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Change is the constant in life and one never knows when things might come back around, but Thursday's doubleheader at University of Rio Grande is definitely an end of an era.
The RedStorm became full members of the Mid-South Conference in 2009. At that time Andrea McCloskey, current Georgetown College head women's basketball coach, served as the Tigers assistant. It began an era of home-and-home series with McCloskey's alma mater. It was a unique moment then and a surreal one now, as Thursday evening when the two teams tip off in Rio Grande, it could be for the final time. Rio moves to the Kentucky Intercollegiate Athletic Conference starting the 2014-15 year.
"I never thought I would have the opportunity to coach against (David Smalley) and now I'm not sure I ever will again," McCloskey said.
The guard played for Smalley from 1998-02. Rio went 96-41 in that time with two America Mideast Conference tournament championships and two NAIA National Tournament appearances. Upon graduation she stayed on as a graduate assistant and JV coach from 2002-05. The RedStorm went 56-40 in that time.
"I've thought about this game and this trip a little bit," McCloskey said. "But, I have had to compartmentalize the emotional side. It is more important for me to concentrate on getting a win in a very tough place to play."
Georgetown is currently sitting atop the Mid-South Conference standings at 8-1, holding the head-to-head lead over Campbellsville University which also finished the first half of the league schedule at 8-1.
The No. 6 Tigers (14-3) play on the road this week and finish with five of the final nine games away from Davis-Reid Alumni Gym.
"This experience will hit me more after the game," McCloskey said of coaching for what might be the final time against Smalley. "That's where I got my start. You always take moments such as these and wonder if you will get another.
"I honestly didn't think when I left there in 2005 I would ever coach against Smalley, but it worked out and has been a really meaningful time. He and I will also stay in contact and if we have common opponents help each other out, but this is probably an end of coaching against each other."
McCloskey is hopeful to have Rio compete in tournaments in Georgetown in the future and maybe even get a chance to take her team to the Bevo Francis Classic, but knows realistically Rio and Georgetown may never match-up again.
The women tip off at 6 pm Thursday, followed by the men's game at 8 pm.
|(RV) Lindsey Wilson at||8:00pm|
|(4) Lindsey Wilson at||6:00pm|
|Cumberland Univ. at||4:00pm|
|(15) Cumberland Univ. at||2:00pm|
|(12) University of Pikeville at||8:00pm|
|(23) University of Pikeville at||6:00pm|
|(20) University of the Cumberlands at||4:00pm|
|University of the Cumberlands at||2:00pm|
|University of Maine at Fort Kent at||7:00pm|