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    When girls basketball becomes topic of conversation in Rapid City, the rivalry between Central and Stevens is always up for discussion.  Who has the stronger team, who will come up with the win, etc.   Well, the clash of the two AA schools played out last night on Stevens' home court, and the home team did not come out on top.   The talk around the water cooler has been the Raiders were a sure win, beings the constant talk of them having two D-1 players on their team, and the fact they were playing on their home court.   However, to be honest, I expected Central to pull off the win.   As I've said in the past, they play better as a team, and each of the Cobblers understands their roles and do their best at fulfilling those roles. 

    Now, granted Central fell apart in the second quarter offensively, but came back to life in both the third and fourth quarters to pull off a 48-38 win.  They were on fire with their 3-point shots, and defensively did a great job of containing Stevens' Margaret McCloud.   Stevens clearly needs McCloud to stay competitive, but also better defense on the part of the Raiders as a whole was necessary to stop the more scrappy Cobblers. 

    And speaking of about those Spearfish Spartans girls?   I took in the St. Thomas More-Spearfish game last week, and I have to say the Spartans look good.   They played tough, all of them, against STM.  I don't think that was their best game, and no, they didn't win, but I think the Cavaliers are going to have their hands full, and then some, next time these two teams meet.   I'm a little confused why the Spartans aren't ranked a little higher in the state, but frankly I don't think they care.  They know what they are capable of, and I believe in the end they will achieve it.   Now, I do think the Cavaliers are a strong team, but Spearfish's defense gave STM some trouble, and it may come down to defense being the deciding factor.

    My predictions, of course, aren't always right, but I'm going to throw out a couple.  I believe Central is going to come out on the winning side again against the Raiders, and I do believe the Spartans will have their way with the Cavaliers when they match up again.  

    There it is, take it or leave it.  Good luck to all the girls, as the season is nearing the end, and as the old saying goes, "May the best team win."   

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