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Native Sun News Today: Rapid City rivals in crosstown showdown

Rapid City Central’s Dylan Hay (3) battles the Rapid City Stevens' Raiders Gib Elder (35) for a blocked shot. Looking on are Stevens' Cooper Bowman (22) and Central’s Ira Murphey (22). Photo by James Giago Davies

Stevens wins crosstown showdown
Raider defensive pressure breaks down Cobblers
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Today Correspondent

RAPID CITY –– Raider Head Coach Chris Stoebner is a pretty husky guy, but the first words out of his mouth after his team’s 54-41 defeat of arch-rival Rapid City Central were, “I’m exhausted!”

There are always a lot of emotions at play when Raider Blue squares off against Cobbler Red, and there is just no other rivalry in the five-state area that comes close to matching the intensity and historic drama when these two schools butt heads.

No doubt, Rapid City Stevens is having the better season, and they may have the manpower and coaching smarts to bring a state championship home to Carold Heier Gymnasium this March. But all of that goes out the window when these two teams share the same floor.

Cobbler Coach T.J. Hay knew what he wanted to do, and his charges came out and started taking it right to the home court Raiders.

Dylan Hay, generously listed at 5-8, but with enough fire in his belly for a player 6-8, put the Cobblers on top with 3-point bucket. The Raiders brought the ball back up court, and center Jordan Lawrence backed buff Cobbler big man Ira Murphy deep into the point, before turning around and kissing a layup off the glass, to make it 3-2, Central.

A couple of possessions later Jacob Martin bowled over Murphy in the paint and was called for a charge. Back from injury, the Cobbler’s athletic forward, Kailleb Walton-Blanden, took the ball to the hoop to put Central up 7-4. The fans didn’t realize it, but this would be the high point of the game for Central.

A hanging jumper from Martin drew a foul from Kyle Elder. Martin hit both free throws, and Stevens now only trailed by one, 7-6. Instead of backing Murphy into the paint, Lawrence decided to can a short jumper, and Stevens lead for the first time, 8-7. Murphy scored on a tough lay-up around Lawrence to get the Cobblers back ahead 9-8, with 3:20 remaining in the first quarter. Cooper Bowman then hit a nice jumper and Stevens went back up on top, 10-9. Nobody knew it then, but the Raiders would never surrender the lead again.

The first quarter ended with Stevens on top 15-11, but it took a last second three from Mason Archambault to give the Raiders that lead, which gave no indication Stevens had taken control of this game for good.

The second quarter would decide the game, more than that, it would make an emphatic statement, and it was a testament to how tough Stoebner has made this Raider defense, and how persistently they can impose their style of play on any opponent.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Stevens wins crosstown showdown

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