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Seniors prepare for final girls' Cross-Town shootout, teams meet Friday

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By Paul Gable

A lot has happened since the last time the Grant County and Williamstown girls' basketball teams met each other on the hardwood on Dec. 14, 2007, at Grant County. Grant County won 51-44.

For starters, the Williamstown Lady Demons entered the week with a 5-11 overall, 0-4 district record, and while they have lost seven of their last 11, the Lady Demons enter having won two of their last three and advanced to the finals of the All "A" Classic last week.

As for Grant County, the team has endured illness and injuries, and also enter in need of a victory. The Lady Braves enter the week 5-12 overall, 1-3 in district play and have lost 11 of their last 13. Grant County enters the week on a five-game losing skid.

However, the seniors playing for both Grant County and Williamstown know that all the records can be thrown out the window when the two teams collide Friday, Jan. 25 at Williamstown. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

For Grant County's seniors: Salena McIntosh, Bethany Hopperton and Sarah Johnson—a win would mean that they have never lost to the Lady Demons during their career. The Lady Braves have won seven straight games against Williamstown.

"This is a big game for all of us, and this is our last Williamstown game," said Johnson.

Hopperton notes that Williamstown has improved since the first game of the season.

"They are a much better team now," she said.

Standing in the way of that perfect record are Williamstown seniors Julie Knarr and Kendall Horn.

Neither has experienced the thrill of beating their rivals in recent years.

"It is a big game, and it's my last game against Grant County. It would be nice to win," said Horn.

Knarr recalls beating Grant County when she was younger.

"It's huge, and it would be special to beat them. It was a tough loss last time," Knarr said.

Both teams say the keys to a victory are simple, but it will come down to which team executes better, according to Hopperton.

"We will have to play extremely hard. It's always tough to play there," McIntosh said.

Johnson said the important aspect for the Lady Braves will be boxing out.

"Tori Wilhoit has a nose for the ball when she rebounds. We have to rebound well," Johnson said.

The Lady Demons' seniors echoed those thoughts.

"We have to play good defense and rebound," Horn said.