Columbia College, CMU Players Rekindle Basketball Rivalry

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FAYETTE, Mo. -- Losing is rarely fun, but Central Methodist senior Eric Franklin can find reassurance in this: He'll have at least one more chance to beat his high school basketball rival, Columbia College senior Jordan Dressler.

The Cougars' 85-75 win Wednesday over CMU featured two players who've been competing since their junior-high days in Columbia. Franklin went to Oakland Junior High School and then Hickman High School, and Dressler went to West Junior High School and then Rock Bridge High School. In 2009, their senior year, both were all-district players.

To this day, Franklin has words of praise for his rival, whom he hasn't beaten in basketball since junior high.

"He's one of the best players I've played against still to this day," Franklin said.

And Dressler also has respect.

"(Franklin's) always been a really good player," Dressler said. "He'd always be the one we'd focus on whenever we had a scouting report against Hickman."

On Wednesday, Franklin outscored his rival by one point, but it was Columbia College that came out on top. The Cougars and Eagles, both NAIA teams, will meet again Dec. 17 in the William Woods Classic.