With only four schools making up SCISA Region II-3A, it means the region basketball schedule consists of just six games. That means each game is vitally important.
Wilson Hall begins region play today by playing host to Orangeburg Prep at Nash Student Center.
"The first thing they look at in seeding for the playoffs is how you did in the region" said WH girls head coach Glen Rector. "After that, they look at how you did against your non-region schedule, but doing well in the region is very important. Your seeding better in the playoffs, so the better the region record is, the better."
The Lady Barons are off to a 10-4 start, while the Wilson Hall boys are 5-6. The other two teams in the region -- Laurence Manning Academy and Florence Christian School -- also play today, in Florence.
WH boys head coach Eddie Talley has seen his team struggle, particularly offensively, throughout the season. He hopes the Barons are getting ready to turn the corner as region play begins.
"I do believe we are playing better," said Talley, whose team is coming off of a 52-27 victory over Robert E. Lee Academy on Wednesday in Bishopville. "I think the biggest key for us is that we have to step up and play with some confidence. We have to believe in ourselves. If we do that, we've got a chance to do pretty good in the region."
The Wilson Hall girls shared the region crown with FCS last season. Both teams were 5-1 in region play, splitting their two regular-season contests with the Lady Eagles winning the rematch in the region tournament championship game.
Rector is concerned about how sharp his team will be against Orangeburg Prep. While WH has played twice this week, playing Hammond on Tuesday and REL on Wednesday, it was unable to practice at all last week due to the holidays and the snow.
"I was feeling really good about our play following the Christmas tournament (Carolina Invitational Basketball Tournament in Charleston, going 2-1)," Rector said. "But then we had those seven days off and I don't know. We've just been able to practice once, and I'm concerned about us being in basketball shape. It hurts to have that happen just before you get to region play."
With the Wilson Hall boys at times having problems putting points on the board, Talley is trying to instill a hard-nosed defensive attitude in his team.
"The key for us is to play good defense," Talley said. "While you can't always shoot the ball well, you can always play good defense. I don't think we've played as well as we can. We've got to get to where we give great effort every time we play.
"I just want this team to keep getting better," he added. "I really think it's between the ears for us right now."