Having Central and Logan advance to the sectional playoffs is exciting for La Crosse. Having them play one another is even better for basketball fans.
The Red Raiders and Rangers will meet for the third time this season when they face off at Onalaska High School Thursday night in the division 2 sectional semifinals.
The winner will be one game away from state, and will win the season series 2-1.
Since both teams know each other so well, both think Thursday's game will be decided by the fine details, particularly on defense.
"We know we've got to play to hard defensively, we've got to play well defensively," Central head coach Todd Fergot said. "They've got really good shooters, they've got very athletic kids, they're good rebounders. We're just going to have to go out and compete with them, and try to battle them and be there in the end."
There will be plenty of reasons why the game could turn into a shootout, starting with Central's Bailey Kale and Logan's CJ Siegel. Both have played exceptionally well to open the postseason after proving themselves hard to stop in the first two meetings.
"He's got another gear, he's an excellent player and we know that he can do lots of different things," Logan head coach Andy Fernholz said of Kale. "We're just going to try to limit him and make things as hard as possible."
Kobe King, who will get his points too, said when it comes to Siegel, the Red Raiders need to contest every shot.
"He hits tough shots, but you just have to contest him. Bailey did a great job on him last time. I know you know people talk so Bailey will be ready for this matchup and I think he can do a good job on him again," King said.
Logan's Cody Hoeth said watching Kale vs Siegel will be fun because of their defensive abilities.
"It will be a defensive game between those two, for sure," Hoeth said.
Tickets for Thursday's game can be purchased at either high school beginning at 8 a.m. on Thursday. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Onalaska High School. The winner will advance to face either Hortonville or Wausau East in the sectional final on Saturday.