Friday, February 5, 2016

City League Championship on the line; Wayne - Springfield rematch

Here's the key games this weekend as we hit the late stretch of the Hoop Season:

(1) City League Championship in balance as Dunbar travels to Thurgood.

   In the last 15 years, the City League hoop Championship has been decided by 2 teams - 
Dunbar and Thurgood. 
     And to no surprise to many, Thurgood Marshall and Dunbar will battle tonight for the City League crown.


  While The last time these teams played, Thurgood hit a huge 3 at the buzzer to defeat the Wolverines - in Heroic fashion no less. 

    Darnell Hoskins Jr. was terrific, and hit 2 huge buzzer beaters (one to end each half) that catapulted the Cougars into the early lead, then gave them the final win, shocking the Wolverines.
    Now tonight both teams know exactly what is at stake, as it seems every year for the last 15 years that these two teams are playing for it all. 

   Dunbar is 7-1 in the City League Standings & if they win, will win the City League outright; If Thurgood (6-1) wins, they will control their own destiny, as they have one game left, and could win it outright as well. 
   The one factor that will be different in this game than before is the presence of Evan Claiborne.  

   Claiborne, the former Wolverine now Cougar, was the talk of the summer for the transfer he made from the State Semifinalist. 
   The 6'10 defensive stopper with range has played well since being inserted in the Cougars lineup, and watch for the emotions to fly in this game, which will be on a Championship level to say the least. 
      Dunbar has seemingly found its rhythm, and while it hasn't been a dominant year, the Wolverines have had a good one nonetheless, and it could be sweeter with a revenge win in the Cougardome to grab another City League title. 
 Who wins the epic matchup? 

Let's compare the two sides & matchups a little further: 

    While Dunbar's Stormi Cook has had a breakout year, and Chris Jackson started fast, the Cougars get the nod as Hoskins Jr. has been so good, that he is the front runner for Player of the Year in the City League. 

FORWARDS: Advantage -  Wolverines 
     While Thurgood has players to matchup with Wolverines, they have nobody on the level of Senior Wing Terrance Landers Jr, who, with a big game tonight,  could also make a serious claim for the City League Player of the Year. 

CENTERS: Advantage - Cougars
   While the Wolverines now play small ball, the Cougars now have the big presence in the paint in Claiborne,  and this is a huge advantage that the Wolverines had the luxury of for the past two years. 
  If the big men show up for Dunbar, it could propel them to a win. If not, could be a HUGE night for Claiborne. 

 With some of the best coaching minds on the sidelines for each team, its safe to say that neither side will have a real advantage come tonight. 

   Coach Pete Pullen of Dunbar has been in this situation so many times, that him and his staff are used to it. Thurgood Coach Darnell Hoskins has also thrived in tough situations, and will be ready to lock wits with the Wolverines.

 when the season started, most people thought that this would be the matchup for the City League title. And right on cue, it hasn't let us down. 
Be prepared for one of the games of the year tonight in
 Its goin' down in the Cougar dome. (Around 730 -8pm)
& it will be a sellout, so get there early.

NOTE: In case you can't make it, you can LISTEN TO THE GAME WITH THE LINK Below 
(Courtesy of Gem City Radio):

(2) "The Field" takes on Wayne Train tonight 

 With so many victories on this incredible run, the Warriors have hurt everybody's feelings who have been in the way.

  And in a way, they could thank the Wildcats for that.
 Springfield tapped Wayne a couple seasons ago, and since that tapping, the Warriors haven't looked back in the last two years.
  While everyone knows about the wildness that took place between the Warriors and Wildcats last year, the Wildcats did play the Warriors almost to a even tilt, and even gave the Wayne Train all they could handle in the OHSAA Regionals.

    But when the smoke settled, the Wayne Train is still on the tracks..and running over opponents in the process as they look to get into USA Top 10 (Ranked 11th) in the country.
   Which brings us to the match up tonight.

Wayne has been winning all type of ways.

    Springfield has lost a series of heartbreaking games, but still has had a solid season to date.

 Does the Wildcats have enough to pull off the upset that could change their season?

Let's look at the matchups:


    Despite having Rodrick Caldwell, a BGSU signee, the Wildcats have Danny Davis, a super talented, athletic Guard who has D-1 coaches hoping for his services. Whole Wayne has more than Caldwell, the Wildcats do too.

FORWARDS: Advantage  - Wayne

While Springfield has size at the 3 and 4, the Wayne Train duo of Chazz George and Trey Landers is, quite possibly, the best in the state. Landers has been nothing short of dominant, and that was no more evident in the destroyal inside against Trotwood. The Warriors had their way the first time..Will it change this time?

CENTERS: Advantage - Wayne 

 While Springfield has a monster on the block, who, once started up, can't be stopped, the Warriors have a future All-american in L'Christian Smith.
 Smith has been phenomenal, especially in the last up games, and has helped taken the Warriors to the next level. And yes, he's only a sophomore.
  While Wayne has a slight advantage,  it could be taken away if the Field can get the big man working early.


    While there is no doubt that Wayne Coach Travis Trice Sr, is the man, the top HS Hoop coach right now in Southwest Ohio, the Wildcats have a great mind as well in Coach Isiah Carson.

 While Carson hasn't been able to win the big one, he still has done a good job of having the team ready to play. And make no mistake,  they will be ready to play tonight.
  Can he push the right buttons to pull off the upset?

No matter what the records are, this game will be as intense as a Regular season game can be.
GWOC style.



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