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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wooster District Tournament : Round 2 Predictions

It's time to crown sectional champions. Tournament has gone pretty much as expected so far (except for the Smithville loss), so let's jump right into Round 2 predictions.

Friday March 4th, 6pm
#1 Hillsdale vs. #12 Loudonville
Tim's Pick:   Always something extra in the gym when a #1 takes the floor for the first time. Hilldale beat Loudonville by 25 in the first game of the season, and I don't see this one being much different. Hillsdale 65 - Loudonville 41.

Andrew's Pick:  Loudonville had the luxury in the first round of playing a very weak and 1-dimensional Columbia team. Hillsdale will provide more challenges for Loudonville on both ends of the court than any team they’ve faced all season (other than Hillsdale themselves in the
season opener, which the Falcons won 63-38). Unless Loudonville comes with a slow, methodical offense and tries to slow the game down, I
expect a similar score. Either way, Hillsdale emerges victorious by double-digits.  Final Score: Hillsdale 62 Loudonville 36

Friday March 4th, 7:30pm
#4 Orrville vs. #8 Tuslaw
Tim's Pick:  The PAC vs. the OCC. Tuslaw is much better than Chippewa, but it won't be enough to beat Orrville. Riders seem to have a little chip on their shoulder, and that's a good thing for Rider fans. Orrville 61 - Tuslaw 49.

Andrew's Pick: I expect something closer this time around for the Riders. Wasson didn’t try very hard against Chippewa. Put the Riders in a tough situation, and he’ll step up. I think they’ll go to him and Winters
early and often to establish an inside game against guard-oriented Tuslaw. If the Mustangs can get Wasson into foul trouble and match the Red Riders’ “swag” and physicality, they have a chance to keep it
close; but the Riders are just too athletic, in my opinion. I do not think the game will be as close as the score.
Orrville 56 - Tuslaw 44

Saturday March 6th, 6pm
#2 Northwestern vs. #7 Triway
Tim's Pick:  The first potential meaningful upset of the tourney. Triway beat Northwestern way back in game #1 of the season, and Northwestern has won six games by 5 points or less this I don't see them running away with the game. Still going to pick Northwestern, but this one has potential, especially if Triway grabs a lead and can take the air out of the ball. Northwestern 58 - Triway 53.

Andrew's Pick:  Northwestern’s McKean is the best player in the tournament and excellent at getting to the free throw line. In the opening game of the season, he scored 31 points against the Titans at home, but it was
not enough as Triway won 76-68. Since then, the Huskies have done well in the WCAL. Triway has 6 losses of 7 points or less, so they have been right there in many of their games. Northwestern has a similar amount of wins by a similar margin, so they, too, have been in some nailbiters. The Huskies’ strength is free throw shooting, though, which has helped them ice games. If they can get the lead late, they  have a shot to seal the win. But the same can be said for Triway. I expect a close, back-and-forth game that very well could go down to the wire! Go Titans! Northwestern 66 - Triway 57

Saturday March 6th, 7:30pm
#6 Norwayne vs. #9 Wellington
Tim's Pick:  Good break for Norwayne, they had lost twice to Smithville in the regular season, but beat Wellington by 11 in a meeting late in the season.  Still tough to beat the same team twice in the same season, and I'm sure the Dukes are riding high, but I think Norwayne gets it done and advances.  Norwayne 63  -  Wellington 55

Andrew's Pick: Wellington’s #45 Perry was a key player in the paint in their first round game, but Smithville did not have much size on the court to slow him down since Klotzle was out with foul trouble most the night.
Norwayne, on the other hand, seems to have a few kids with size that can contribute on the defensive end, including #30 Davis who came off the bench to score 20 against Oberlin. I think the Bobcats will force
the Dukes be more well-rounded this time around and give them some problems. This should still be a very good game, but I see Norwayne edging out another close win, maybe a little closer than their 60-49
win over Wellington in the regular season.  Norwayne 56 - Wellington 48

Me vs. Andrew
In the most important matchup of the tournament, Andrew and I have devised a little points system to crown the annual Wooster District Know-it-All champion.

We agreed on a system awarding 1 point for a correct pick, 2 points for predicting the right winning margin, and three points for predicting the exact score.

Through round one, the defending champ (me) ain't doing so good.

Andrew picked 5 of 6 games right, but didn't hit any margin or exact score picks, so he has 5 points.
I picked a miserable 3 of 6 games correct, again no extra for accuracy, so I've got 3 points.

Check back for the district previews/predictions early next week.

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