"I think what we have going for us this year is we've gone through this with the same core of players. They were all on the team last year when we lost to Tri-Unity. They were freshmen and sophomores and this year they're juniors and sophomores," said Manville.
That includes junior forward David Loney, who is coming off a 28-point, 17-rebound performance in Wednesday's 90-47 regional championship win over Au Gres.
"Having that experience is priceless," said Manville. "You don't have that fear of the unknown. Sometimes you do when you're a program that hasn't been there before. Even in practice I can tell the kids have confidence.
"We've been on a roll. Our best basketball has been in the last month. If we play the way we've played in the last month we'll be fine. If we continue to play tough defense, hold the other team between 46-50 points we know we're going to be there."
Unlike Frankfort, East Jordan won't be able to rely on the experience of playing in the quarterfinals. The last time the school reached this point was 1953.
Standing in the Red Devils' path to the semifinals is third-ranked Negaunee (23-1), which is in the quarterfinal round for the fourth straight year and was a semifinalist last year.
"This will probably, of all the teams we've played, be our toughest challenge," said East Jordan coach Darrin Weber, whose team already owns a win over a top-five team in the postseason when it defeated No. 4 Boyne City in the district finals. "They've got some pretty good size and they've got the guard, Tyler Jandron, who was the U.P. Player of the Year. They'll pose a different challenge than any team we've faced."