Ottawa Hills (20-2) will will try to defeat Toledo Christian (16-7) for the third time this season when the two teams meet at 7 p.m. Friday in a Division IV boys basketball final at Gibsonburg.
The Green Bears have defeated the Eagles twice. Ottawa Hills won 58-47 at Toledo Christian on Dec. 21, then won Feb. 4 at home 47-39.
"We definitely feel like we have nothing to lose," Toledo Christian coach Dave McWhinnie said. "They were definitely the better team the first two games.
"We'll have to play our best game of the year in order to beat them."
The Eagles earned the right to face the Bears for a third time by defeating Sandusky St. Mary Central Catholic 52-36 on Tuesday in a district semifinal.
Ottawa Hills, coached by John Lindsay, dominated Monroeville 57-37 in a district semifinal to set up the most important game of the season between the two conference foes. The winner stays alive while the loser's season comes to a close.
"We always have very competitive games and I wouldn't expect anything different this time," Lindsay said.
The Eagles understand the Green Bears pose a serious challenge.
"Anytime you play against Ottawa Hills, it's a fun match," McWhinnie said. "They're so well coached, so well disciplined. They're a great team. They run well and rebound well. They have a height advantage over us, so we'll have to box out."
Nick Rightnowar leads Toledo Christian's attack at 13 points per game. The senior guard pumped in a game-high 17 points in the victory over Sandusky St. Mary.
McWhinnie said rebounding will be key. Senior David Westmeyer leads Toledo Christian with a 5.5 rebounds per game.
"Obviously, we're excited to get back to the district finals," said McWhinnie, who is in his 10th season with the Eagles.
"Our goal all along for this season was to try and make it back [to the regionals]."
Ottawa Hills, which got 20 points from Andrew Jamieson against Monroeville, advanced last year to the state semifinals.
"This will be the biggest game of our entire lives," Westmeyer said. "We have OH coming up and they're our rival.
"We're real excited about it. They've been our rivals our entire lives and it is all coming down to this and it will be an amazing game."
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