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The Sports Desk (East at R-S)

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Big Friday Game Round two of East Rutherford and R-S Central on the basketball court takes place this Friday, February 15th in Rutherfordton. While the rivalry is there, the conference and playoff races are still in full swing.

High School Basketball (Men's)

East Rutherford (17-3, 6-2) lost to Shelby 58-54, last Friday, so the Golden Lions have the #1 seed and look in good shape to win the conference barring a huge setback this week. East looks like the #2 seed from the Southwestern 2A as the conference tourney is played next week probably at Shelby (16-5, 7-1).

R-S Central (14-8, 4-4) got huge wins as they beat South Point handily and then dumped East Gaston in overtime. "We might as well set the clock to four minutes and start overtime when we play East Gaston," R-S Central Coach Greg Wright said. "East Gaston's record is not indicative of how good they really are." It's the fourth time the two teams have played each other in overtime during the last 12 months. Central is now tied for third in the league with South Point, but the Red Raiders own the tiebreaker since they have beaten East Rutherford which is the highest seed defeated among the two foes and they both already split with each other. The Hilltoppers have to hope that South Point (12-9, 4-4) loses twice this week and they can win at least once. Ty Watkins and Elijah Carson both played big in last weeks wins.

Chase is out of the playoff race unless they win the conference tourney at 3-17.

High School Basketball (Ladies)

East Rutherford (19-1, 8-0) pretty much has this thing under wraps unless Central wins twice and East falls twice. Somehow, East pulled off a big win at Shelby to sweep the Lady Golden Lions (13-6, 5-3) in the regular season. Shelby seems to play its best in transition and keeping a fast pace. They are good enough to make some teams in playoffs not want to face them. Osha Makerson and Jazmine Twitty have been leading the charge as of late for the Lady Cavs.

R-S Central (13-9, 6-2) holds the #2 seed going into the week and should maintain it with one win this week, but beating East Rutherford isn't out of the question.

As for what is in store on Friday, Central led both games late, but couldn't finish in the first meeting at East. With it being at R-S, one has to wonder if home court plays out. The Central guys have lost just once at home all year, while the ladies have lost three times, but not since January 2nd.

Chase is pretty much out of the playoff race as well with just two league wins. Thomas Jefferson's Men may get one of the last playoff berths in the 1A playoffs, but that has yet to be determined.

The Daytona 500 is this Sunday as the NASCAR season starts again as soon as it ended. The qualifying races take place on Valentine's Day and I project that you won't see any crashing or very little. The reason??? Only two cars will go home and the fact of where you start in the 500 doesn't matter too much. They are all just trying to figure out if they have a machine that can win or find ways to tweak the cars to be better for Sunday.

The first duel is stacked, but I will take Menard just because of the way he is running and starts near the front.

The second duel, give me Joey Logano and he might be the odds-on favorite for the 500.

Honestly, I don't have a ton of information to go off of, but I think Ricky Stenhouse Jr., Kyle Busch, Paul Menard, Jimmie Johnson and Martin Truex Jr. should be tough. I like Brad Keselowski to do it this time on a hunch in the 500. I thought Truex since he is due, but I am not sure he can be aggressive enough. Action and torn up race cars on Sunday? More than likely to happen.

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