The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Sports

March 14, 2014

Different paths bring two DeWitt stars back together

Three years ago, Lindsay Smith and Jen Keitel led Central DeWitt to the girls basketball state tournament.

Today, their teams will play against each other in the quarterfinals of the Missouri Valley Conference womens basketball tournament.

“It’s not really different than playing anyone else,” Keitel said. “It’s cool that we both made it to where we wanted to be, playing Division I basketball.”

Keitel and her University of Northern Iowa teammates earned the No. 3 seed, while Smith and Illinois State are seeded sixth. The teams played each other twice during the regular season, with Keitel and the Panthers wining both.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” Smith said. “We’ve never been able to play against each other before, We were always on the same team. It’s fun being on the court with her again. It’s just a shame that we don’t get to guard each other because we don’t play the same position.”

The most recent meeting — in Cedar Falls — had a large contingent of fans from DeWitt there to watch the former Saber teammates square off. The first contest had a more subdued reunion.

“The first time we played each other, we said hi right away on the court,” Smith said. “Then once the ball went up it was all business.”

Keitel said: “On the court, we’re both basketball players. I want to do the best I can to put my team in a position to win. Even though she is a friend and we played high school basketball together, the goal is to win a game.

“During the game, the competitive nature is there, Afterward we’ll talk, say hi and see how things are going.”

Smith is glad to share some tips on one of the main recipients of her assists in high school. Smith holds the Central DeWitt record.

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