Déjà vu anyone? For the second time in a three-day span, the Melcher-Dallas and Twin Cedars girls basketball teams will face each other in Bussey – this time with their respective seasons on the line. The Saints and Sabers open the Class 1A Regional Tournament tonight in a game that should be another hard-fought clash between the Marion County Rivals.
Melcher-Dallas head coach Jon Suntken says the teams’ extreme familiarity with each other minimizes any real strategy or preparation points for his team.
“And it’s the same situation for them [Twin Cedars]. It’s just going to be who’s going to play their game and just really have a good night,” said Suntken. “The team that has a better game is going to win the basketball game.”
Both teams have claimed a regular season victory on their home court, with Melcher-Dallas winning 58-48 on December 13th, and Twin Cedars winning at home on Tuesday of this week, 47-39. Sabers’ head coach Justin Nolte is trying to get his team to focus on communication and proper placement on the floor.
“We’re going to have to just come out and play our game. We know what they’re going to do offensively and defensively – they know us as well – so we’re throwing a lot of stuff out the window;. We’ve just got to go out and play,” said Nolte.
“We’ve got to go out and play hard, make sure we’re talking on our defensive assignments; talking on rebounds. They [Melcher-Dallas] shoot a lot of long three pointers, so we’re going to have a lot of long defensive rebounds; we’ve got to make sure to corral a lot of those. We’ve just got to contest some shots, identify some shooters, and if we do those things I think we’ll be ok.”
The winner of tonight’s contest takes on the winner of Southeast Warren and Lynnville-Sully on Valentine’s Day in Sully in the Region 6 Quarterfinals. Tip-off between the Sabers and Saints will be at 7:00 p.m. tonight in Bussey.