GAME STORY: Hermleigh girls open playoffs with emphatic win

MERKEL — The Hermleigh girls basketball team has been a perennial contender for the state tournament in Duane Hopper’s first four years at the program’s helm.

Monday night, the Lady Cardinals started their run towards a third tournament berth in Hopper’s fifth year with a 75-18 win over Baird at Merkel’s Badger Gymnasium.

During Hopper’s tenure, the Lady Cardinals have lost to Nazareth in the state semifinals twice and had two more appearances in the regional final.

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