MISSOULA — On Saturday, the matchups of cousins Malachi and Soren Syvrud will come to an end. Malachi is a senior at Helena Capital, Soren is a senior at Missoula Sentinel. The two played against one another earlier this year in Helena, and according to both of them, the gravitas each matchup brings is immeasurable.
"Every time we play Capital, it's a little extra to me, because I know I'm playing Malachi," said Soren. "I mean, I played him freshman year, sophomore year, junior year, and now finally our senior year. This year is kind of a big deal for me."
"I know I've always looked forward to it. I almost view it as like a crosstown game. I know a bunch of other Missoula guys that are on the team, and then obviously Soren," said Malachi. "It's just always a little more fun having some more family competition within the game."
The two have been playing with, and against, one another since they were born, whether it was on a regulation court or in the back yard. As they get set for one last matchup against one another in the high school ranks, both agreed the best memories between the two are those that happened outside the confines of the hardwood.
“As much as I enjoy the high school game, we've had so much fun, just outside of that," said Soren. "Just playing with his brothers, and it's really probably made us both better basketball players, but just tougher kids.”
“The late nights we had up at Polson, playing out at our grandparents' place late at night. We'd have the spotlight set up on the court and on the hoop. The whole family playing together and just having fun little games like that we’ll remember for a long time,” said Malachi.
Though Saturday's 4:15 p.m. matchup in Missoula between the Sentinel Spartans and the Capital Bruins will likely be the last time Soren and Malachi square off in a regulation basketball game, it definitely won't be the last time they compete against one another.
"I'm sure we'll have some intense pickup games in the future," said Soren.
"If I end up at Missoula next year, we're going to be playing a lot," said Malachi.