The adage about it being difficult to beat a team three times will be put to the test Saturday afternoon.
During the course of the regular season, Fort Frye - the top seed in OVAC Class 3A - handed Monroe Central - the third seed - a pair of decisive setbacks.
The Lady Seminoles and Lady Cadets will hook up for the third time Saturday at 3 p.m. with the conference title on the line during the Wheeling Hospital OVAC Girls Basketball Championships at Ohio University Eastern.
"We're certainly familiar with our opponent and we know we've got a heck of a challenge in front of us," said Monroe Central head coach Troy Baker. "We know what we have to do, but we also know what we're up against."
Fort Frye, which fell in last year's 2A final before bumping up a class in the OVAC's re-alligned five-class system, comes into the game with a sparking 17-2 record.
"To get to this game is a big accomplishment," Liedtke said. "You take every game of your season one-by-one and I think this is a good reward for a good season. We put ourselves in a position to be here and here are we."
The Lady Cadets - who are ranked in the Division III state poll - finished unblemished against OVAC competition this winter. Their only two losses came at the hands of Ohio powers Oak Hill and Findlay Liberty Benton.
"Playing those kinds of teams has really helped us out," Liedtke said. "We competed well against those teams and were right there. We actually wish we had the opportunity to play those kinds of teams again, but to play that kind of competition has made our team so much more stronger."
This marks the Lady Seminoles' third appearance in the title game. They boast a 2-1 record, having won the first two titles of the event, toppling Steubenville Central and Shadyside, respectively.
"It's great to be in this game," Baker said. "It's great for the kids, school and community. We're going to do our best to represent our community well."
The Lady Seminoles advanced to the title game after winning a hard-fought 58-53 contest at second-seeded Martins Ferry on Monday.
"Monroe is a very hustling team and they've got the kind of team that you've got to play well on both ends of the floor," Liedtke said. "They're going to make us work on the offensive end as well. This is going to be a challenge."
Fort Frye got to the final regular season game by virtue of posting its third win of the season against Shenandoah. The Lady Cadets eliminated Shenandoah, 36-22, to earn the trip back to the St. Clairsville campus.
"It's tough playing teams a third time, but in these situations, you can't look at those kinds of things," Liedtke said. "We're going to have to play our 'A' game if we want to be successful."
The first meeting between the teams was extremely one-sided, but according to Baker, the game in Beverly was much more competitive.
"Fort Frye went on a 19-0 run against us in the third quarter," Baker said. "They took the game over at that point. We were 0-12 from the floor during that stretch. Obviously, those are the kinds of stretches we can't afford. We have to keep them off the boards and limit their opportunities. We also have to contest shots."
The Lady Cadets are a balanced outfit in the scoring column with three players in double figures and another at 9.2 a game.
Junior Taylor Buchanan leads the way at 15.9 points an outing. Diedra Combs nets 11.5 points, while Brooke Borich adds 10.7 a game, but she's out of the lineup with a shoulder problem.
Junior Morgan Liedtke - who shoots a solid 46 percent from behind the arc - chips in with 9.2 points a game.
Micayla Hupp and Sammi Hanson round out the Lady Cadets' lineup. Junior Shawntell Parsons and frosh Megan Liedtke have also been solid contributors off the bench.
"We've got a lot of experience," Liedtke said. "We're so much more comfortable in different situations. We've had some girls step up like Micayla and Sammi. The more playing time they get, the better they get. Thus far in their careers, these girls have had a lot of great accomplishments."
Monroe Central, which has lost twice to the Cadets and twice to 2A finalist Shadyside this season, has a pair of double-figure scorers at its disposal.
The Chelsie combination of Tewanger and Roberts goes for 10.5 and 10 points, respectively. Tewanger had a big game against Martins Ferry in the semifinals.
Senior Demitra Habig is a solid contributor on the interior for the Lady Seminoles. Senior Kayley Stephens is the Lady Seminoles' leading rebounder and scores a shade under 10 points a game. Casey Diggity, Anne LaFollette, Kelsey Parks and Kate Fickell are also solid contibutors for the Lady Seminoles.
"We've done well the last couple of games in terms of effort or hustle, but we've had some difficulty getting the ball into the hoop," Baker confessed. "Hopefully, that'll go better for us Saturday. I think we can make some shots, it will help us on the defensive end."