A Rivalry for the Ages


Brett Decker dunking against Hart County on Dec. 6

Eli Thompson, Writer

A rivalry that has only built over the years. From tip-off to the final buzzer, the gym is full of ecstatic people. It doesn’t matter if your best friend, girlfriend, boyfriend, brother, sister, or anyone you know goes to Elizabethtown High School, if they are wearing that hideous gold, they are your enemy when the players step on the court.

The Bruins face the Elizabethtown Panthers Friday night at 7:30. The game will be at the Old East Hardin Middle School. Tickets for this game are limited and will only be sold through GoFan. 

The biggest problem the Bruins will have to face is the 6’8” star, Ayden Evans. According to 24/7 Sports, Evans is a 4-star recruit and is ranked 2nd in the state for the class of 2024. Averaging 13 points per game and shooting 57%, his incredible length and ability to spread the floor will allow for the Panthers to easily take the ball to the paint. The Bruins will have to guard their man and not allow backdoor cuts or easy passes through the lane so Evans isn’t left open.

The physicality of this game is going to be something that the Bruins will have to prepare for.. With a rival like the Panthers, players will bicker the whole game which will soon turn into an intense physical game. Previous games definitely helped prepare the Bruins physically but playing against the Panthers will still be a challenge for the Bruins.

“He will be forced to be physical and I think that will put a damper on him,” starting forward Adam Hobbs said. 

With Hobbs and Jakob Fredrickson manning the middle, I am confident that Evans will struggle to get into the paint and facilitate down low. With the weight difference between Hobbs and Fredrickson compared to Evans, He will have to fight to score inside the 3-point line. 

The Panthers’ Jujuan Williams, who leads the team in points, is another player the Bruins will have to stop in order to win. Williams averages 16 points per game, which is the highest for the Panthers, so limiting his shots will be up to Bruin guards, Brett Decker and Nolan Stith.

“He can get downhill really easily so you got to stay in front [of him],” Stith said

Jujuan, who is known for his talent on the football field, has insane speed. He is quick with or without the ball in his hands. Guarding Williams and not allowing him to blow by the defender is going to be the goal for the Bruins. If Williams does get past the defender, it will be up to the help defenders which could easily leave Evans open for an easy shot.

“I’m not letting him [Jujuan Williams] score no 16 points,” Decker said.

Decker, who scored 32 against John Hardin on Dec. 6, will have to do a great job facilitating the offense if the Bruins want to win this game. Decker shoots the most shots on the team so it will be up to him and the Bruins offense to ensure Decker, along with the rest of the team, is getting good shot opportunities. 

“Our student section always really shows up and everyone does a great job of coming out to the game,” Stith said.

The Bruins love the support from the student section so it’s up to us students to show up and support our players against Etown. Etown’s student section is loud, annoying, and has a lot of energy, so the players will have to prepare mentally and be able to handle the volume of the Etown student section.

This game is one everyone has waited months for. Both teams have put immense preparation into this game. The talent that will be on the court and the intense trash-talk from the players and student section is a showdown I don’t want to miss. It’s a Clash of Gold vs Columbia, so get your signs ready, prepare your vocal cords, and get ready to see some of the best basketball talent you might see all season.