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    Central and Stevens girls are just at the start of their season, but both teams are already showing improvement.  With close wins for both teams on Friday, and then again for the Raiders on Saturday,  they go into the holidays with a little bit more to be thankful for. 

    The Stevens Raiders had an exciting win on Friday against Huron, winning by two points, 57-55.  Katie Klapprodt put the nail in the coffin by making two clutch free throws with just three seconds remaining in the game.  If that's an indication of concentration and determination that the Raiders will possess throughout the season, I think they are going to do all right.  As always Margaret McCloud was force to be reckoned with in both games.  She has a target on her back and that will be the case for her these next two years.  She knows it and plays accordingly.  The Raiders are fortunate to have a strong, tall player.  McCloud's presence will be necessary for Stevens to stay competitive. 

    The dark horse reared its head, so to speak, in the game against Mitchell on Saturday........and it wasn't an ugly one, either.  Alexis Kruse took matters in her own hands, scoring 18 points off the bench for the Raiders to help the team pull off a 60-53 win.  She, of course, got some help with great assists at times, but it was nice to see the backup forces come alive and contribute.   The Raider girls have something to prove this year after finishing a strong second in the State tourney last year.  Where they may be lacking in some talent, they will most likely make up for with their determination.

    And speaking of determination........the Central Cobblers showed quite a bit of that on Friday, beating Mitchell by one, 53-52.  Chelsey Biegler seemed to be the  "woman of the hour" in that game, coming back into the game after what was thought to be a concussion and made three of four free throws to seal the win.  She is clearly a strong competitor and will be an asset to the Cobblers this year. 

    Biegler was strong, as well, on Saturday against Huron, but the Central girls as a whole were not able to stop Huron, losing 57-45.   The Cobblers were in deep foul trouble with four players leaving the game with five fouls.  They are aggressive, I will give them that, but they need to keep focused and do their best to stay in the game.  They will need to have all pistons running in order to be competitive this season. 

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