Hopefully that will change in the future. It seems silly to me that two schools less than 10 miles apart don't play each other. Especially when you have two schools with basketball traditions like Scott Central and Sikeston. Think of some of the games that could have been played in the early '90s not to mention the last few years.
I know there are some issues as to why the two teams no longer play. I understand where a problem occurred 38 years ago that caused the two teams to stop playing. That was 38 years ago and it is time to move forward. As our future president says, "It is time for a change."
I also know there are some who feel that playing Scott Central is a "no-win" situation because they are a Class 1 school. I'm sorry, but I don't buy the logic that just because a school is small, big schools shouldn't play them. I think the Braves have proven over the years that they are not your normal small school. The last few years they have been one of the better teams in southeast Missouri, regardless of class, and with the talent on their junior varsity and junior high programs that doesn't look to change.
Sikeston is in the same situation. While they will lose three-time all-stater Michael Porter after this season, the cupboard will be far from bare. They have a good core of underclassmen on the varsity and their junior varsity has looked dominate this season. Their junior high teams are also going strong so this could be a great rivalry for years to come.
So here is an idea. To test the game out on a neutral floor, why not have the teams meet in the Riverbend Classic? I know, the format for the Riverbend is for an out-of-state team to play an in-state team but why not bend the rules for this game? Or, if it would cause problems, just add a fifth game to either the Friday or Saturday session. The game would draw a large crowd and would be an exciting way to start the season.
Another option would be for the two schools to play in the Pepsi Showcase at the Show Me Center. The Show Me Center would obviously hold more people than the Riverbend but the $10 charge to get in is a bit much if you ask me. Maybe that is why I heard crickets chirping when Sikeston played Lafayette in November. Granted, a match-up with Scott Central would certainly draw a bigger crowd.
There is always the Heartland Hoopfest in Perryville as well. Scott Central took part in the event a few years ago, using it to play Bell City on a neutral floor after there were some issues between the two schools. The only problem with Perryville is that it is about an hour away. Why travel an hour away to play a school that is just 10 minutes down the road? In these tough economic times, that just doesn't seem practical.
Or how about a permanent scenario and have Scott Central join the SEMO Conference? They already play NMCC, Notre Dame and Charleston so why not add the other five schools to the schedules. It would help prepare them for their yearly run at the state title and would guarantee a yearly match-up with Sikeston. Myself, I would love to see Sikeston visit the friendly confines of the Ronnie Cookson gymnasium.
Regardless of the venue, I think it is time to put the past behind and make this game happen. It is a game wanted by the fans, the players and the coaches and it would be a shame for another 38 years to pass without playing this game. Like the fans chanted in that classic movie "Bad News Bears in Breaking Training," "LET THEM PLAY! LET THEM PLAY! LET THEM PLAY!"