PREPCASTS FLASH of December 17
It's my experience that games close to exams, Christmas Break, Spring Break, graduation or other "special" days of the school year cause teams to play out of the ordinary. We have some of those games from this week.
...Hickman Kewpie Boys (7-1) team beats Rock Bridge(2-2) for the first time since January 30, 2004! For these two schools located in Columbia, MO, these rivalry games are important...very important. Maybe it was the old gym that caused the losses? At any rate, in the new facility the Kewpies led by Jimmy Whitt's 15 points (10 in 4th qtr) beat the Bruins 55-48.
...OK...generally if you have more turnovers than baskets, you're in deep do-do. How about this one? Blue Springs Lady Wildcats (5-1) had 11 turnovers and 7 baskets in their game agains McPherson. Shooting just 7 of 35, Blue Springs used the late FT marksmanship at the FT line by Lizzie Wendell (13 of 14) to pull out a 39-26 win.
...This one just sounds bad... in the Silex-Bowling Green Boys game, there were 30 fouls.....in the FIRST HALF....ouch. Both teams adjusted, as the Bowling Green Bobcats went on to win 65-61.
...South Calloway Girls won their first conference game in over 3 years when they beat Eugene 37-36. True...the Lady Bulldogs had changed conferences but come on...you have to be happy to win a league game. Taylor Howard's winning basket with 10 seconds remaining was the difference.
...How about having as more coaches than substitutes sitting on the bench? Due to injuries, a shrinking enrollment, Delta Girls have 6 players on the team. This week, Delta took unbeaten Meadow Heights to OT but wore down and lost 58-53. Hopefully, the New Year will bring better health and healing for the Bobcats.
Speaking of Girls Basketball...the Prepcasts Elite Girls Shootout V is just arond the corner. Held January 5th at DeSmet, the Best All-Girls Shootout in Missouri has some terrific games on the docket. Get in on your calendar right now for all or part of the day. $5 will get you a seat for all day!
1:00 Dexter(7-1) vs Webster Groves (5-2)-- Dexter showcases the SEMO player of the year from 2011-12--Brittany Harris. Coming off a STATE Quarterfinal apperance the Lady Bearcats will be facing a rising program in Webster. Sitting at 5-2, the Statesman are led by Coach Patti Perkins. Each team is making their first appearance in the Shootout.
2:30 Parkway South Lady Patriots (5-1) vs Ozark Tigers (4-1)
Ozark returns for a 2nd consecutive year to the Shootout. Coach Yancey Little has another powerhouse team that is headed up by Hannah Cook. Thomas Williams brings his usual fast-paced, highly aggressive defense into play as he brings his team back to the Shootout. Becca Steins (Truman recruit) leads the scoring punch for the inside and outside.
4:15 Rock Bridge Bruins (6-1) vs Marian Catholic (10-0)
The Defending Class 5 Missouri Champions still loaded with plenty of punch including star Sophie Cunningham will have their hands full here. Returning to the Shootout after a victory last year, the Bruins face an athletic, well coach team in Marian. The Spartans from Chicago are currently ranked #4 in Chicago area and already have 3 girls who have signed college commitments to continue their career. You wont' find a better match up anyplace !!
5:45 Republic Tigers (3-0) vs Westminster Christian Academy (5-1)
The Defending Class 4 Champions face another Final Four team from last year in Westminster. Coach Kris Flood has not rebuilt, he's reloaded again and hopes to add to his 2 state championship trophies. Westminster, coached by former NBA star, Steve Stipanovich, are led by Sadie Stipanovich who carries a 17.0 ppg average. Each team particpates in the Prepcasts Shootout for the first time.
7:15 St Joseph's Academy Angels (4-0) vs Carthage Tigers (3-1)
The annual trip to the Shootout gives the Angels an opportunity to feature their Seniors. This year, it's Sydney Stipanovich (Penn U) and Erin Nelson (SLU recruit) who'll be leading Julie Matheny's (290-90)squad. Carthage a STATE tournament team last year is coached by Jim Moore. Coach Moore has already turned the Fair Grove program into a state-level team and continues to develop that type of play at Carthage.
Remember...Jan 5, @ DeSmet $5...how can you go wrong?
Congrats to Stephanie Campbell (Lafayette) for being awarded the 2012 Gatorade Volleyball Player of the Year for Missouri. Stephanie is headed to Auburn to continue her volleyball and to study in the vet school.
We covered multiple Lafayette games this year. Check the Lafayette School partner page (link on home page) and watch her in action!!
BEST BASKETBALL GAME OF THE WEEK...
...Anxious to avenge a heartbreaking loss than 2 weeks earlier, the Advance Hornets faced Scott County Central again. In a game that saw 24 lead changes and 6 ties, the Hornets won 79-78! SCC scored a layup at 25 second mark to take a 78-77 lead. On a 1 and 1, the first miss was shoved back in on the rebound by Hornets Trey Wallace. After a SCC turnover and quick foul, Advance again missed the first end of a 1 & 1. Scott County's half court shot (which would have won the game) pinballed out after seemingly being half way down to give the Hornets(5-1) the win over the defending Class 1 champion.
This past week, I announced two basketball games. Each was an upset!
.....On Tuesday in a Boys game, the Oakville Tigers (4-1) used the inside presence of 6-10 Austin Gillman and some powerful press attack-baskets in the 4th quarter to topple the defending Class 5 Champion, McCluer North. Oakville won this one 59-51 as the NorthStars fall to 5-2.
.....Thursday night, I was doing a Girls game at Notre Dame. The visiting St Pius X Lancers brought in an unblemished 5-0 record. ND (3-5) used some 3-ball shooting and Freshman Madeline Ronshausen's 22 points to upend the Lancers 50-45. Lots of thrills in Rebel country on Thursday.
Some of the teams, with outstanding records that are flying under the radar across the STATE, that you probably haven't heard about YET ...
...St James Boys team is 8-0. Coach Ben Smith finally has that "big man" to anchor things in the middle. Jack Mueller is at 16.8ppg and 9.5 reb/game. Also he has 30 blocks for the year!
...John Burroughs Boys team is also undefeated at 7-0. With 3 players (Foye Oluokun 15.7, Jimmy Carney 13.7 and Ezekiel Elliott 12.6) in double figures, Coach Steve Wilcutt can spread around the offense.
...With their 68-34 win over previously unbeaten St Vincent of Perryville, Leopold Boys pushed its record to 7-0. Kyle Stroder scored 32 points in the winning effort.
...Gallatin Boys went to 8-0 with a 68-56 win over Trenton.
...In Class 2 Girls action, Polo moved to 6-1 with a win over 58-40 over DeKalb. Polo was led by All-Stater Sammi Jo Copelandâ€™s career high 28 points.
...St Thomas Aquinas Girls ran past Lee Summit North team 52-20 in the HyVee Shootout in KC to make their mark 4-0 for the season.
In case you missed them last week......
...Now to Early-Bowl Games..(from Prepcasts-KC-MOWest)...
Thanks to James Damon for his "Bowling Thoughts"
Bowling Time Again, Part 1
It's time for my fearless, if not meaningless, predictions of all 414 bowl games this year. Fortunately, with all the corporate buy-outs we can expect a full extension next year of 730 bowl games ensuring a bowl game kicking off every hour on the hour during the holiday season. I'll proceed through the bowls date by date, beginning with the earliest game to kickoff.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl (12/15): Arizona (7-5) vs. Nevada (7-5)
Nevada, without Colin Kaepernick, can still score points and give them up in bunches. Great turnaround with Rich Rodriguez in the desert, as these two teams are virtually the same. Both can score in chunks, and both can give up points even faster. I'll give Arizona a slight edge based on tougher competition overall, but won't be shocked if the Pack pulls out a close one. Arizona 48 Nevada 41.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl(12/15): Toledo (9-3)-Utah State (10-2)
Perhaps the bowl game featuring two teams that were on the cusp of being really good this year, but nobody outside of particular fan bases noticed. Toledo is similar to Arizona and Nevada, capable of scoring on most teams and being scored upon by all teams. Utah State displays much more balance and their only two losses are by a combined 5 points to BYU and Wisconsin. I think the Rockets score early and often, but the Aggies bounce back strong and pull away during the second half. Utah State 38 Toledo 27.
San Diego County CU Poinsettia Bowl (12/20): BYU (7-5) vs. San Diego State (9-3)
I really miss the simple days where bowl games had one name rather than thirteen corporate sponsors and six area towns/counties/municipalities all vying for the booty thought to be brought in during a few days of prep time and a contest, this one featuring a couple middling teams. The Cougars feature a strong defense, but often a questionable offense. After a 2-3 start, the Aztecs fought to win seven in a row, finishing as one of the hotter teams in the nation. There is some rivalry as these opponents are former Mountain West foes, but who can keep up with all that realignment stuff? Hard fought game that could go either way, but I think Bronco Mendenhall will coach 'em up and get the Cougs another hard fought win. BYU 21 San Diego State 17.
Beef 'O' Brady's Bowl (12/21): Ball State (9-3) vs. UCF (9-4)
Overtimes have seemingly defined these squads' seasons. Ball State's turned with an OT win after a 3-3 start, and the Knights had a legit shot at a Conference USA title, but lost in OT to Tulsa. Both these teams have had solid seasons, but neither are particularly exciting teams nor really that good. I give UCF a major "home" field edge since the game is played in St. Pete and their travel is much nicer than Ball State's. UCF 31 Ball State 24.
R + L Carriers New Orleans Bowl(12/22):
E Carolina (8-4)- UL Lafayette (8-4)
This game, despite having solid records, produces very little sizzle. Despite having one of the best nicknames in college, the Ragin' Cajuns claim to glory this year is giving highly ranked Florida every bit of a game and only losing by seven. But a loss is always still a loss, and even if you lose to great teams all the time, that simply proves that you're not a great team. Nobody would claim greatness for either squad here, and this noon kickoff might allow you an early Saturday nap. East Carolina 30 ULL 28.
MAACO Bowl Las Vegas (12/22): Boise State (10-2) vs. Washington (7-5)
Oh, how quickly Cinderella has fallen! Once everybody's darling, Boise State had an awful year finishing the regular season with TWO losses! I'm now removing my tongue from my cheek as the Broncos program has clearly been impressively built that we look at a two-loss season as quite a downer for the Smurf Turf troop. I think most fans expected UDub to take a big step this year after a strong improvement season last year and giving Baylor quite a game in last year's bowl effort. This year proved to be Jekyll & Hyde as they beat ranked Stanford and Oregon State and gave USC a tough ballgame, but then got waxed by LSU, Oregon, and Arizona, and inexplicably gave Mike Leach something to crow about losing to Wazzu. Which team shows up? I suggest the team to keep the game close, but I think Chris Petersen out coaches Steve Sarkisian on this day. Boise State 31 Washington 21.
Sheraton Hawaii Bowl (12/24): Fresno State (9-3) vs. SMU (6-6)
Well, the June Jones Express has not quite taken off like Mustang fans might have hoped. But they got a huge upset win over Tulsa to get bowl eligible and the team can score some points, keeping it in most games against mid-level competition. Fresno State gets a share of their conference title in new coach Tim DeRuyter's first year. SMU can score, so they might be able to keep it close for awhile, but the Bulldogs are a stronger squad and should pull away. Fresno State 41 SMU 24.
Little Caesars Pizza Bowl (12/26): Central Michigan (6-6) vs. Western Kentucky (7-5)
As the bowl season neared, we heard primarily the lamentations about if bowl eligible Central Michigan might get snubbed because Georgia Tech got an exemption. And the debates raged about a poor record, major conference team and how they would win, or finish highly, in lower conferences, and the alleged fairness or inequity of snapping away bowl bids from eligible, though lower tiered teams. Then one of those Louisiana schools helped solve the problem (more on that later). At any rate, this is likely the least interesting bowl game of the season, or certainly in that lower tier conversation. I would watch it if guaranteed to get a free Little Caesars pizza, which might be a great gimmick to try. Game analysis? These likely were the last two teams to make the field, so this is tantamount to a #16 vs. #16 if it were the NCAA tournament. Coin flip for the game winner, though. I'll take Cent Michigan since the game is played in Detroit but the Hilltoppers could pull it out. Cen Michigan 31 W Kentucky 24.
Military Bowl (12/27): Bowling Green (8-4)-San Jose State (10-2)
While there seems to be not much with this game, it would be pretty highly ranked in mid-major games worth watching, in my opinion. The Spartans are definitely a team on the rise as they were very game to a great Stanford team earlier this year. This Bowling Green team differs from others in the past as the Falcons seem to help define MACtion with great offense in years past. This year's squad ranks in the top 10 in a couple solid defensive categories (yards allowed and points allowed). Low scoring affair that a defense-minded purist might enjoy greatly. San Jose State 20 Bowling Green 17.
Belk Bowl (12/27): Cincinnati (9-3) vs. Duke (6-6)
Most fans might imagine a very physical basketball confrontation when these two teams slug it out. But major props to David Cutcliffe for not only getting Blue Devil football to respectability but now bowl eligibility, and the Bearcats might have been expected to fall off the cliff after the departure of Brian Kelly. They are nowhere near as good, but a solid team year in and year out. Good to see Duke "taking the next step", but they should be overmatched in this game, though that takes nothing away from the job Cutcliffe is accomplishing. The Bearcats also rank highly in scoring-d and that will continue in this one. Cincy 41 Duke 17.
Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl (12/27):
Baylor (7-5) vs. UCLA (9-4)
This might best be called the "Teams we did not think would be this good/bounce back so quickly" bowl. What a job Jim Mora has done with UCLA, essentially turning around the moribund program in one year and whipping their chief rival. Take away an inexplicable loss to Cal, and this is a 10 win team in a tough conference. They dodged Oregon, but that's how the schedule fell. RGIII now is the toast of DC, but Waco fans still rejoice after they got bowl eligible, achieved one of the largest upsets of the season over K-State, and in so doing, derailed national championship dreams and Heisman hopes, and entertained each week offering a near unstoppable offense no matter the foe. Their low point threshold was 21 twice, but apart from those games, it jumps to 34! This team can score on nearly anybody, and UCLA has their hands full, but they have nearly a month to prepare as well. The Holiday Bowl often proves to be one of the better bowl games year in and year out in regards to products on the field.
This one should be fun; I think Mora puts a solid stamp on the west coast suggesting the Bruins are not only back but think they can challenge Oregon and Stanford. We'll see, but they have the mojo for this one. UCLA 49 Baylor 44.
That only gets you through December 27...James will keep us going next week.
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