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Sunday, February 15, 2009

All Things Basketball: The Low Scoring Edition

This will be quick......

  1. Riders win a low scoring affair over Clear Fork in the metropolis of Bellville, 42-33. They improved to 11-5 and 9-3 in the OCC. They have now won 7 of their last 8.
  2. The Riders begin a brutal final 4 game stretch with plenty left on the line. First up is Madison, who currently leads Orrville and Mansfield Sr. by 1 game with 2 league games left. A Rider win Friday will pull them into a tie for the OCC lead. The Riders will then welcome in the limping Huskies of Northwestern on Saturday. They have lost their last 2 games (Smithville & St. Thomas Aquinas) and will look to secure a big non-conference win at the hands of the Riders. The Riders finish the season with their final OCC game against Lexington and then a big non-conference home game against state ranked Canton Timken.
  3. In district news, Minerva clinched the NBC crown on Friday with a win over Northwest. They currently sit at 16-1 and will be waiting for the Riders in the first round of the district tournament. Other games of note.....St Vincent-St Mary dismantled Mansfield Sr to the tune of 72-48. I don't think there's much doubt as to who the best team in the district is currently.....Senior (even though not as good as some of their past teams) is considered the most athletic team in the OCC, and to see them get beat by 20+ says a lot about what kind of level the Irish are playing on right now.
  4. Zach Wasson scored 6 against Clear Fork, raising his season total to 229 (14.3 avg). His streak of 10 straight games in double figures was snapped.

The Riders have a share of the OCC title in their sights, we'll see how they respond. From where I sit, they could win all of their final 4 games, but they could just as easily lose all 4. I still don't know what to make of this team....the win over Senior was great, but other than that, we've picked on the bottom half of the OCC these last few weeks. If we come out and beat Madison and Northwestern on back to back nights, I'll have a little more confidence heading into tournaments.

I think the pairing of us with Minerva is a little bit of a "no lose" situation for the Riders.....playing the #2 seed means that you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Another first round loss, and we can always fall back on the "they were the #2 seed" matter the score or circumstance surrounding a loss.

Here's a quote from Northwest coach Mike Lower regarding the Lions, this should make any Orrville fan a little uneasy...
“They don’t beat themselves. They only made eight turnovers. They run when they should run, go slow when they should go slow, and don’t make turnovers. They’re very well coached. They play very well as a team.”
Sounds like they do what is necessary to win, nothing fancy and not trying to win in any particular fashion. In my opinion, that flys in the face of our style of play, and approach to games.

I'll wait to see how we finish to talk about how confident/not confident I am heading over to the Fieldhouse. But given our recent history over there, and our history against teams with equal (or more) talent, I'll need to see a lot to help my confidence.

Here's the entire Canton bracket again (from the state website, I HATE the new format of brackets they're using, looks like an outside service.).

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