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St. Thomas More's P.J. Freidel drives through the lane against Sioux Falls Christian Friday night during the US Bank Christmas Classic at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center.

Chris Huber, Journal staff

Friday is going to be an interesting night for high school basketball in Rapid City and the state as the No. 1-ranked Class A STM girls host defending Class AA champ Washington and the No. 2-ranked AA Washington boys take on the No. 1-ranked Class A Cavalier boys in the late game.

On talent alone, I think the STM girls handle their business. You shouldn't lose many basketball games when you've got the two best players on the floor, but it's going to take a bit for the Lady Cavs to acclimate to what Washington brings opposed to Hot Springs (or even Spearfish).

The more interesting question to me is can the STM boys make things interesting? Washington lost one of the more underrated players in recent memory in Brett Stanley off of last year's team, but they return two D-I caliber pieces in Sam Siganos and Deng Geu, players that would star on any team in the state.

The Cavs are going to be good, eventually, but sophomores are their best players. Are they too young to make this season opener a game?

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Regardless, kudos to Washington for playing the game. You don't have to scratch the AA vs. A debate too deeply before you get to the, "What do we have to gain?" comments. We already know STM will play anybody anytime. It's nice to see that Sioux Falls schools recognize that and show Dave Hollenbeck's program that kind of respect. Washington and More know that playing the best teams in the state, regardless of class, is a recipe for improvement. The Warriors will come out of STM's little gym a better team. And so will the Cavaliers.

Get to STM early, because that place is going to be packed.

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