It's crunch time.
The postseason still lies a week away for girls basketball teams and two weeks away for boys teams. But you wouldn't be able to tell by the way teams are beginning to ramp up for the stretch run of the season.
This week, most of the girls Macomb Area Conference teams will be off after completing the conference tournament last week. But on the boys side, New Haven and St. Clair have advanced to the semifinals of the MAC Tournament.
New Haven (16-1) will host Warren Woods Tower Tuesday, while St. Clair (13-4) travels to face St. Clair Shores Lakeview for the third time this season.
"We are seeing high level teams, which is good," St. Clair coach Shawn Sharrow said. "Lake Shore has beat us twice. It's going to be a good challenge for us to make adjustments and play better. We haven't had this tournament before. It's interesting. It has a tournament atmosphere where you win and advance.
"I think our guys hopefully will embrace the challenge. They have played some good stretches against Warren Woods Tower and Lake Shore. We know we have to be more than a two quarter team against them. We have to play a complete game."
While St. Clair will look for the upset, New Haven hopes to continue its momentum. The Rockets have been playing their best basketball of the season and are hoping this is just the beginning of a long postseason run.
"I think it's great to have this tournament," New Haven coach Tedaro France II said. "I think our league and this tournament will prepare us for the playoffs. We are playing against some really good teams. It's a great test for us (Tuesday) at home.
"It's a great way to get the kids in that mindset of the playoffs. The kids know it's not the state tournament but it's still the playoffs and we are preparing like that."