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    There are a couple of games left in the season for girls basketball before the start of playoffs, and my previous thoughts on team standings seem to be shifting.  To my surprise Central lost last night to Sturgis, and Stevens beat Spearfish, so now I'm left to rethink the "big" game now between Central and Stevens tomorrow night.  

    Most might be surprised that I am surprised that Central lost to Sturgis, as they have similar records.  However, the Cobblers were my team to come out sitting on top before playoffs, and now that likely won't happen.  Central seems to be losing focus late in the season, and that surprises me.   The rivalry game may produce a win for them tomorrow night, but even though they will be playing at home, I'm not so sure they will get the "W" against the now revived Steven Raiders.

    Now, I have to mention first what surprises me the most about the Raiders.  I have to say I'm surprised they've strung a couple of wins together recently.  Some might say it was their coach reading a child's book to the girls that got them enlightened and ready to put it together.  Odder things have happened to get a team going, but I really want to believe it was more than that.  Maybe they were ready to put their issues aside and play as a team in hopes that would produce a win or two.   I'm going to go with that theory.  It sure looked like that was the case last night against Spearfish.  The Raiders looked strong and took care of the Spartans, as they should have the first time these two teams played a month ago.   They will need to continue to "bring it" again tomorrow night against the Cobblers.   I will be surprised if it isn't the most physical game of the season for both teams. 

    So that leaves me with making another prediction.  Who will come out on top tomorrow night?  I'm surprised that I don't have a strong feeling one way or another.  Central appears now to be sputtering, which surprises me, and Stevens on a roll, which kind of also surprises me.  With that being said, I'm sure it will be a physical game and probably won't be a pretty win for either team.   I'm going to have to say, however, that I believe Central will squeek by Stevens.  It will come down to the better defense.

    And when thinking of good defense the Spearfish Spartans always come to mind.  They are strong and scrappy in that department, and also fun to watch.  I hope they will come around and do well in the playoffs.  They have a strong opponent in the STM Cavalier girls, which is no surprise to anyone.  I always enjoy watching both of these respective teams and expect a few surprises heading into playoffs. 

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