False MI Prep Zone: Playoff meeting another rivalry battle for Inter-City, Southfield Christian PHOTO GALLERY/TOUT VIDEO
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Playoff meeting another rivalry battle for Inter-City, Southfield Christian PHOTO GALLERY/TOUT VIDEO

  • Garrett Kraatz (44) and the Inter-City Chargers met with Jalen Bouldes and the rival Southfield Christian Eagles for what was the sixth time in two years on Thursday night. Photo gallery by Dave Chapman

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Thursday night’s regional championship game was yet another installment of the heated Class D basketball rivalry between Inter-City Baptist and Southfield Christian.

The two state powerhouse programs both came in among the top 10 in the Michigan Associated Press’ final rankings of the season, as the Eagles (23-1) were No. 1 and the Chargers (18- 6) were at No. 9.

Unfortunately for Inter-City, it was unable to bring down the two-time defending state champs and fell 67-62 Thursday at West Bloomfield.

Each side had some of Michigan’s best high school players on the court, as Inter-City went into the contest with senior captain Evan Kraatz, the all-time state assist leader, along with sharp shooters like Luke Barber and Garrett Kraatz.

On the other side, Southfield Christian had all-state standout Bakari Evelyn and Lindsey Hunter IV, who is the son of the former Detroit Piston by the same name.

While it was the fifth time in six tries that the Eagles have gotten the better of the Chargers, there have been some intense battles between the two teams recently, as only one of the last six was not a close game.

Last season, Southfield Christian bounced Inter-City in a Class D regional final, but it was a contest that had to be decided in overtime and ended 68-61.

During the 2012-13 campaign, the two Michigan Independent Blue Conference foes split a pair of games, each which was decided by only one point. The Chargers won 50-49 early in the season on the Eagles’ home court, handing them one of only four defeats, but Southfield Christian returned the favor a month later with a 47-46 win in Allen Park.

This season, the Eagles won 54-51 in January, at Inter-City, and were victorious 68-56 at home last month in front of a packed house.

After Thursday’s game, an emotional Evan Kraatz said that the Chargers played strong in their effort to take down their rival, but Southfield Christian was able to do enough to still come away with the win.

“I feel really proud of my teammates,” he said. “The other team made more plays than us. We definitely couldn’t get mad at our effort, we came out and we played the hardest we could and played pretty well.”

Last Updated: 3/14/2014 12:33:59 PM EST