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Saturday, January 10, 2009

Shawnee Humbled by Carlisle
J. C. Tilton
At the half way point of the season, the 0-10 Preble Shawnee girls basketball team is desperately seeking traction. Their campaign has been made even more difficult with the loss of their point guard, Withrow. They lose her points, defense, and passing for the next month or so. Carlisle entered the game with a 4-6 record - not sterling, but in past years they have felt the pain of Shawnee.
With 6’2” Donna Holbrook in the paint, Shawnee was not able to get off many shots in the red zone. Settling for outside shots while she was on the floor. In the first half these shots were not dropping for the Arrows. And on the offensive end of the court Holbrook helped the Indian cause with a solid performance scoring 12 points. Murphy, a Carlisle freshman, would end up as the leading overall scorer with 17 points. She showed a lot of poise and did not make many freshman mistakes.
Carlisle made a statement starting from the opening whistle as they went on a 9-0 run to start the game. Coach Webster from Shawnee took a time out to stop the Indian run midway thru the quarter. They slowed down the Indians, but couldn’t stop them. The Arrows could only manage 7 first half points to the Indians 23.
The second half was more of the same. The Shawnee offense just couldn’t connect on shots and Carlisle just kept applying the whip on offense - leading by as many as 27 points in the third quarter. Anna Shroeder, who would be high scorer with 14 for Shawnee, scored 9 of those points in the final quarter.
Coach Glover from Carlisle had praise for his team, “I think we played really hard again tonight. When we played New Miami we played lackluster with out a lot fire or emotion and ever since then we talked about playing with a sense of urgency and of pride. And here today we did exactly that. Our game plan was to play aggressive man to man and to take away Schroeder - we did that. On offense we wanted to get the ball to Holbrook. When we were able to that, then the outside game opened up.” On Murphy, “Being a freshman guard and handling the ball at the point is a daunting task. Trying to run the plays and get the ball to where it needs to go is hard for anyone and she has been doing it since the beginning of the year.”
Coach Webster was pragmatic about the game, “We did not play well at all. We did lose Withrow, our point guard, she was a good defender and a good passer. And we are still trying to find someone to take her place. Carlisle was a good team, but we made them look better than they should have today.”
Scoring for Shawnee: Schroeder 14; Clippinger 2; Simpson 8; Groh 5; Patterson 4. Carlisle Scoring: Murphy 17; Estep 12; Turner 5; Hamilton 1; Holbrook 12; Leach 2; Sturgis 2; Monton 3.
JV game was won by Carlisle 32-28. Scoring for Shawnee: D. Clippinger 1; Bratton 14; Woodard 7; Johnson 2; Belvo 5. Scoring for Carlisle: Stamm 5; Campbell 2; Smith 6; Linch 12; Sturgis 2; Richards 4. Comments:

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ohio State a loser, maybe not? It wasn't a blow out like Penn State in the Rose Bowl. If it had been another blowout, that would have made it even more difficult for Ohio State to make it to a future BCS bowl game without a perfect season. Instead it showed that the Buckeyes can stand toe to toe with a ranked team. Texas had something to prove, they thought that they should have had a shot at the number one game. So they came into the game with a chip on their shoulder. With 2 losses Ohio State was playing for nothing but pride. So Tressel should be commended for getting his players fired up.

Boeckman made some plays late, including the TD to Pryor. And even though he played sparingly he had 110 yards passing to Pryor’s 66. It would be interesting to see if an NFL team would give him a shot. With a good offensive line, he may be able to play at the next level. Pryor will only get better. Seems to have a good head on his shoulders, making better decisions throughout the season. Great poise for a freshman. He could be your Heisman candidate next season. Wells was great in the first half. But Texas had his number in the second half and shut him down. And getting the concussion kept him off the field. I still see him playing football at the next level some day. He has both speed and power that teams with single back sets need.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

North - Northridge Battle in Overtime
J. C. Tilton
League leading Northridge came into Lewisburg to take on Tri County North last Saturday, if they expected a cakewalk, they were disappointed. The Polar Bears are tied for first in the SWBL Buckeye division, while TCN has had a tough time to stay out of the cellar of the CCC with a win over National Trail over the Holiday break. That has been their only win of the season so far, but the Panthers were ready to play on their home court.
North played some sloppy ball in the first quarter and part of the second. Turnovers were a big problem giving up 4 steals and 2 travelling calls in the first quarter alone. Both teams mixed up their defenses. The Polar Bears starting in a triangle and two and later showing man to man. Occasionally going to a full court man to man. North used several different zone defenses thru out the game.
Northridge was very much in command over the first half, but couldn’t quite shake the Panthers who stayed on their heels. They got the turnovers under control and using good passes and shot selection chipped away at the Northridge lead. The first half was a low scoring affair ending with the Polar Bears up 24-18.
Both teams got their offensive engines revved up in the second half. North raced out of the blocks first. Northridge tried to ambush the Panthers with a half court trap. But the fast passing Panthers quickly broke this defense down and got some easy baskets before they switched defenses. With this momentum North kept the pressure up, catching up and then passing the Polar Bears. A Northridge time out did not cool down the Panthers. And the frustration was displayed on the court when a Northridge player had a word with a referee after a call and was tagged with a technical. North had an amazing 22-2 point run and the lead. In the last two minutes, North cooled off and allowed Northridge to catch up but ended the quarter with a 42-35 lead.
The fourth quarter began as a foul fest. The teams went into bonus and then double bonus - exchanging trips to the foul line. Northridge went back to full court man to man and got some turnovers. With about 3 minutes left they had a 5 point lead. And at two minutes went into a slowdown. North stayed on task and fought back. In the waning seconds with Northridge trying to eat clock, Brandon McAdams tough defense generated a 5 second call against Northridge and gave North the ball and new life. Then with 5 seconds left on the clock and North down by two he was fouled. He toed the line and calmly sunk two free throws to extend the game into overtime.
In the overtime, North spotted Northridge 5 quick points, then tried to climb back into the game. But Polar Bear Frank Spells had other ideas. Northridge spread their offense and opened lanes for Spells to drive to the basket. He would end up scoring 7 points in the overtime to propel Northridge to the win. North tried to rally but ended up short by 5 - 70 to 65.
Coach Woodworth wasn’t happy about the loss, but was pleased with the teams performance. “Offensively we had a good night. Cody Burnside had some key baskets in the second half and Brandon McAdams had a good night. He should be the most valuable player in the conference. He hit free throws when we needed them. But defensively we gave up too much. We held them at 24 in the first half, but gave up 48 points after that. If we can get our defense working better then our team will do better.”
North Scoring: Broughton 10, Burnside 18, B. McAdams 28, Werner 5, Robinson 2, Hofacker 2.