It’s been the recurring theme for the Sullivan basketball Lady Eagles throughout the postseason.

This time, however, Sullivan is not playing a team which it lost to earlier in the season.

Nevertheless, Sullivan (24-2) had a close game with Helias (15-12) in the championship game of the Sullivan Tournament Dec. 20, winning 37-34.

The teams play again Tuesday at Missouri S&T in Rolla in a Class 4 sectional. The winner advances to play Saturday at Southwest Baptist in Bolivar against either Carl Junction (26-0) or West Plains (27-1). The quarterfinal tips off at 1 p.m.

Sullivan took care of two rematches during the district tournament, beating the two teams it lost to during the season.

In the semifinals, Sullivan took the season series against Union, winning 54-46. Sullivan won two of three games against the Lady ’Cats.

Sullivan beat top-seeded Rolla in the championship game Saturday, a rematch of the season opener, 43-30.

Sullivan Head Coach Jordan Flora knows this rematch will be much tougher.

“Helias is a very good basketball team,” Flora said. “The first time we played them they didn’t have three of their starters and now those girls are back. They shoot the ball really well from outside and attack the rim well also.” 

Flora said his guards will have to be ready for pressure from the baseline to the basket.

“We will have to handle their press and attack their zone,” Flora said. “Defensively, we will have to make sure we don’t lose their shooters and rebound well. It should be a fun game and a great atmosphere to play in.”

Helias has picked up its game in recent weeks. The Lady Crusaders were seeded third for the Class 4 District 10 Tournament at Capital City and won the opener over the host, 66-13.

In the semifinals, the Lady Crusaders upset second-seeded Camdenton, 70-52, before topping No. 1 Boonville in the title match, 58-49.

Lindsay Byers scored 19 points to lead Helias in the championship game while Kylie Bernskoetter was next with 18.

Nine of the Helias losses happened in November, December or January. Since the start of February, the team has lost only three times. Gateway was the only Class 4 team to beat the Lady Crusaders, 55-52, Feb. 11.

Jefferson City and Rock Bridge also beat Helias.

Helias wins of note include Strafford (28-3), St. Michael the Archangel (21-8), Southern Boone (24-5) and St. Francis Borgia Regional (16-10).

Borgia, Owensville and Rolla have been common opponents. Rolla beat Helias Jan. 7, 47-31.