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Bulldogs, Cavs meet in district matchup

Lakeland High School’s boys’ basketball team will host King’s Fork High School Friday in the first rivalry game of 2018.

Both the Cavs and Bulldogs have yet to be able to play in 2018 due to the winter storm. However, their first game of the new year will be against each other. Lakeland will host King’s Fork this time around after playing the Bulldogs in their holiday tournament late in December.

The Bulldogs took that matchup, but they won’t expect anything to come easy going into Lakeland’s gym. Fans will fill Lakeland’s gym from wall to wall with cheering, enforcing momentum swings for both teams. One thing both team’s players and coaches understand is that records go out of the window when it comes to rivalry games.

“We respect those guys,” Bulldogs coach Rick Hite said. “Those young guys can play, and they are well coached. They are going to come at our guys. They have proved that they are tough to beat in their home building.”

Hite has been preaching to his team all season about finding a way to be comfortable in uncomfortable situations. Mainly in the road games, the away teams are in an uncomfortable situation.

The Cavs will be looking to make the outcome different this time around. Lakeland coach Clint Wright and his team have built up a reputation as a team that plays hard, even though they are young, and their record hasn’t quite shown it. Bragging rights will always be at stake when these two teams match up.

Emotions will play a big factor in today’s game. At the beginning of the game, both teams will be revved up with energy. It is who can balance those emotions out and controls the game which will likely determine the victor. Without much practice over the past week, it is likely both teams may come out a little rusty.

This game will be the second of three matchups between King’s Fork and Lakeland. The Bulldogs will host the next game. The two rival teams will tip off at 7 p.m. Friday at Lakeland. Both girls’ teams will play at King’s Fork at 7 p.m.