State ‘AA’ Girls Basketball Preview: RC Central to play Stevens in opening round

RAPID CITY, S.D. – The State ‘AA’ girls basketball tournament tips off on Thursday at the Monument Ice Arena in Rapid City and one thing is for sure.

A team from Rapid City is guaranteed a spot in the championship semifinals.

That’s because the Central Cobblers and the Stevens Raiders will square off in the opening round.

This will mark the third meeting of the year between these two teams.

Back on December 18, the Cobblers defeated the Raiders, 43 – 39.

But then on January 28, Stevens topped Central by 11 points.

The Raiders are making their ninth straight appearance in the state tournament.

Last year, Stevens lost to Sioux Falls Washington in the championship game.

Stevens enters the tournament as the No. 4 seed with a 17 -4 record.

Jayda McNabb leads the Raiders in scoring and rebounding with 11 points and 7 rebounds per game.

Stevens head coach Adam Dannenbring expects it to be a defensive battle.

“I think the big key is going to be able to handle their pressure,” said Adam Dannenbring. “We have to successfully get the ball up the floor. They do a good job of just kind of being there If you make any mistakes with their full court pressure. Then offensively, we’re going to have to move the ball inside out and get very good shots. That’s really the key. We’re going to have to take good shots.”

Meanwhile, the Central Cobblers are the fifth seed in the tournament with a 16 – 5 record.

The Cobblers are led by Sadie Glade who averages 12 points per game followed by Josie Hill with 11 points per contest.

Central has won four of its last five games and is one of the top defensive teams in Class ‘AA’.

“The biggest thing with Stevens is just taking care of the basketball,” said Central head coach Allan Bertram. “They thrive off of turnovers in transition and keeping them off the glass. They’re a great offensive rebounding basketball team. So those are the two biggest things going into that game that we have to make sure we do a really good job of. We feel defensively, we can make things difficult for a lot of teams and we’ve proven that throughout the year. We know we’re going to limit what they can do but the bottom line is we’ve got to take care of the basketball.”


State ‘AA’ Girls Basketball Tournament

Schedule for Thursday, March 10

#8 SF Jefferson vs #1 SF Washington         12 p.m.  MT

#5 RC Central vs #4 RC Stevens                  1:45 p.m.

#7 SF Lincoln vs #2 SF O’Gorman                6 p.m.

#11 Harrisburg vs #3 Brandon Valley           7:45 p.m.

Categories: High School, Sports