Jamestown High School has been doing battle on the hardwood with Erie County teams for more than 30 years. During that span, it has had rivalries of various durations with the likes of Sweet Home, Lancaster, Orchard Park, Clarence and Frontier.
But if you were to poll the boys on this year's Red Raiders' roster on which opponent gets their adrenaline flowing the most, the answer would likely be unanimous.
The two adversaries will square off again tonight at McElrath Gymnasium with plenty on the line. Opening tip is at 7:30 p.m.
A win by Jamestown (12-4, 8-2), the No. 5 large school in Western York, would put it into a first-place tie in Division 1 of the Erie County Interscholastic Conference with the second-ranked Spartans (12-3, 8-1) and No. 6 Clarence (12-3, 7-2). A Red Raiders' loss would take them out of the division title chase.
''There are a lot of implications,'' Jamestown coach Ben Drake said after Friday's victory over Frontier, ''but to me it's the league title. Knowing going in if we win we're going to share it, but to still be able to call ourselves league champs is important to us.
''After (tonight), we'll worry about the playoff picture.''
Like most matchups with Williamsville North in recent years, this one should be special. The headliners, both guards, are Jamestown junior Zack Panebianco and Spartans' senior Sterling Taplin.
Both have been on fire of late. Panebianco is averaging about 28 points per game in his last five outings, while Taplin, a returning all-WNY first-teamer and a McDonald's All-American nominee, is coming off a school-record 45-point explosion against Frontier last Thursday.
''Zack is just taking his game to a different level,'' Drake said. ''There are not many people that are playing better basketball than Zack Panebianco in Western New York. For high school basketball fans, (tonight) is a great matchup. Not only are two great players going head to head, but two great teams.''
In their first meeting in December, Williamsville North rallied from a 15-point deficit in the final four minutes to stun visiting Jamestown, 61-60, on Maceo Jack's 3-pointer in the closing seconds.
In that first meeting, Taplin scored 24 points and Jack had 12. Panebianco led Jamestown with 19 points, Stephen Carlson added 15 and Quinn Lee Yaw chipped in 13.
During the 2012-13 season, the Spartans defeated Jamestown at the ''the Mac,'' 63-49, to end the Red Raiders' 23-game home winning streak. Jamestown, however, turned the tables on the road, knocking off Williamsville North, 55-46, on their way to their third straight ECIC Division 1 title and an eventual Section 6 Class AA championship.
''(Tonight) will be a battle,'' Drake said. ''We've had some great battles with them over the years. Taplin's a good player, but I feel like we're the better team. We certainly let one slip away up there in December, but we're playing a lot better basketball.''
Drake said he is encouraging all Red Raider fans to wear white tonight in support of the team.
A ''white-out'' at ''the Mac?''
The Spartans must be in town.