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Lets flashback to last season on the basketball court.
All year long, there was one boys team and one girls team that just stood above everyone on a regular basis and you knew they were destined to go to the state tournament - Neligh-Oakdale’s boys and Elgin Public/Pope John’s girls. Nearly ever week, you could chalk up their games as wins.
Coming back to this year, that isn’t quite the case. There is much more parity on the court than there was last season.
In the battle for the best of Antelope County for the boys, I believe it will prove to be a close match. The Warriors are once again winning, including a win over Elkhorn Valley. However, the Falcons have some pieces to grow on that could make them more challenging later in the year.
Elgin Public/Pope John had growing pains last year, but those boys took Niobrara/Verdigre - a team that has been incredibly consistent in recent years - to the wire on Friday. Clearwater-Orchard has shown to be solid as well, battling an athletic CWC squad shot-for-shot. The Warriors beat the other three county teams last year, but this year may be a tougher battle.
On the girls side, Clearwater-Orchard and Neligh-Oakdale will grow as they replace some key players from last year. The two teams that everyone should look forward to watching go head-to-head, however, are Elkhorn Valley and EPPJ. The Wolfpack lost a lot of talent, but still looked equally dominant over Niobrara/Verdigre on Friday. Elkhorn Valley has a core of players coaches beg for. When the two teams clash for local supremacy, I have a feeling it will be go down to the wire.
Last year, the area saw dominance week in and week out. This year, enjoy the ride, because there will be no easy games for anyone. Everyone is about to be challenged.