CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Every team hopes to go into postseason play with lots of momentum.
For the George Washington High School girls basketball team, that won't be the case.
The Patriots' 73-59 loss to Spring Valley on Saturday night in the Mountain State Athletic Conference championship game at the South Charleston Community Center, was their third in the past week.
The Patriots' three losses came against Cabell Midland, ranked much of the season in the Associated Press Class AAA girls basketball poll, Class AAA No. 1 Parkersburg South and the Timberwolves, ranked third in Class AAA.
The Patriots had won seven straight games before the slump. Despite the rough stretch this past week, GW coach Jamie LaMaster sees it a positive.
"We don't like to lose any game, but I think in the long run coming into sectional play, I think that it will prepare us for the sectional tournament." LaMaster said. "It's tough, but I keep telling our girls the name of the game is to get better.
"I think playing Midland, a top 10 team with their bigs inside, playing Parkersburg South at the Civic Center, and then tonight in the conference championship game, you don't want to have three walk-off games," LaMaster added. "You want to be challenged. Next week starts the tournament."
The Patriots (11-9) are the No. 2 seed in the five-team sectional and will open play against No. 3 seed Capital (7-14) at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at GW. The two teams played once in the regular season with the Patriots earning a 62-46 victory on Feb 11.
GW and Spring Valley played in the first week of the season with the Timberwolves winning 61-48.
The Timberwolves pulled their starters in that game and the Patriots didn't. That prompted Spring Valley coach Bo Miller to say in a post-game interview that his Timberwolves could have defeated GW by 40 had they wanted to. LaMaster had T-shirts made for the team with the number "40" on the back to motivate his players.