In a tight spot, home-court advantage can be the difference between a postseason berth or an untimely departure.
As far as the No. 1 West Fargo girls basketball team is concerned, the latter point would have to come from quite the upset. With only one loss to their name (a loss they actually avenged last week) the Packers are poised to take their success as far as it can go.
But even so, you'll not hear a single complaint from players or coaches when it comes to accommodations during the final stretch.
That's because West Fargo (14-1, 15-1) has the privilege of having all three of its final regular-season games on home court. If the Packers didn't have enough going for them already, now they'll have the fan support, too.
No, beating the Packers will not come easy, but coach Barb Metcalf isn't about to let her guard down, especially considering there's still plenty left to play before even thinking about a state tournament berth..
"We have three big ball games left to improve upon our play before the EDC tournament," she said. "(We are) not talking about that 'other' tournament until we earn our ticket."
The Packers picked up two wins last week, defeating Moorhead 53-29 on Thursday, before beating No. 2 Grand Fork Red River 53-50 on Saturday.
While the victory over the Spuds was sweet, it was the big win over the Roughriders that really spoke of West Fargo's current abilities.
Early in the season on Jan. 5, the Riders beat West Fargo by 20 points. To date, it's the Packers' only blemish on an otherwise flawless season.
On Saturday, the Packers clawed back from a 36-28 halftime deficit to beat their foes and avenge the previous loss.
If it comes down to these two teams in the EDC Championship game, sparks definitely will fly, and they'll come from a few key players.
Leading the Packers against Red River was Erin Krogh, who chalked 15 points and included three 3-pointers.
Right behind her was Amanda Levin, who notched eight points and two tres.
Against Moorhead, Lexi Lennon was the star, racking up an astounding 21 points and going 3-for-3 from three-point range. She also had two 3-pointers and six points against Red River (13-2, 12-4).
All the Packers will need to hit high gear as their season ultimately winds down. On Tuesday, they were scheduled to face Fargo North (5-10, 5-11), but results were unavailable by press time. They host Wahpeton (5-9, 5-1) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.
West Fargo's final game of the regular season is against lowly Fargo South (3-12, 3-13) at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 23. The East Region tournament quarterfinals are Feb. 28, with semifinals and championships running March 2-3.
The North Dakota Class A State Tournament is March 8-10 in Fargo.