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It's now a four-game season for the Rapid City Stevens girls' basketball team.

Head coach Michael Brooks said if things go as planned, they are now concentrating on the Round of 16 game and three games of the state tournament.

Regardless, there is no doubt that the Raiders have the momentum they need after knocking off St. Thomas More last Saturday and rival Rapid City Central 49-25 Thursday night at Naasz Gymnasium.

"Beating  STM and beating your rival on the road are two big things for us to continue to have confidence," Brooks said. "We didn't shoot the ball well tonight, and to still win like we did feeds into their confidence."

With the win, the Raiders completed their regular season at 17-3. Brooks added that they have to do what we have done all year, which is to take it game-by-game and stick to the plan.

"If we stick to the game plans and focus on each other, and not worry about what comes next, but what comes in the moment, we will be totally fine," he said.

On Thursday, Stevens put the defensive clamps down on the Cobblers, allowing just two points for much of the first half and no points for nearly all of the fourth quarter.

"We wanted to mostly focus on defense, especially if some of our shots weren't falling," Stevens senior Lexus Eagle Chasing said. "When our defense starts going, our offense will come."

Brooks said defense is what they can control when there are struggles on offense.

"You can never control offense. You can take the prettiest shot, you can execute the best, and they can still defend you," Brooks said. "There are a couple of things we can control, and that is our attitude and our effort, and our defense. That was a big deal tonight, and that is what we have to continue to do to be successful at state."

The Raiders led 10-2 at the end of the first period and were up 23-2 before Central's Bailey Johnson hit a 3-pointer with 2:17 remaining in the second.

Central would actually score the half's final seven points, but it was a case of too-little, too-late.

Stevens would get going again in the second half and led by as much as 27 points before both coaches cleared their benches with a little over three minutes to play.

"We've had a lot of stretches in games this year where we haven't been able to score," Central coach Kraig Blomme said. "Unfortunately it was at the beginning of this game. It was not from the lack of effort; the girls were working at it and playing hard, we just weren't getting good shots, and a lot of credit goes to the Stevens defense."

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Eagle Chasing led the way with 14 points for the Raiders, while Kyah Watson added 11. Stevens shot just 33 percent from the field, but held the Cobblers to 27 percent shooting.

Johnson led Central, 7-10, with seven points.

Brooks said that Eagle Chasing has stepped up to a new role with the team after teammates Mya Hendry and Grace Martin were both lost with season-ending knee injuries.

"You're looking at a kid who has really taken her role and expanded on it a lot," Brooks said of Eagle Chasing. "I've been so proud of how selfless she has been and how she has dedicated herself to being a scorer, and having that mentality. It has translated us to being successful and playing differently."

 Eagle Chasing said they are now just looking forward to postseason play.

"We're just trying to focus on our defense and our offense and focus on winning," Eagle Chasing said.

Blomme told the team that the next two games — hosting Spearfish tonight and at Sturgis on Monday — are important for them to establish some momentum heading into the postseason.

"We have to be ready to play against Spearfish, and take it one game at a time from here on out and see where we finish for the Sweet 16," he said.

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Sports Editor

Sports reporter for the Rapid City Journal.