Crosstown rivals prepare to face off

Tuesday, January 22, 2008 | 9:47 p.m. CST; updated 10:26 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 19, 2008

COLUMBIA — When it comes to rival basketball teams meeting on the court, people don’t expect rain delays. However, when the Rock Bridge and Hickman girls baskeball teams met last year, that’s exactly what the fans got.

Eventually a leaky roof in Hickman’s gymnasium caused a delay that led to the cancellation of the game. Following the game a contractor stepped forward and volunteered to fix the roof by the following Friday, Jan. 26 2007. This year the No. 6 Bruins and the No. 7 Kewpies face off at Rock Bridge and both teams are preparing for a tough matchup.

Rock Bridge coach Jill Nagel knows that the Kewpies will bring everything they’ve got.

“They’re a talented team,” Nagel said. “We have to get ready to play a very tough team.”

Although tonight’s game is a rivalry match-up, Nagel says the Bruins gameplan isn’t any different than it would be against any other team on their schedule.

“Defense is our strength,” Nagel said “There are certain things we do game in and game out.”

Nagel also said the Bruins’ will continue their unselfish offense that has been played all year.

Nagel believes that her players will be ready at tip off.

“Everyone gets up for a rivalry game.”

On the Hickman side, coach Tonya Mirts is using a similar preparation as Rock Bridge in giving its rival no special treatment.

“I can’t worry about what they’re going to do,” Mirts said. “I have to worry about what we’re going to do.”

Mirts put her team’s strategy for the game simply.

“Come to the game.”

As far as hype surrounding the game, Mirts said she hasn’t heard much of it. Mirts, who also teaches physical education at Hickman, said her office location leaves her isolated from much of the building and, consequently, the hype.

“But I can say our kids had a great practice tonight.” Mirts said after Tuesday night’s practice.

The junior varsity teams tip off tonight at 6 p.m. at Rock Bridge High School.

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