The first time Minneota and Southwest Minnesota Christian met there was a lot of basketball left to be played.
This time it's win or go home.
The Vikings (28-1 overall) and the Eagles (20-5) will meet for the second time this season on Friday night at the R/A Facility at Southwest Minnesota State University for the Section 3A championship.
The winner of this game moves on to the Class A state tournament. The other team watches its season end.
And both teams are ready to go.
"We have a lot of momentum. The very next day of practice they wanted to play," said SWC head coach Denise Nerem. "We didn't have very many legs left, but they were very eager. They had a great day of practice (Wednesday) in preparation for Minneota. They are very eager to learn how best to defend them."
The Eagles, the No. 2 seed in the South sub-section, defeated top-seeded Fulda 65-59 on Monday night to move into the championship game, while the Vikings, the top seed in the North, rolled past MACCRAY 63-39 to advance.
Against Fulda, Megan De Ruyter paced the Eagles with 21 points, while Michaela Zeinstra and Deirdra Vander Woulde each added 10.
For the Vikings, Taylor Reiss scored 20 and Kelsey Hennen was right behind her with 19 against MACCRAY.
In the first meeting this season, Minneota came away with a 58-45 win exactly one month ago on Friday. Minneota head coach Chad Johnston was pleased with the outcome, but knows his players have a big job ahead of them.
"It's a team with pretty good balance. De Ruyter is their best ball player. We did a pretty good job on her last time, so we need to do that again," Johnston said. "They have good balance, so we have to make sure we do a good job overall against them.
"Keep our defensive intensity up like we've been able to do and hopefully we are able to control the game to the type of game we want to play."
Nerem knows that to change the outcome, her team needs to do a few things different this time around.
"We just need to control the ball. We need to control the speed of the game," Nerem said. "We can't let them run the ball in transition, so we have to slow down their transition game and take away the paint from them.
"They score a lot of points inside the paint against teams, so if we force them to take a lower-percentage shot, we will be much more successful in our eyes."
Having teams attempt to take away their inside presence is nothing new for the Vikings. It's a matter of who steps up when that happens.
"I think one of the main things we have to see is if they do a good job of trying to take Taylor (Reiss) out of the picture, we need to have some other girls step up," said Johnston. "In the one against Dawson-Boyd, Emily Stienessen had a great game shooting from the outside. Shelby Corbin did a nice job of coming in and giving us more speed when we needed it."
With what could be the final game of the season for each of their teams, both coaches expect to see nothing left on the court Friday night.
"We have to play intense basketball for the full 38 minutes. Our defense is going to win us that ball game," Nerem said. "We are really confident in our defense and our ability to protect the basket. We feel ready to play. We are thankful for the chance to play Minneota again, so we are excited."
"I think they gave Fulda everything they had, and when you are talking about a game to go to state, we expect them to duplicate that," Johnston said. "We just have to hope we are able to duplicate some of the stuff we did the other night, too."