Monday, December 22, 2008

Broadcast preview: Minneapolis South vs. Park (Cottage Grove)

On paper, South would have a clear advantage with a 5-2 record over Park's 1-4 start, although Park has suffered two close losses over Woodbury and Roseville. An interesting matchup will be Tayler Hill against Katya Leick; both played together this year on Paul Hill's NC Heat AAU team, and Leick scored the winning basket in the Battle of the Hardwood Tournament at Woodbury in June. Stephanie Tolkinen, Park's coach, is stressing that records don't matter at this point.

On the broadcast side of things, we're still working on figuring out the right set-up for our wireless mic, but I think we've finally solved it. Broderick Bell should be my partner for tonight, but he doesn't like cold weather and may not show up. Either way, I'm ready for our last game of the calendar year.


1. Tayler Hill has scored 30 or more points five times this season, something she did only three times last year in 32 games. She leads the state in scoring with over 32 points per game.

2. By contrast, no other South player is averaging double-digits in scoring and no one is averaging double-digits in rebounding, showing how South's loss in size is affecting the team. South hasn't won when no player besides Hill scores more than 10 points.

3. Katya Leick is now leading the Suburban East conference in scoring with 18.4 points per game after starting with just six in their loss to Hopkins. She's also second in rebounding and is averaging a double-double so far.

4. Park holds a slight advantage in rebounds and has more assists and blocks than South, so team play will likely factor into this game.

5. Trivia of the day: Park fans and Minnesota fans are well-aware that Jackie Voigt graduated from Park this spring.

Wrap-up tomorrow.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Broadcast wrap-up: Cretin-Derham Hall vs. St. Paul Central

I apologize for the delay; I had my last final yesterday and did some housekeeping things with footage I taped last spring, among other things.

The game was all right. There was some audio issues again with the wireless system, except this time, it didn't pick up at all on our channel. It's not a total loss, although it looks like I'll miss out on a solid interview with Kendra Harris of Cretin-Derham Hall. Parking was difficult; student conferences were held before the game and jammed up all the lots. Tracy and I fed off each other well, although it doesn't appear she will return for future games because of other commitments...the game of commentator musical chairs continues.

Kendra Harris jumped out quickly, scoring the first 10 points for Cretin. The Raiders had an eight-point lead in the first half, only to be usurped by Central, who never looked back once they erased Cretin's early lead. Samantha Robinson-Ricks scored a game-high 16 while Theairra Taylor could only contribute 11. There was a long scoring drought for most of the second half as Central's overall shooting slump carried over from Becker. They'll be in big trouble if they can't work on that, because every team is executing a box-and-one on Theairra Taylor. She's good, but she can't win games by herself. Cretin's 0-5 record is somewhat deceiving with the caliber of teams they faced so far. Don't be surprised if they surge back over the .500 mark.

I'll work on getting this game up quickly; Central needs it for tracking stats.

Next TV game: Minneapolis South vs. Park of Cottage Grove
Monday, December 22nd, 7:30 p.m. at Park

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Broadcast preview: Cretin-Derham Hall vs. Central

Our annual anniversary game is upon us. I apologize for the delay; I'm the middle of two finals, I have one more to take tomorrow morning and then I can call it a semester.

On paper, this game would appear misleading as Central is outrebounding and outscoring Cretin-Derham Hall by considerable margins. However, Cretin has already played three top teams this season: Hill-Murray, Hopkins, and Totino-Grace. By comparison, Central has played just one: Centennial. Even if Cretin does go 0-5 after tonight, don't write them off; they surged last season by winning 11 games over a 13-game period. On the broadcast side of things, our clock camera should return since kids won't mess around with it. This is also the first game of the year where I actually have a partner. Tracy Buford, who called a summer AAU tournament with me, will return to the microphone. I'm also still trying to figure out why one of our cameras appear soft on widescreen mode.


1. Central made just 26% of their field goals in their 43-34 win over a much weaker Becker team Saturday. Central also struggled from the free throw line, going 9 of 22. Theairra Taylor has yet to show improvement from there as well as she's shooting just 56% from the charity stripe.

2. Theairra Taylor has four straight double-doubles, a streak that began against Centennial. She's fifth in the state in scoring with 21.8 points per game.

3. Central is scoring 63.6 points per game as a team, Cretin-Derham Hall is putting up just 48.3 points per game. Cretin will need to step up if they want to win.

4. On Cretin's end, Sally Boland is second in the Suburban East conference in assists with 3.3 per game while Kendra Harris in third in the conference in rebounds with more than eight boards per game.

5. Cretin hasn't beat Central since February 17th, 2004, when the Raiders won a triple-overtime game. For the record, that's a six-game streak.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Schedule change: Minneapolis South vs. Park

Part of the ripple effect caused by the cancellation of our Hopkins games. In its chronological place, we will televise the Minneapolis South-Park (Cottage Grove) game on Monday, December 22nd at Park. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. This one shall be interesting now that South's weakness appears to be exposed and after Park got walloped by Hopkins.

I'm looking to pin down one final game in our schedule to makeup for Roosevelt. As of now, I'm considering their game January 3rd against Eden Prairie. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Broadcast wrap-up: Lakeville North vs. Minneapolis South (and those meddling kids!)

My scoreboard cam was a bust. It worked fine, but I didn't expect kids in the mezzanine during our game. With those curious little minds, they just couldn't stop messing with it. I'm either going to need a bigger battery so I can keep it closer to Heinz or develop another strategy if kids cause problems again. At least it's not vital to our programs. You just won't see a clock for this game. Kids also won't be a problem at our next game in Central; no mezzanine for kids to gather. Someone also set his or her cell phone to play the "communicator" tone from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers whenever a text message was received. Sounded just as clear as the '90s show, which threw me off for a moment.

However, we got a good chunk of interviews before the game, so that should help fill the time. I walked into a couple interviews and planned two more. I felt more comfortable this time around, although it took two takes to tape my open. I also vamped a lot more as I'm starting to analyze and do play-by-play simultaneously, something that was harder to do this time a year ago.

Minneapolis South won 72-57 thanks to 33 points from Tayler Hill. She keeps this up and Ohm's record will be destroyed. Cassie Rochel also logged her 1,000th career point tonight, but was shut down in the 1st half. She came back strong in the 2nd, but Lakeville North had too big a hole to close against the shooting threats of South.

Overall, the result was good, I just need to watch out for my poor little scoreboard camera.

Next TV game:
Cretin-Derham Hall vs. St. Paul Central, December 16th, 7:00 p.m. at Central

Friday, December 5, 2008

Broadcast preview: Lakeville North vs. Minneapolis South

Our second game of the season features a makeup game for Minneapolis South as they play Lakeville North. This will be Lakeville North's only game outside of the Lake League, one of the toughest conferences in Minnesota. Lakeville North was ranked #1 in the preseason by the Star Tribune and the Breakdown while Minneapolis South was ranked #1 by the Associated Press before losing to Hopkins in a "yes, but..." game (South wasn't at full strength for the Pat Paterson tournament).

Lakeville North also returns nine players who played considerable minutes last year. South is still trying to adapt with the departures of Ephesia Holmes and Taquoia Hammick.

We've figured out how to make widescreen work in more ways than one. We'll continue to broadcast games in widescreen, but will offer standard definition versions on DVD as well.

Tonight also marks the first edition of my feature that will now be called...

(Sounds more like basketball terminology versus quick hits)

1. Tayler Hill is averaging 33.3 points per game in three games and is 89 points away from passing Janet Karvonen for third place on the all-time high school scoring list (654 away from Katie Ohm's record)

2. The rest of South's players are averaging just 21 points per game.

3. Defensively, Mallory Cramer appears to be South's defensive specialist in the early going, although she is averaging just 6.3 rebounds per game

4. Cassie Rochel posted a triple-double in Tuesday's win over Bloomington-Kennedy with 32 points, 17 rebounds and 12 blocks. She was the only Lakeville North player to break double digits in that game.

5. Random trivia of the day: Lakeville North was the last team to win back-to-back class AAAA state title prior to St. Paul Central, in 2001 and 2002, as Lakeville (South wasn't added yet).

Wrap-up to come tomorrow.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Scheduling change: Becker Breakdown

Barely one week in the season and we already have our first schedule change in our TV coverage (I wasn't kidding about our "flex pick" model).

After the events of last weekend, we will televise the Lakeville North vs. Minneapolis South game at 6:15 Saturday in Becker. Sources I checked with suggest this should be a good game with Lakeville North returning a boatload of starters against two-time class AAAA state runner-up, now featuring a player in the 3,000-point club.

Look for our new sofa when we return :-p

Programs available for DVD purchase

Autism Part 1 DVD cover

Autism: The Wall That Knows No Limits - Award-winning documentary series providing insights on autism rarely seen in contemporary media. Produced by someone on the spectrum, this series is a wealth of information for anyone seeking to learn about autism.
$15 for one episode, $50 for the complete series (4 episodes)

What Are You DVD cover

What Are You? A Dialogue on Mixed Race - Originally a school assignment, this one-hour documentary explores a population that existed for many years but didn't get much focus until recently. This program examines how a small but growing segment of the population could shift racial and cultural identity. Screened at the 2009 Mixed Roots Film and Literary Festival and will be screened at the inaugural Critical Mixed Race Studies conference at DePaul University. $15

Vices to Verses promo

From Vices to Verses: Featuring Voices Merging - From Vices to Verses: A New Era of Hip Hop and Action is a biannual conference held at the University of Minnesota. The goal is to promote the culture and history of hip-hop, which is often lost in the corporate mainstream representation. In this program, you'll see how the Voices Merging student group absorbed what they witnessed and how their experience will transform them as a group and as individuals. DVD copies come with 14 minutes of bonus footage not seen online or on TV. $15

Machine 2010 highlight promo

Minnesota Machine: 2010 - Geared for Greatness - Join the professional women's football team in their historic 2nd season. Despite several injuries that depleted the roster, the Machine finished 2010 with a 6-3 record and their first division title in franchise history, edging the Iowa Thunder in the Midwest Division of the American Conference. This highlight reel includes clips from the 2010 season and their interview on the cable television show Rollin' and Tumblin' - $15


Silhouettes by RZI Couture - The inaugural breast cancer benefit fashion premiere took place in St. Paul and was met with a fabulous response. All the models were breast cancer survivors or relatives of someone affected by breast cancer and all the clothing was designed by Rosalyn Smaller, owner of RZI Couture and currently fighting breast cancer herself. The TV version features testimonials from the models and co-host Miss Georgia of KMOJ. $10 of every purchase will be donated to RZI Couture to help the breast cancer fight! $15