The two met earlier in the season with the Irish decisively defeating the Pack 53-25 on Feb. 19.
But this is a different Wolfpack team.
This squad is more confident in themselves and each other and has meshed as a team. Since Jan. 24, the Pack’s record is 10-4.
The latest Freelance Basketball Standings have Charleston Catholic ranked fourth and WHS 10th.
While the Civic Center is a neutral site for the Class A state tournament, it has become home to Catholic as the Irish make their seventh consecutive trip.
WHS Coach Curt Fletcher said the Fighting Irish mix up defenses and are capable of running with the ball or slowing it down to use up clock.
“We have to know where J.P. Tupta is at all times,” Fletcher said.
Charleston Catholic beat down the Gilbert Lions in the Region IV co-championship game 72-36. The Fighting Irish’s J.P. Tupta scored 17 points and grabbed seven rebounds despite sitting the final eight minutes of the game.
The 6-5 forward/center senior surprisingly leads Catholic with 25 3-pointers.
The Irish have participated in the last six state basketball tournaments, advancing to the title game in each with back-to-back titles in 2006 and 2007. Catholic finished out the season 12-0 on its home court and extended its winning streak to 14 games.
While Williamson is a young squad, they do not play as such on the court. After a slow start at the beginning of the season, the team now plays like a veteran squad with no fear of the opposing team.
The Pack leads a balanced scoring attack with Chris Hatcher, Nick Lee, Jason May, Chuck White and the little general on the floor – Austin Banks. Each is capable of putting the ball in the hole.
Nick Lee poured in 28 points against Wahama and May netted 4 3-pointers in the first half.
Banks scored nine but dished out seven assists and White pulled down 11 boards all in the second half.
Banks averages 9.2 points per game, Nick Lee 13.8, Chris Hatcher 11.3, Chuckie White 10.8, Jason May 5.5, Alex Lee 5.4 and Sean Hurley 4.8. Freshman Alex Lee comes off the bench and gives the Pack valuable minutes scoring and rebounding.
The Pack will also mix up defenses. They can go from a diamond press and fall back to man-to-man or line up in a 1-3-1 zone forcing a tired team to take long shots. At times, Fletcher will use the 2-3 for rebounding.
Nick Lee, Banks, May and White are right at home behind the arc or will pass to the post for the 6-2 senior Hatcher to work his magic on the boards.
Maxpreps has both teams averaging 20.5 points in the first quarter. The site has the Pack outscoring the Irish 19-9 in the second, 19.5-18.5 in the third and 20-13.5 in the fourth with Williamson winning the game 59.4-58.7.
Should the Pack prevail, they will move on to play in the semifinal game on Friday.