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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Sports Update - Coming down the homestretch

Tournament time for winter sports is right around the corner. Things are looking up for the basketball teams and the wrestling team had a nice showing, individually at least, at the recent Ohio Cardinal Conference championships.

Let's talk about it all...

Girls Hoops
It's now 11 wins in a row for Coach Alberts and the Lady Riders.  They traveled to Canton Central Catholic on Monday night and puled out a 55-54 win.  Hannah Plybon hit the game winner, but it was the team's overall balance that impressed me the most.  Sara Aultz had 14, Hannah Plybon had 10, Maggie Davault and Jacque Ray had 8 a piece and Abby Reusser, Ciera McCreary and Hillary Plybon added 5 points each.

That's quality distribution, no? 

They will go for 12 straight wins tomorrow night at Wooster, just one away from the school record of 13 straight wins.

Girls District Bracket
While we're on the subject, the Division 3 Triway District bracket has been released.  Click here for the complete bracket.  The Riders will face Chippewa, a team they beat handily early in the season, on Monday Feb. 21st at 6pm.  With Smithville and undefeated Manchester in the district, it will be a tough road to regionals, but I like this Lady Rider team, they've been tested and to me, have the talent and leadership to win those big games.

Boys Hoops...Turning the corner?
A 6-9 record should hardly be reason for celebration, but baby steps, everyone.  Two straight wins, one on the road at Clear Fork and one at home against Triway were certainly the high points of an up and down season so far.

I thought the Riders' ball movement was much improved, it opened up shots on the weakside and I don't think it's any wonder that we shot the ball well as a result (open looks = more makes).

Thought moving Zach out from under the hoop also opened up some opportunities and cleared the logjam in the paint.  Our bigs spread around the floor are better than everyone bunched up under the hoop.

Too many turnovers in the first half led to 20 Triway points and kept them in the game.  They got that problem figured out in the 2nd half and slowly pulled away from the scrappy Titans.

Just liking what I'm seeing right now and guessing that the other district teams in the area don't quite know what to make of us....but I have a feeling that they're hoping we're not hitting our peak.

By my count, Zach now has 1,352 career points, just 8 points away from tying Renauld Ray for 3rd place in Orrville basketball scoring history.  By the end of the year, the Malone signee will join Marcell Denson and Anthony Durden as the only members of the 1,000 point-600 rebound club.

He's averaging just over 20 points per game this season as well.  It's been 20 years since Orrville has had back to back seasons where there's been a 20 points per game scorer two years in a row.

And by my records, Jake Bolyard averaged exactly 20 points per game in his junior year (the school has him scoring 410 points, I have 420 points), so that would make it possibly three straight years of a 20 ppg scorer if Zach can keep this pace.  That's only happened two other times in school history, the 79-80 season through the 81-82 season and te 89-90 season through the 91-92 season.

You'd have to be blind to not have noticed that three sophomores have been playing less JV and more varsity of late.  Ryan Neer, Jonathan Landis and Alexander Smith have seen some varsity minutes and from my perspective, they don't seem intimidated nor do they seem in awe of playing at the varsity level.  Let's not put too much pressure on these three, but I do think they can contribute the rest of the way and in tournament play...and then for the next few years, of course. 

I like Coach Slaughter doing what he sees as a move to help the team.

Boys Tourney Draw
The draw for the Wooster District is this Sunday, I'll post the bracket as soon as I get it.

Boys Basketball All-Time Records
The girls records have been up for a month or so, and I finally got the boys records done.  Click here to see the list, or look under the "Basketball" tab at the top of the page.  Again thanks to the OHS athletic department for compiling these records, I'm just reposting them in a digital format.

1,000-point College Scorers
Last update, I mentioned Brandon Short scoring his 1,000th college point for Mt. Vernon Nazarene.  I asked if any other Rider alum had accomplished this feat.  I only found one.  Chris Royer (OHS '90) scored 1,061 points in his career at Ashland University.  The only other suggestion I had was Ron Snyder.  He played at Miami of Ohio, but does not appear on their 1,000 point list.

Last but not least, the wrestling team finished 7th (5 points from 5th) in the OCC championships last weekend.  Not the best team outing, but they did have two wrestlers win their weight class and two others finish runner-up.  Sam Reusser (285) and Trevor White (171) won their class, and Alex Tschiegg (103) and Brad Potter (130) finished runner-up.  Congrats to all.

Sectionals at Northwestern start a week from Friday.

That's all for now. Go Riders!!

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