Friday night at Hedgesville, and without a doubt in front of a jam-packed gymnasium, the Eagles will entertain Martinsburg.
This will be the third straight season the two West Virginia Class AAA powerhouses have collided at this point in the year with unbeaten records.
Martinsburg (7-0) is currently ranked No. 1 in West Virginia. The Bulldogs have steamrolled through the first seven games, outscoring their opponents by an average of 79-54.
Ranked No. 2, Hedgesville (9-0) has taken the opposite direction — as it normally does when the chips are down. The Eagles average 77 points offensively but allow only 32.7 per game.
One year ago, Martinsburg beat Hedgesville 54-35 for the first of four wins over the Eagles, but Hedgesville had all the hardware at the end of the year, winning the Class AAA state title.
In the 2010-11 campaign, Hedgesville pinned a 41-39 loss on the Bulldogs, who later in the year picked up a 59-48 win.
* Saturday will be a big day of basketball in Washington County, as Williamsport and Saint James host talented opponents. The good thing about it is the games are at different times, so basketball junkies can catch both.
At 3 p.m., Williamsport will host Greencastle-Antrim in the championship game of the Doub Classic, which was postponed by winter weather on Dec. 29.
The Wildcats (4-5) and Blue Devils (9-2) will meet in the championship game for the third time in the last four years, with the Wildcats winning in 2010 (59-46) and in 2009 (62-53).
Then at 7 p.m., the focus will turn to Saint James as the Saints entertain Martinsburg.
“The local kids know how good Martinsburg is and those that aren’t local know about them,” Saints coach Paul Easton said.
The Saints (6-7) have won three straight, including Thursday’s 52-50 road victory over Potomac School, which coincided with the return of 6-foot-7 junior forward A.J. Carr to the lineup.
This game should be a battle between the big boys — Obi and Nnamdi Enechionyia of Saint James, and Jalen Lewis and Donte Grantham — among others — for the Bulldogs.
A little scouting trip will be on the agenda for the Saints’ staff Friday night at Hedgesville.
* Clear Spring coach Ryan Grabill is going through the season with a roster he did not envision at this time of year.
He expected Riley Lazich to be a factor, but he was not cleared to play. Then senior guard Ryan Aaron, averaging 11 points a game, came down with a fractured foot in a game against Boonsboro on Dec. 18.
“We haven’t been able to score since,” Grabill said.
In Clear Spring’s first four games, the Blazers averaged 64 points. In their last three, they’ve mustered only 39 a game.
Depending on a doctor’s clearance, Aaron might be able to get out of the walking boot he is in, get into conditioning and return sometime during the first week of February.
* During a recent South Hagerstown boys practice, Tank Naylor, an assistant coach and cousin of head coach Kevin Naylor, experienced pains thought to be similar to a heart attack.
Tank Naylor went through testing during the beginning of this week and, pending results, hopes to return to the sideline soon.
* Some top performances throughout the Tri-State area in the past week:
Boys — Jacob Bare of Musselman with 31 points in a 97-90 win over James Wood (Va.) and teammate Trevon Wesco with 23 points and 19 rebounds in the same game; Martinsburg’s Jalen Lewis with a 28-point effort against Brooke Point (Va.); South Hagerstown’s Devon King with a 27-point game against Clear Spring; Heritage Academy’s Alex Cosner with 23 points and 22 rebounds against Calvary Christian.
Girls — Berkeley Springs’ Sarah Haynes with an area-best 31 points against Bishop Walsh; North Hagerstown’s Crystal McLeod with 23 points against Williamsport.
Team — South Hagerstown’s boys hitting the century mark in back-to-back games. The Rebels beat Catoctin 101-39 and Clear Spring 100-39.
The most recent previous time South hit 100 points came on March 1, 2004, when the Rebels beat South Carroll 103-81 in a Class 1A West playoff game. In that game, David Miner ripped the nets for a single-game school record 54 points.