Tis the season ... that even fierce rivals come together to support noble causes.

Just ask a few area high school basketball teams.

When it comes to sports foes, there’s not likely a steady stream of holiday cards being sent back and forth between Edgerton and Evansville.

The two high schools are separated by about 18 miles of county highway and together have built a fierce rivalry as part of the Rock Valley Conference.

Tuesday night’s boys basketball game was another back-and-forth heated battle. Fans in attendance will likely remember it as the night Donovan Cone put the Crimson Tide on his back and helped will them to a 50-46 victory.

But chances are they’ll remember the pregame even more than the game itself.

Both communities came together in a show of support for Harlow Phillips, an Evansville 4-year-old who has been diagnosed with neuroblastoma and is currently undergoing chemotherapy while awaiting a surgery next week.

Players from both Edgerton and Evansville wore “Team Harlow” T-shirts in warmups, as did cheerleaders and, eventually, most of the fans in attendance after purchasing shirts on their way in the door. There was also a 50-50 raffle to benefit the family.

“It all just kind of snowballed,” said Mel Simmons, who has a son on the Edgerton team and helped coordinate the effort. “I think we sold about 150 T-shirts before the game to Edgerton people, and I honestly don’t think any of them know Harlow.

“There’s always been this quote-unquote rivalry between Evansville and Edgerton. And it kind of makes me laugh, because so many of us are friends with people from Evansville, and vice versa.”

The idea came together after Simmons and others saw Evansville fans supporting Harlow and her family when the two rivals met on the football field this past fall.

The T-shirts were made locally in Evansville for that game, and Simmons simply had more made for the basketball game this past week.

“It’s not a ton of money, and they were never asking for any kind of money, either,” Simmons said. “But in a situation like that you don’t know how else to show your support. And I think it’s a way for people to give a little bit and feel good.

“The shirts really started out as a symbol that we’re all thinking of her and what they’re going through. It was about showing support.”

Craig, Milton girls going pink

Edgerton and Evansville aren’t the only rivals coming together for a cause during the holiday season.

When Janesville Craig hosts Milton at 4 p.m. Wednesday in a girls basketball game that is part of the annual Optimist Classic, they’ll be wearing pink to promote cancer awareness through a Coaches vs. Cancer game.

The two programs are hoping to raise $10,000 for the American Cancer Society through donations and the sale of pink T-shirts. Donations can be made at www.tinyurl.com/craigmiltoncoachesvscancer

Eric Schmoldt is the sports editor of The Gazette. Reach him at eschmoldt@gazettextra.com.

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