Feb. 25—For the third time in the past four seasons, cross-county rivals Madison Central (16-11) and Model Laboratory (13-8) are set to meet in the opening round of the 44th District Tournament.

Game time is set for 6 p.m. Monday at Alumni Coliseum.

The Lady Indians and Lady Patriots did not meet during the regular season.

Both teams head into the postseason with some positive momentum.

Central —the defending district champ —has won six of its past games, highlighted by a six-game winning streak.

The Lady Indians finished with the regular season schedule with a 50-47 loss at home to Grant County. Central was without two starters in that game (junior guards Cameryn Ridderikhoff and Nataya Strader) in that game, but both should be back in the line-up for the district tournament.

Strader leads the team in scoring (13.2), free throws made (70) and free throws attempts (108), and is second in rebounding (4.2 a game).

Ridderikhoff is averaging 10.8 points a game and has hit a team-best 30 three-pointers.

Brittany Campbell is contributing 10 points a game and has also hit 30 three-pointers.

Eden Carter (5.7 points) is bringing down a team-best 4.8 boards a game.

Model and Central have both struggled at the free throw line this season. The Lady Indians are 255-of-420 (60.7), while the Lady Patriots are shooting just 50 percent at the line (137-of-274).

Junior Rylli Hunt has led the Model offense. The guard is averaging 14.3 points a game and 8.4 rebounds a game —both team bests.

Senior Maiya Bhandari has hit 35 of her team's 49 three-pointers on the season. The guard is averaging 11.8 points a game.

Model had won nine-straight games heading into the postseason after a win over Iroquois on Friday night.

The Lady Patriots are fifth in the state in team defense, allowing only 35.4 points a game.

Central has five of the past eight district championships. Model Laboratory's only 44th District Tournament title came in 1976.