Games don’t get much bigger than the ‘Battle of Rogers Avenue’. Add the fact both Northside and Southside girls teams are in a tight 7A/6A-Central race, tonight’s tilt is huge.
“This is a huge game,” Northside coach Rickey Smith said. “Southside High school won the Tournament of Champions. Predominantly all senior basketball club and is an extremely tough conference. Add all the factors in and it’s a cross town rival. It’s going to be a big game.”
Northside has won the past six meetings between the two rivals but Southside coach Sherry White is more concerned with how her team plays.
“All of the games right now in this conference are important. It is going to be tough but we talked about the girls just showing up and playing their game. Let the winning and losing take care of itself and let’s just go play our game,” White said.
The Lady Bears (17-2, 4-1) are coming off their first conference loss while the Lady Rebels (14-4, 3-2) posted an impressive win against Conway on Friday.
Southside has already taken down the Northside boys this season but coach Charlie Cooper knows that game is in the distant past.
“It’s always tough going back and playing a team that you’ve played once or twice. Last year we wound up playing Northside three times. Every time it is a new game and every time it is a tough game. This game tonight will be no different,” Cooper said.
The 51-47 loss in the Coke Classic was big at the time but Northside coach Eric Burnett knows the two teams know one another well.
“It’s tough because they know what you are going to do and we know what they are going to do. Not only that but it is a big rivalry game. Me and coach Cooper have went at each other several times in the past so he knows exactly what we are going to do. It’s just a matter of who executes the best tonight.”