The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports Columns

February 19, 2014

Tasks are big, rewards bigger

What faces the Anderson and Shenandoah girls basketball teams this Saturday is daunting.

But both of these teams have done daunting before.

Last week in the sectionals, the Lady Tribe had to play short-handed against the defending state champions and the Lady Raiders had to get past one of the state's top-10 ranked teams in Lapel. So don't expect these squads to be squeamish about what is ahead. They won't be.

Anderson lost a starter on Wednesday in the sectional at Connersville in Chelsea Bentley, the team's Miss Versatility. She suffered an ankle injury and didn't play the final two games. The Tribe lost another vital cog in the machine on Friday in the semis when Ania Daniels went down with a head injury and had to watch the championship game from the bench.

That title game was against the 2013 state champions, the Mount Vernon Marauders. Anderson fell behind 10-0 in that game and could easily have thought of its depleted ranks and decided all was lost.

They didn't. They banded together and pulled out an improbable but quite satisfying victory.

They will need to do it again this Saturday when they face the state's No. 1-ranked team, Lawrence North. Anderson lost to the Wildcats by 39 points to open the season and that was when the Tribe had all of their weapons. The Sagarin ratings give AHS just a 10.6 percent chance of winning that regional.

The Lady Tribe won't care. They will play their game to the best of their ability and I expect them to play without fear.

The Lady Raiders are a Cinderella story, not based on this season, when they are 16-4. But based on the year before when they were 6-15 or based on the fact that it has been nine years since Shenandoah won a regional, a feat the team used to collect like Easter eggs.

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