Raiders/Cobblers gear for first-round showdown

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We're two days away from the start of the Class Double-A State girls' basketball tournament and a pair of area teams will tip off their tournament runs against very familiar opponents.
The Stevens girls go into the tournament as the fifth-seeds, squaring off against their cross-town rivals from Central in the first round of play.
While the nerves of a State Tournament will no doubt be present, the players don't expect them to be as bad with a very familiar opponent lining up on the other side of the court.
'It would feel amazing. And it being our senior year, it would be awesome just to beat 'em in the first round. So, hope it goes well.'
Julia Haefs says, 'As a senior, of course, you want to win at any level, but it's really important, especially our first game. You win that first game and you get to go to the championship bracket, and especially against Central, it's just really important to get this first game.'>
The Central Cobbler girls are in the same boat, gearing up for their cross town rivals from Stevens in the first round of play.
The Lady Raiders punched their ticket to state by topping the Cobblers for the 4-Double-A District title, but a win in the first round of the State Tournament will make up for it all for the Cobbler girls.
'Since it's state tournament, we definitely have to win that first game. So we still have the same jitters and stuff like that. But, we know what they do, they know what we do. It's going to be a fun game.'
Karli O'Brien says, 'Yeah, we heard that and we were kind of like, ugh, again? We already played them three times during the season, but we're kind of excited. We know what we have to do, and, I don't know, we're pretty happy with the match-up, I guess.
Oh, we're pumped about that. We get our crowd that we hope was all going to come and show out. And, yeah, we're just excited. Especially for my senior year, I'm glad it could be here.'>
The Central and Stevens girls square off in the first round of the Double-A State Girls' Basketball Tournament Thursday night.
Tip-off time, in the Barnett Arena, is slated for five o'clock.
The Tournament continues through Saturday.