Mar 2, 17, 10:08 PM #1
8th Region Semi-finalsGallatin County vs. Collins - Collins is healthy - Fort, Feltner, Turner are all back and playing. Turner was the difference in the upset of Oldham County; Gaither moved him to the point in the second half, and that was too much for the smaller OC guards. Can Gallatin's guards handle him? Jon Jones has another scrappy bunch in Warsaw - the "Wizard of Warsaw" (with apologies to Warrior) just finds ways to get his team to victory.
South Oldham vs. Anderson County - Anderson County's Glen Drury and South Oldham's Steve Simpson are two of the longest-tenured coaches in the 8th region (Jon Jones is the other - see above); is it any surprise they're back in the SFs? South had Anderson's number in last year's final..... Anderson upset a favored Oldham County team in last year's semis, can they do it again this year? Gritton looked great for Anderson tonight vs. Eminence; Cobe is, well, Cobe....if he stays on the court and out of foul trouble, it changes the game. Bearcats playing their best ball. South has won 13 of their last 15 games and shoots it as well/better than anyone in the region. The threes were falling tonight (12 makes) against a really good Walton-Verona team. Lots of weapons for the Dragons. It'll be interesting to see the defense Drury chooses to use. W-V hung tough with a zone; but quickly fell out of contention once they had to go the man defense late to try to pressure South.
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Mar 2, 17, 10:12 PM #2
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Mar 2, 17, 10:54 PM #3
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Mar 3, 17, 08:00 AM #4
Very much appreciated, I don't have to do one now. These 2 games can be deceiving so be careful with what you are thinking...
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Gallatin County very good at stealing possessions, an example is the (5) charges they took in the first round. They are extra patient on offense and this game will be in the single digits. Question for me in this one, will the Titans get second chance points via, rebounds and steals?
The Dragons beat Anderson fairly bad last year, embarassed them, and I think that will insprire these Bearcats and staff to make this game a slug fest. The zone really bothered the Bearcats last year, but this time Drury has until Monday to game plan and that will also make this game close. Who makes the play in the end? JoJo for South or Cobe Penny for Anderson.
Both will be entertaining games to say the least.. Good luck to all these coaches, and players
Mar 3, 17, 10:16 AM #5I just don't think Gallatin has enough firepower or depth to handle Collins. Not to mention it looked like Collins played with a chip on their shoulders against North Wednesday night. If they keep that intensity, look out. Not much comes easy at this point of the year, and this one won't either, but I think Collins takes this one in the end.
South beat AC at SO earlier in the year, 81-70. SO shot the lights out of it from 3 hitting 14 of them, and AC big man Gritton got in early foul trouble and wasn't much of a factor with 4 points a 7 rebounds. SO also outrebounded AC in the game. Penny picked up some of the slack scoring 37, but a lot of those were late after SO had built a good lead. Pittman also didn't have his best game and has since played better and picked up some of the scoring slack, adding the outside threat they needed. AC was also still struggling looking for an identity and had yet to play some of the younger players that have since seen court time and started contributing. They have also since this game gone through some turmoil and come out of it stronger, arguably less talented but with better team chemistry and mentally stronger.
With all the above said, this game has the potential to be a very good one. All the things that lead to a SO win in the first game are correctable. If Gritton can stay on the floor and play like he has been the past several games, and Penny can do Penny stuff that will go a long way. AC MUST close out better on the 3's. There is a lot of room in the middle in that extended high pressure zone SO runs, and AC must recognize it quickly and make good crisp quick passes into it as SO does a good job of rotating in it. Attacking the basket on the SO press once broken will put some pressure on their defense as well, something I didn't think WV did all that well last night in the first half (didn't stay for the 2nd half). They also MUST block out and rebound better than they did in the first contest.
There is no doubt this will be a tough game for AC to win...but they definitely can win it. And being an AC guy it's who I'm rooting for, of course.
Mar 3, 17, 10:39 AM #6
Think the AC South game may come down to defense. Can AC control the three shooters from South and provide some help defense on Griffin getting to the paint. I am not sure who AC will put on Griffin if they go man but probably not Penny or he will be in foul trouble early. If they go zone they will have to extend to prevent open looks. For South they will have some of the same issues - if they go man who matches with Penny and if they go zone to help with the inside threat does that open up the outside shooting for Pittman and others. Big unknown is how physical will the refs allow the game to be. If they let them play then advantage goes to AC and a close called game will put Penny in fouls trouble and keep Gritton in check on the boards - better for South. I am looking for Young to have a big night for South
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Mar 3, 17, 11:10 AM #7
30th district turned out to be stacked (most already were aware of that)
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Mar 3, 17, 11:59 AM #8
Its been stacked for a while
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Mar 3, 17, 05:22 PM #9A few familiar faces in the semis. The 3 longest tenured coaches in the 8th will be roaming the sidelines on Monday night.
Mar 4, 17, 11:44 AM #10
Collins vs South in the finals.
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Cochran is very long and athletic for Collins along with everyone else back will be too much for Gallatin.
South has the best player in the region, who will control the game. South shoots to good plays solid D for Anderson.
Mar 4, 17, 10:22 PM #11The semi-finals have definitive favs - Collins and South - but not so much that Gallatin and Anderson, especially with two of the best coaches in the game, can be counted out.
These are going to be great games to watch...
....Gallatin probably needs more to go their way than any of the other three, but I've seen Jon Jones lead his team to wins his team had no business even being close in. GC probably benefits if this one is called close, because they just don't have anyone to battle on the inside against Cochran, and the matchup with Turner outside could be a tough one for the Wildcats to win. But foul trouble against Collins and good shooting by GC could make this a lot closer than expected.
As always, Chris Gaither has his Titans playing great at the right time - and the Titans are finally healthy, with Fort, Feltner, and Turner all back in the starting lineup. I'm not sure they are quite as cohesive as one would expect at this time of the year - they haven't played together as much due to the injury bug - but they looked good enough against Oldham in round 1. Turner especially is a matchup nightmare who turned the tables for Collins on Monday in the come-from-behind win over Oldham.
...Anderson has motivation, talent, and coaching. Those are three powerful points in their favor. We broadcast the Anderson game vs. South earlier in the season when Anderson simply wasn't playing to their ability. We were shaking our heads - how could such a talented team under-achieve so badly? We shouldn't have doubted - Glen Drury really has pulled this team together, and the whole is now becoming greater than the sum of the parts. Gritton has taken his game up 2 or 3 notches and is a beast on the glass - something South could have trouble matching. Penny is a threat to put 30+ on the board every night; South did not have an answer for him last time, despite winning. More impressively, this team is playing unselfishly and with purpose.
On the other hand, South is a veteran team that expects to win. They've won 3 of the last 4 region titles, and nobody passes the ball in the region like South. The Dragons have the region's top offense, and despite shooting over 50% of their shots behind the arc, they are hitting over 50% from the field OVERALL. The reason is simple: Come out to challenge the three and you open yourself up to the dribble drive and the Dragons shoot a lot of layups. The Dragons also have the edge at the line, hitting over 72% at the stripe. Player of the Year Jo Griffin is incredible, hitting 21+ ppg, but he's got plenty of help as South's entire lineup is capable of double digit games. South's ever-changing defensive looks make them a challenge as well.
And oh yeah, the Dragons are on pace to eclipse their record - set last year - for most threes made in a season in the state of KY.
This will be a good night to be in New Castle, but if you can't make it, Jason Holland - Shelby County girls coach, and former boys' coach at Oldham County and Henry County - will join me in the booth for the broadcast of both games. The broadcast will be VIDEO - we go on air 30 minutes prior to the first game.
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Mar 6, 17, 01:30 PM #12All four teams have won titles, and all four have won 20+ games this year:
Anderson County - 4 total, most recently 2009
Collins - 1 title (2015)
South Oldham - 3 titles (all in last four years, most recently last year)
Gallatin County - 1 title (1959)
These four teams have gone 378-215 (.637) over the past five seasons (counting this year). They have a combined 16 winning seasons (out of 20) and 11 twenty win+ seasons.
South is 112-41 over that period and is 10-0 in this tournament during that time frame, with three titles.
Collins, still the newest kid on the 8th region block, is 108-51 with five region tournament appearnances, one title, and a 6-3 region tourney record.
Anderson is 89-49 over the last five seasons, and in their three region tourney appearances, the Bearcats already have one SF finish and a runner-up finish....and guaranteed at least a SF finish this year.
Gallatin is the only one of the four with a losing record from 2012-2017 (69-74), but the Wildcats continue to find ways to win big games.
Since 2006, when the region re-districted, the region championship has stayed in the south....the 29th has won 6 titles during that time (Oldham Co and South Oldham three apiece) and the 30th has won 5 (Shelby 3, Anderson 1, Collins 1).
Mar 6, 17, 01:30 PM #13
Mar 6, 17, 04:06 PM #14Gallatin in an upset game 1. South winner by 9 game 2.