Originally Posted by PBnoJ
The bleachers were pretty full on the home side; the visitors side was only about half full. Disappointed that the South band wasn't there; the environment was tournament intensity - a pep band would have been icing on the cake.
If I had given out a Player of the Game award at the end of our broadcast (as we used to do some years back), it would have gone to Tyson Turner for the Titans and Luke Morrison for South. With Vail in foul trouble and limited, and McKnight playing perhaps one of the least productive games I've ever seen him play, the Titans point guard erupted with some big-time, crunch-time baskets, including some key three pointers. He was huge on both ends of the court for Collins.
I also liked the play of Josh Scriber for Collins. Thought he gave Collins a real lift on the offensive glass, especially in the first half.
Morrison had 30 points for South and was pretty much unstoppable in the first half. (7 of 9 shooting; 2 of 3 beyond the arc) In the second half, Collins slowed him from the floor by bodying him up hard, and it hindered his shooting - but it also gave him a path to the foul line, where he was 9 of 10.
Morrison is such a "pick your poison" player....let him shoot and he's going to burn you. Body him up to get him off-kilter, and, well, he's the #1 free throw shooter in the 8th Region. Oops.
The game was extremely physical at both ends, and the officials pretty much let things go, but it was a very evenly called game and neither coach could claim that they got cheated in any way by the refs. I do think a more physical game favored the Titans, but that's just the way it was called. Fouls were pretty much even.
Thought the game got away from South after the Dragons built a 12-point lead midway into the third period. Suddenly, the Dragons went through a stretch where they weren't as careful about their shot selection, and they made some mental mistakes on defense that allowed Collins to cut the lead to 6 at the end of three quarters.
When you get a lead on one of these two teams, you better not allow your foot to come off the gas any...
Kudos to both teams' defenses....I thought South's 2-3 zone seemed to befuddle Collins much of the night. The Dragons switched defenses throughout the game, as they often do, but I thought the 2-3 zone was particularly effective. The Titans seemed indecisive against it.
Collins did a pretty good job in their man-to-man of staying in front of South and contesting shots at the rim. To be frank, I thought that this was the primary reason the Titans won the game. South failed to convert on numerous attempts at the rim.
In all honesty, Collins coach Chris Gaither has to be somewhat relieved. On the road against the #16 ranked team in the state, on a night when his two stars weren't quite up to their usual standards - the Titans still found a way to win.
South coach Steve Simpson probably isn't relieved - but he has to be happy knowing his team has proven it can go toe-to-toe with the Titans. The Dragons were a missed 15-footer at the buzzer from winning this game.
This was the 13th meeting between Collins and South Oldham. Collins now leads the series, 7-6. It was the 10th time the game was decided by 6 or fewer points...