Saturday, February 26, 2011

Ruskin Boys Beat Rockhurst 63-61 In 2 OT Nail Biter

Tick, tick, tick. When's the bomb going to go off?

Happy Eagles celebrate District 13 Championship win.

This was really a terrific game to watch--close throughout with good basketball played by both sides. Rockhurst with their designed plays and strong outside shooting, Ruskin with its speed and quickness of hands and feet and ability to run the break and penetrate. However, I will remember this game for the way that each team handled stalling, or holding the ball.

There is no shot clock in Missouri HS Boys Basketball, and that leads to some different strategies when the game is close. At the end of regulation, Ruskin held the ball for close to 20 seconds. Rockhurst declined to defend closely, thus keeping the five second rule out of play. It was the first time we saw the full stall, but it would not be the last.

Rockhurst tried it later in OT when they had the ball and the lead. Ruskin came out and played defense. Rockhurst turned the ball over. It seemed the right strategy to me at this level of basketball. It's hard for young players not to get nervous when holding the ball for any period. Ruskin stalled later on and Rockhurst still declined to play close defense.

It came down to some clutch shooting in both the field and foul line for Ruskin as they were able to regain the lead in the second OT period after going down to Rockhurst a point or two at the beginning. A really nice win that is a tribute both to Ruskin's physical ability and their mental toughness and coachability too.

Next game on the road to State is Wednesday, March 2 at 6:30 pm at the Independence Event Center against Lee's Summit North.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ruskin in District 13 Game

I can't think of any more of a contrast between Ruskin High School and Rockhurst High School.

The bird fight will be at 1:00 pm at the old Hickman Mills High School on Saturday.

Go Eagles!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Anticipating Lots of Basketballs!

It's all drawing down to a close. High schools will be in Districts shortly, with Ruskin looking good for their first season in the higher class.

Missouri, Kansas and Kansas State disposed of their opponents today. K State is now .500 in the conference, warming at the right time. Think if they had made a few more free throws at Colorado...

Oh, and TEXAS lost to Nebraska in Lincoln. How sad for the Longhorns! ::grin::

Observer pic of Ruskin High action against Truman High.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

That Was a Short Pause...

With the Super Bowl so late, now going into February, it was just a short pause in sports action before things got lively again.

Pitchers and catchers reported to MLB Spring Training.

It's getting so we can tell who is going to win the regular season NCAA hoops conference championships.

High school divisionals are coming--though it's hard to tell exactly when as the weather has really mucked with the regular season.

The Daytona 500 is next weekend.

NFL Draft is coming up and silly season is getting started.

Just to put it in perspective, MLB opens last day of March here in KC--about when the finals will be determined in NCAA D-I men's hoops.

Let the Spring games begin!

UVM Men Win America East Regular Season

The University of Vermont men's team beat the University of Maine to go to 22-5 and win the regular season America East title. A pretty big accomplishment, but there is still more work to do. The Catamounts must win the America East post season tourney for a seat at the Big Dance.

Congrats and Go Vermont!

Freeps file shot of Matt Glass against New Hampshire earlier this season.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Thoughts

Well, another nice game in the books! One reason some thought that this could be a blowout was that we were due for a clunker game after three really good games. For a little while, at 21-3, it was looking like a blow out.

I was looking back at my preview post. Goodness, a lot of my thoughts came true.

The game did indeed go lopsided for the Pack in the first half but the Steelers made their way back into it. The touchdown near the end of the first half was critical to Pittsburgh's chances.

Pittsburgh made critical mistakes, that often led to more mistakes. The pick-6 was set up by a bad penalty on a kick run back shoving the Steelers back from the 14 yard line to the 7. When Roethlisburger found himself under pressure at the goal line the options of taking a sack or heaving the ball were removed as they may have resulted in a safety by play or penalty. The Packers had 21 total points from turn overs during the game.

Even so, with three turnovers and untimely penalties, the Steelers had all the opportunity to drive down for the tying TD and winning extra point. It was clear that Roethlisburger was not playing well. They were disorganized and took too much time. They had lost their margin for error.

Green Bay took everything that Pittsburgh gave them. That is why they won this game.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pre Super Thoughts

Well, tomorrow is the Big Game. Are we feeling like making a prediction?

Green Bay--
* Very good offense, especially now that they seem to have found a runner.
* Defense improving every day with players returning from injury and young players more experienced.
* pretty decent special teams and kickers

*very good defense, capable of shutting down a team
* adequate to good offense. Rothlesburger is relentless and innovative--Bret Favre but with better aim. Erratic run game. O line in flux.
* Explosive return, but did have to replace their kickers over the course of the season.

Green Bay is the faster team, the Steelers the stronger one.

Game is inside, in climate controlled environment. (Good thing, since Texas is enjoying the same sucky weather we all are here in the middle of the US)

Green Bay will win if--
*Speed kills--if Green Bay's passing game gets going the Steelers could be in trouble.
* Stifle them. Don't allow Pittsburgh to hold the ball for minutes with a long field chewing, time chewing drive. Get Pittsburgh's offense off the field.
* No interceptions.

Pittsburgh will win if--
* Aaron Rodgers is sacked, hassled, bothered and just generally harassed and rattled. Especially if he turns the ball over.
* Relentless offense. Nothing special, just make first downs until you score a touch down. Aaron Rodgers can't score standing on the sideline.
* Avoid turnovers and penalties--no negative plays.

There is a potential for a Green Bay blow out in this game, but I could also see a game where the Pack start fast, then Pittsburgh comes back to at least make it interesting. The Steelers margin for error is much smaller than Green Bay's. Too many Pittsburgh mistakes will result in a rout for the Pack. A flawless Pittsburgh team will be a hand full for Green Bay.

I think Green Bay will win, in either a very tight game in doubt to the end or a laugher that is not in doubt after the third quarter.