Lizi Arbogast and Lindsey Smith kick off the winter season discussing this week's Game of the Week, and two players who will likely set records and reach career milestones this week. Video by Lindsey Smith
It's always hard to predict who is going to be in the district championship just a week into the season.
But if Vegas betting lines were available for high school sports, it would probably point to Southern Fulton and Shanksville being the most likely candidates.
Which makes Friday night's game at the Mountain Cat Tournament featuring the playoff rivals that much more important.
The last time these teams met, it was a bitter fight to the end, with Southern Fulton coming out on top in double overtime in the District 5 Class 1A semifinals. The win set up a championship date with McConnellsburg.
As the Spartans have now moved up to Class 2A, Southern Fulton and the Vikings seem like even more likely contenders.
"I'm not necessarily looking at it like that," Shanksville coach Robert Snyder said. "Is it a possibility these are the two district teams? Absolutely, but there are some wild cards with Windber and Shade as well."
Southern Fulton coach Kent Hendershot said, "This tournament is a good measuring stick for us to show us where we are, what our weaknesses are and what we need to do to be competitive. If we lose, it doesn't hurt us too much, and if we win, it can only help us. It's very quality competition at a good time of the year."
Shanksville (1-1) returned four of its five starters from last year's squad, but graduated leading scorer Joe Hudak. Dawson Snyder, Aaron Smith and Jesse Bitner were all big contributors for the Vikings in last year's semifinal.
Southern Fulton, on the other hand, graduated a good amount and relies heavily on reigning P.O. Player of the Year Dylan Gordon, who has already scored 48 points through two games. The Indians have also seen the emergence of Chase Varner, who has put up back-to-back double digit performances, and Carl Potter, who has scored 22 points in two games.
"That was one of our big questions going in: Who else was going to score, especially if teams start concentrating on DG?" Hendershot said. "Do we have anyone that can score from the perimeter? So far, Carl and Chase have done that, and as we evolve and get Country (Branden Lynch) more involved, I think he certainly has the capability to have big nights for us."
Snyder said, "Our bread and butter is our defense. We'll have to key on the Gordon boy. We're not going to stop him, but we gotta contain him. If we can control him and the boards, we have a chance to win this. If we don't, Southern Fulton is going to stomp us."
Indians-Vikings at a glance
Game data: Southern Fulton vs. Shanksville boys basketball ... Friday, 8 p.m. at University of Pitt-Johnstown ... Mountain Cat Tournament.
Implications: The winner will face either Lingonier or Westmont-Hilltop in the tournament championship on Saturday at 8 p.m. ... The consolation will begin at 6 p.m.
Teams: SF is off to a 2-0 start, while Shanksville is 1-1 ... The Vikings' loss came to Bethel Park, a Class 6A team ... The last time the teams met, Southern Fulton earned a 64-58 victory in double overtime of the District 5 Class 1A semifinals.
P.O. pick: Indians by 5.