore pivot Imani Ward is the team's second-leading scorer, averaging 11.3 points per game. She's also grabbing 12.7 rebounds and has nearly two blocks per contest.
After Wilson and Ward, there's an offensive dropoff. Precious Ramsey, a 5-10 junior, is averaging 6.2 points per game.
Look for Megan Morrison, who leads the team in assists (5.5), to man the point.
Depending on whether DeMoss wants to go big or small, the fifth PHS starter is expected to be either 6-1 Paige Warner, 6-4 Kennedy Walker, 5-6 Dakota Hefner or 5-4 Taylor Fordyce.
This season, Parkersburg will be posting its first winning campaign since 2001.
Marietta is expected to start Amanda Brown (8.5 ppg through 9 games, Grosel (10.5 ppg throught 10 games), Schramm, Summers, and Erica Dawson - the Lady Tigers' leading scorer on the season (16.4 ppg through 10 games)- or Stoll.
After the PHS game, MHS is slated to return to SEOAL action with a game at Portsmouth Saturday.
In December, 2010, the Lady Tigers drilled the Lady Trojans, 71-52, at Sutton Gym.
Dawson scored 17 points to lead Marietta. Brown added 14, and Grosel had 12.
Portsmouth was paced by Ri-chiele McGraw, who tallied a game-high 19 markers. Hannah Foster chipped in with 11 and Lataysha McGinnis netted 10.