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From rivals to teammates: SWC's Brianna Spronk and Edgerton's Katie Hadler each commit to Dordt

Photo Courtesy of Kevin Kyle/Pipestone County Star Brianna Spronk signed last week a letter of intent to play next season at Dordt College. Pictured is Spronk, Dordt head coach Craig Stiemsma and Brianna's parents, Arwin and LuAnn.

EDGERTON -- Brianna Spronk and Katie Hadler haven't seen the last of each other on the basketball court.

Spronk, a three-year starter on Southwest Christian's girls' basketball team, and Hadler, a three-year starter on Edgerton's girls' basketball team, have faced off against each other in Red Rock Conference battles for years.

After spending their high school careers as opponents, Spronk and Hadler will spend their college careers as teammates.

Spronk recently signed a letter of intent to play basketball for Dordt (Iowa) College, joining Hadler, who committed to the Defenders midway through the season.

"It will be nice to play with (Spronk) now, instead of against her, because I've played against her for forever," Hadler said.

The two friendly rivals faced each other three times this season, with the Eagles sweeping the series. Hadler scored 24 points, and Spronk scored 38 points combined in the three games. SWC ended Edgerton's season with a 60-42 victory Feb. 28 in the second round of the Section 3A South tournament.

Spronk and Hadler, who have been friends since they were little, got to play on the same team together Friday in the Tim Orth Foundation All-Jamboree game at Gibbon-Fairfax-Winthrop High School. The game, which consisted of 60 seniors from the Tomahawk and Red Rock conferences, raised money for individuals with major medical expenses. It also offered a preview of what is to come next season at Dordt.

"I'm really excited," Spronk said. "I played with her a little bit in the Orth game and that was a lot of fun, so I'm thinking this will be a lot of fun.

"We were like, 'Yeah, now we get to be teammates; it's going to be great.'"

Spronk, a 6-foot-1 forward, averaged 14.6 points, 5.7 rebounds, three assists and 2.3 steals per game last season. In her three-year varsity career, she accumulated 918 points, 444 rebounds, 219 assists and 183 steals.

"She really has done such a good job of developing all areas of her game," SWC coach Denise Nerem said. "She did a great job with shot selection, increasing her range and creating a lot of things offensively. She's a very unselfish player at the same time as being a floor leader, and that's a hard combination sometimes.

"She is absolutely a cookie-cutter college player because she is physical, athletic, can run the floor, and she's a good offensive player and a great defensive player -- she really has the full package of what college coaches are looking for today."

Hadler, a 5-foot-7 guard, averaged 9.3 points, six rebounds and 4.5 assists per game last season for Edgerton.

"Katie was a great all-around player for us," Edgerton coach Andrew Fleischman said. "She contributed in every game so much, and she was kind of a stat-sheet filler.

"I'd definitely say that she definitely did it all."

Dordt, a member of the Great Plains Athletic Conference and the NAIA, finished 13-17 last season.

"I'm just looking forward to playing next year because I love playing and I really love the coach and I went down and the girls were really nice and I just felt comfortable on the campus when I went down there," Hadler said. "It was just a mixture of good things."

Said Spronk: "I certainly want to improve -- that's one thing I want to do, keep improving -- and be able to play."

Both Hadler and Spronk said that having a familiar face on the team will be helpful. It's rare, but exciting.

"I would say it doesn't happen a lot, especially with two girls from the same town," Fleischman said. "It's kind of a neat experience and a great opportunity for them. It's a great school, and it's nice to go down and be on the same team with someone you know. It's a really neat situation."