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Sunday, February 1, 2009

All Things Basketball

Riders on a modest win streak, OCC still in reach, and we're 1 week away from the Canton Tourney draw. Let's break it all down....TOGETHER!!

Startin' to come together, Pepper.
Are the Riders really turning a corner, or is this another illusion that will end in a disappointing loss in Canton? They've won 3 straight (albeit against 3 teams they SHOULD beat), but 2 of them came down to the wire, including another OT game at Ashland. They're certainly not putting teams away, and again gave up a double digit lead in the Ashland win.

The Riders currently sit at 8-5 (6-3 in the OCC), 1 game behind Mansfield Senior and Madison for the lead in the OCC. The Riders play both teams in the next 3 weeks and can gain at least a tie for the league title if they can finish strong.

Riders have a tough road weekend upcoming, playing at Senior on Friday and at Wooster on Saturday. Two wins would be great for momentum as well as for the district seeding meeting that will take place this Sunday Feb. 8th. The Riders also need to pile up the wins now, as their last 4 games (all home) include Madison, Lexington, Timken (state ranked) and Northwestern (state ranked).

Canton District.
As mentioned above, the seeding meeting is Sunday Feb. 8th, so teams have 1 more weekend to make an impression.

Here's how the Canton district sits after games through January 31st.

Teams listed by order of winning percentage.

Minerva Lions (14-0)
Akron Buchtel Griffins (12-2)
Akron St Vincent-St Mary Fighting Irish (11-3)
Alliance Aviators (10-3)
Louisville Leopards (9-5)
Orrville Red Riders (8-5)
Akron Springfield Spartans (7-6)
Marlington Dukes (8-7)
Norton Panthers (5-8)
Akron Hoban Knights (4-7)
Canton South Wildcats (5-9)
Fairless Falcons (3-10)
Northwest Indians (2-12)
Akron Coventry Comets (1-11)

Here's a detailed breakdown of each team and their results so far.

And here's my top 5...

5. Alliance
4. Orrville
3. Minerva
2. St V.
1. Buchtel

Not sure how the seeding will shake out, but history tells us that the NBC teams usually band together. It wouldn't surprise me to see Minerva as the #1 seed, but it's clear to me that Buchtel and St. V are 1a and 1b, respectively. The NBC bias may affect Orrville negatively, as in my opinion, they're the 4th best team in the district, but will probably end up getting leapfrogged by Louisville or Alliance.

In the end, it doesn't really matter, if you plan to advance, you're going to have to beat whoever is placed in front of you.

Wasson Watch. Zach Wasson, #33, Sophomore.
The Wasson Watch

Season Points to Date: 195

Career Points to Date: 484

Season PPG: 15.0 ppg

Career PPG: 13.82 ppg

Points from 500: 16 (Revision: Zach could get his 500th as early as this Friday at Mansfield Senior, but even though he only needs 16, getting it against the T-Y Tygers will not be easy.

Bonus Points: Zach has scored 20+ in a game 5 times, in those 5 games, Orrville only lost 1. Moral of the story...when Wasson scored 20 or more, we typically do well.

Bolyard Bulletin.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention what a fabulous season Jake Bolyard is having. He leads the OCC in points per game and steals, and is in the top 10 in rebounding and assists. Lexington's Courtney Avery may win the scoring title when the season is over, but Jake has clearly put up better all-around numbers and deserves serious consideration for OCC player of the year. Jake has one of the purest shots of anyone in the area and has really taken a big leap forward in his progression as a basketball player.

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