After tournaments and plenty of travel, high school basketball teams are returning to the familiar territory of their own conference.
"It's hard to beat a team that knows you so well," said Fayetteville girls coach Vic Rimmer. "The kids know each other really well too. I think that adds a little bit of competitiveness."
Now - every time a player steps on a court, it will be a battle as everyone is looking to keep records high for state seeding.
"6A-West is kind of like the SEC West in football," Springdale girls coach Heather Hunsucker explained. "That's what we compare it too. It's a war. Every game is hard. Yes, everything you do in the non-conference part of your schedule is to get ready for January and February knowing that every time you step out there - it matters."
While every game on the schedule matters regardless of where it is in the season -
"I think we try to keep every game with the same intensity and try to play it like it's our last," Fayetteville forward Isaac Smith mentioned. "I think that's what we're going to do for every game during conference as well.
- there's more on the line with conference competition.
"There's a little bit more urgency I think," Fayetteville boys coach Kyle Adams said. "You better play with a sense of aggressiveness because everybody else will. Everybody's fighting to get to that state tournament and everyone's gonna bring their best."
With 6A-West play tipping off Friday - starting with a win will add that much more motivation as the journey to the state tournament begins.
5NEWS will have highlights from plenty of 6A-West games around the area Friday night.