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Posted On: 12/7/18 12:52 AM

SIOUX CITY— On Friday night, the most anticipated matchup in years between Sioux City East and Sioux City West will take place at East High School. Why you ask? Coach Harvis Cofield’s Wolverines, who are unbeaten and have been firing on all cylinders early this season, have defeated their opponents by an average 21.7 points. Not to mention, West has lost 32 straight contests to East. The last time West defeated its crosstown rival was on December 5, 2003. 

Since Cofield took over five years ago, West has come close multiple times to knocking off East, but have lost late in games. In the last nine meetings between the two schools, five of those contests have been decided by an average of only 5.2 points. 

“We always play them tough, I think it just comes down to possessions,” mentioned Cofield.

Cofield is confident the heartbreak against East can end this season though, especially with how good the chemistry is with this particular group of seniors. “They don’t care who scores, they just want to win,” said Cofield of his team. “The focus has been there, they are a resilient group and play off each other.” 

Southwest Minnesota State commit Cliff McCray is already proving that he is ready to take his game to the next level this season. The senior has recorded two triple-doubles in two of West’s three games, while senior guard Micah McWell has stepped his scoring up too. 

On the other hand, Ras Vanderloo’s squad is just getting their season started. East opened its 2018-19 campaign up with a convincing 72-33 win over Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson last Friday, only for its game on Saturday against Western Christian to be postponed due to weather. This will be the Black Raiders first true test of the season and Vanderloo knows this will be a difficult contest for his team. 

“They’ve (West) been playing awfully well. They’re shooting the ball as well as they have been in a long time.” stated Vanderloo. “I’m sure West will come over Friday night with a plan to beat us, but we’re not going to lay down for them. I know that. I anticipate a great game.” 

East is led by senior guard Aidan Vanderloo, along with Javonte Keck and Jack Peterson. Vanderloo scored 13 points and recorded four rebounds against Council Bluffs Thomas Jefferson. 

The matchup between 6-foot-7 Keck and 6-foot-5 Adien Belt down low will be a key matchup to watch, along with how lethal West can be offensively against a team that is well-disciplined and tough on the defensive end. Watching two of the best players in the Siouxland area in  McCray and Vanderloo isn’t anything to complain about either.