West Liberty's romp through the West Virginia Conference continued on Friday during the tournament semifinals, with the Hilltoppers receiving 25 points from Alex Falk in a 92-73 victory over arch-rival Wheeling Jesuit (17-9).
The win sends Coach Jim Crutchfield's team into the tournament title game for the fourth consecutive year and the top-seeded Hilltoppers will seek their third straight championship at 3:40 p.m. Saturday against second-seeded Fairmont State (22-7).
It was the 15th consecutive victory for West Liberty, and its third straight victory over the Cardinals since Wheeling Jesuit gave the Hilltoppers their only regular-season loss during the 2011-12 season.
West Liberty defeated Wheeling Jesuit 101-76 in their last meeting last Saturday and this one appeared headed in the same direction. The Hilltoppers hit 13 of their first 25 3-pointers and led 54-33 with 1:34 left in the first half.
"I thought we came out of the blocks really well," West Liberty Coach Jim Crutchfield said. "We shot the ball well, got the lead early, and sometimes it's not the easiest position to be in playing against a good team. We might have gotten a little conservative."
The Cardinals chipped away, despite trailing 67-43 with 13:48 left in the game.
An 11-0 run trimmed it to 13, and, after a Darin Harris layup with 4:07 showing on the clock, West Liberty was holding a precarious 79-70 advantage.
The Hilltoppers (29-1), ranked No. 1 in the National Association of Basketball Coaches Poll, didn't allow the Cardinals to get any closer.