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Friday, March 19, 2010

Newton Falls Preview

Who knew the tournament trail could be so long and winding? Us Orrville fans are just plain out of shape. It's like we haven't been on a good walk in 14 years. Tomorrow could change all of that as the Riders seek to puch their ticket to Columbus for the 5th time in school history....and on a day that is very significant to Red Rider fans.

I guess we'll talk about Newton Falls first.

Nickname: Tigers
Coach: Roy Sembach (just notched his 300th career win)
Record: 19-5
Key Players:  Brian Sole (SR) & Cody Dillon (SOPH) both average around 16 ppg.  Sole will attend YSU on a football scholarship.

Here's a nice little game preview.  Apparently, we're still the Red RAIDERS.  But if it's good enough for the Fieldhouse announcer, who are we to question it?

First, and easiest, here's their schedule with results.  Things that jump out at me.....

1.  Four of their five tourney games have been won by double figures.  Only an overtime win over LaBrae was a nailbiter.

2.  In all 5 tourney games, they've not let an opponent score more than 50.  And only 6 times all season have they let an opponent score 60+.  They have won only 1 of those games when opponents score more than 60.  Sounds like a key to the game.....score more than 60.

3.  Campbell Memorial beat them twice, and it sounded like they did it with defensive pressure and an up-tempo game...two things that Orrville does well.

Moving on....the city of Newton Falls has a zip code of 44444 per wikipedia.  Also boasts the 2nd oldest covered bridge in Ohio.  These are things you need to know.  Town population is around 5000 and they boast a big 4th of July celebration....just like O-town.  We're probably very similar....and it is good to see 2 true communities battling to represent Northeast Ohio in Columbus.

My Thoughts
I think it's clear that the Riders will have the edge in talent and size....and that should be worth something on the floor.  But at this level, it's about who has the best game.  So many variables that have nothing to do with the matchup on paper. 

A letdown worries me, but I guess if you can't get up for a regional final and a trip to Columbus, then you shouldn't be playing.

The Tigers play almost exclusively in the 2-3 zone set, so that may take some getting used to, and may prove difficult to get inside looks for Zach Wasson, but I'm fine with trying to shoot over that zone. Jake Bolyard and Joe Besancon have shot the ball awful well in tournament play so far. Maybe another key would be to try and get Wasson & Miller some early inside looks to try and open up the outside game.

I didn't predict a score for the CCC game, only said I had a good feeling...and I'll do the very same this time.

About the significance of the date....March 20th was the date five years ago when coaching legend Steve Smith lost his courageous battle with cancer. What better way to salute his legacy and honor his family by cutting the nets down at a place where he had so much success. It's almost a story that writes itself.

Go Riders....bring it home.
Back to State!!!!

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