Friday, March 14, 2008

Broadcast preview: Central vs. South (round 3)

The rubber match for the Central-South series. Yes, South won both games, but it won't matter to them if they don't beat Central a third time. We saw DeLaSalle go 3-0 against Minnehaha Academy, so anything is possible.

You might be wondering why I'm posting a broadcast preview blog since channel 45 has the rights to televise. I'm going to tape a post-game show at Target Center Saturday and get post-game interviews of the 4A final to intersperse with the show. It's the first time I've covered a state tournament and the first time I will have stepped inside Target Center in eight years (the Wolves were still good back then). I'm excited and nervous; I never thought doing play-by-play for a couple years would lead me to the state tournament.

Kiara Buford had nine turnovers, but made up for it at the free throw line as she put up 24. Theairra Taylor caught fire today, even going a perfect 10-10 from the line. Not bad for a 65% free throw shooter. I hope the folks at Marquette teach Georgie Jones how to use her legs, she's a player you can actually afford to put on the line. Ugh. Central played their A-game in their two wins. I wouldn't be surprised if they try to double team Tayler Hill again. Hill cracked a bit in game 2 when Central doubled her up. Central must convert their short range shots and repeat their free throw performance at the Eastview game to win.

Speaking of Hill, what hasn't she been honored for yet? South suffered from two slow starts, although Hill made sure they didn't finish that way. Of her 49 points in the tournament games, 33 have come in the 2nd half. Taquoia Hammick put up a dozen against Chaska, making her case as one of the most improved players this year. Hammick didn't take advantage of easy looks last year. With a deep bench, you can't rely on them getting on foul trouble. ANYONE on the first or second string can be a play maker.

Both teams will continue their aggressive pursuit of one another; they hit hard and fast. Should be fun. Most experts picked South to win it all, but some don't think they can win three times against Central.


1. Tayler Hill hasn't scored less than 15 points all season. Don't expect her to bow out now. She scored 58 points in games 1 and 2.

2. Jones put up a double-double in 13 of her last 14 games, but had trouble against South in game 2. Jones shot just 33% from the floor.

3. Kiara Buford shot 9 of 14 free throws in games 1 and 2, just over 60%. Buford is an 83% free throw shooter. She did lead all Central players in total points in their two games with South.

4. Tyisha Smith had 14 steals in games 1 and 2, just under Central's TEAM total of 16. Shows you the difference Angel Robinson made for Central last year.

5. Central will be playing for their fourth state championship in school history, South has yet to win their 1st.

By the way, Centennial is still ranked above Central by The Cougars are #2 and the Minutemen are #3. Was Centennial that good?

Look for the wrap-up show on YouTube and SPNN channel 15 in the coming days.

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