Seventh Region Semi-Finals Preview

  1. #1
    by Smallhoops is offline Premium Member
    The first round of the Seventh Region tournament gave us Trinity v. Male, along with three other games; the second round now gives us Waggener v. Ballard and Trinity v. Eastern. Should be a good night of basketball Thursday night at Valley.

    Waggener Wildcats (29-3) v. Ballard Bruins (22-11)


    Prior to this season, Ballard had beaten Waggener each of the 70 times they had played. That streak ended on December 4 of this season when Waggener beat Ballard 80-74. Over the course of the season, Waggener has shown that it is one of the best teams in the state, losing only 3 times (two of those losses being to Trinity). It easily took care of business against Manual in the first round of the Seventh Region tournament, beating the Crimsons 69-31.

    Ballard has had a solid season, yet most Seventh Region observers would agree that Ballard has not been playing on the same level as Waggener. Its record is fine, but it lacks very many wins against other top teams. It beat Henry Clay early in the season and then beat Trinity in the King of the Bluegrass tournament, but it played Trinity when David Johnson was out with an injury. Its win in the first round of the Seventh Region tournament, 65-63 over St. X, was not very impressive.

    It would be easy to conclude that Waggener should win this game. But this is new territory for Waggener; the district championship it won last week was its first district championship ever. It has advanced to the semi-finals of the regional tournament only twice in its history (1964 and 2015), and it lost the semi-final game in each of those years. Conversely, Coach Renner and the Bruins are accustomed to playing in the regional semi-finals (and beyond).

    Having watched both of these teams several times this season, I think this group of Waggener Wildcats doesn’t care about what happened years ago and will not be satisfied if their season ends here. Waggener’s balanced attack should again be good enough to extend their win streak against Ballard to two. Look for Waggener to continue its best season ever with another win over Ballard, thereby advancing to the regional championship game for the first time in its history.

    Trinity Shamrocks (23-7) v. Eastern Eagles (16-15)

    Let me take a minute to praise the Eastern Eagles. Since losing its fifth game in a row on February 1, at which point its record was 9-13, Eastern has won seven out of nine games. Its two losses during that streak were to Waggener and Ballard. In beating Central 63-49 in the first round of the Seventh Region tournament, the Eagles beat the Yellowjackets for the second time in two weeks. Coach David Hensley and the Eagles have much about which to be proud.

    Trinity was able to beat Male 57-47 in the first round of the Seventh Region tournament without getting much offense from anyone other than David Johnson, who had 31 points. What it got from everyone was an outstanding defensive performance.

    These teams have not played this year. With Trinity playing such good defense and with David Johnson continuing to do everything he has been doing all season, it is hard to see Eastern being able to beat Trinity tomorrow night. I think Trinity will advance.

  2. #2

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    Death, taxes, and a Ballard v Trinity 7th region final seem to be certainties. I expect it again this year. Have to wait until next year for a changing of the guard. Male could be preseason number 1 statewide going into the 2019-2020 season.
    Last edited by mcpapa; Feb 28, 19 at 11:21 AM. Reason: R10

  3. #3

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    Ballard vs Trinity in the finals. Ballard is ready for this match-up vs Waggener. While Waggener may have shown how good they are in the regular season, the postseason is a completely different animal. Give me the Bruins by 4.

    Trinity vs Eastern seems like a David vs Goliath match-up. Maybe Hensley can pull off some of that magic from his Holmes days. I would love to see Eastern pull this off but Trinity advances. 68-49.

  4. #4
    Carson Palmer's Avatar
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    David Henley.

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    Trinity has a habit of playing down to the competition, but I still think they win this one pretty convincingly. Waggener/Ballard is intriguing because Waggener got a W against them, finally, earlier this season. Ballard’s defense will be up to the task, but they struggle when it comes to scoring consistently. If Walter Johnson isn’t making shots, where do they go? I like Waggener I’m a close one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Carson Palmer View Post
    David Henley.
    Yep. Sorry I did not catch that when I was proofreading my initial post.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HoopJunkie View Post
    Trinity has a habit of playing down to the competition, but I still think they win this one pretty convincingly. Waggener/Ballard is intriguing because Waggener got a W against them, finally, earlier this season. Ballard’s defense will be up to the task, but they struggle when it comes to scoring consistently. If Walter Johnson isn’t making shots, where do they go? I like Waggener I’m a close one.
    Well. I may have been wrong about Ballard. After a slow first half, they’ve figured out how to score and taken control of the 2nd half.
    Last edited by HoopJunkie; Feb 28, 19 at 06:20 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Glider View Post
    Ballard vs Trinity in the finals. Ballard is ready for this match-up vs Waggener. While Waggener may have shown how good they are in the regular season, the postseason is a completely different animal. Give me the Bruins by 4.

    Trinity vs Eastern seems like a David vs Goliath match-up. Maybe Hensley can pull off some of that magic from his Holmes days. I would love to see Eastern pull this off but Trinity advances. 68-49.
    Ballard has been there before. No surprise here.

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