Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Scheduling Change: Prior Lake vs. Chaska

As you may have guessed, we didn't televise the Central-Johnson game from earlier this week; Central blew Johnson away in a 75-40 win and wouldn't make for a great televised game.

However, we are adding two new teams to our broadcast repertoire; Prior Lake and Chaska. Chaska is currently ranked 3rd in the state in the Maxpreps poll while Prior Lake is #52 despite having a 5-7 record; they've played some tough opponents in the first half of the season. Tip-off is scheduled at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in Chaska.

More to follow, but our Lake Conference coverage will now be up to three teams.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Broadcast wrap-up: Jordan vs. Minneapolis South

I did something new today despite being the play-by-play voice for three seasons; I conducted an interview after the game with three South players. In other words, you'll hear me while I'm in the bleachers and then you'll see me on the court. We could really use a sideline reporter, but I'm used to being the go-getter now.

The game was back and forth, but Tayler Hill nailed a key three while the game was tied at 40 that South used in an 11-2 run that gave them enough of a cushion to win 59-52 over Jordan. Chambers and Dietel were solid for Jordan, but they couldn't keep up with South's speed. Tayler Hill did her part, coming alive in the second half, but South could have won by more if it wasn't for several miscues on offense. Three charges (two on Hill) and several traveling violations wiped away easy baskets. Somewhat uncharacteristic of South, but Maple Grove and Hopkins already proved they're not invincible. I strained my vocal chords with the exciting highlights from Chambers and Hill though. Great game, perhaps the best of the season.

I'm also surprised there wasn't a bigger crowd for South. The game was before both NFL playoff games today, although I was told it wasn't highly publicized. When you can bring a top team in, promoting that fact can really bring in the home crowd.

I'm in a bit of a bind regarding the next TV game. Johnson is going backwards and Highland Park still can't beat a good team (including a two-point loss to Roosevelt, who wasn't at full strength), so it appears Central will win the conference title again as long as they don't get cocky. I'm eyeing their road match against Minnetonka on January 24th, but I will provide an update as soon as I can get confirmation.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Broadcast preview: Jordan vs. Minneapolis South

Jordan makes their first of two Minneapolis stops this season with a game against South, their second class AAAA opponent of the year. Jordan is coming off a win over #1AAA New Prague while South won a big game against #4 (Maxpreps) Eden Prairie. Both teams can hang with the top teams in the state, which could set up fireworks for their meeting against each other.

On the broadcast side of things, I'm starting to wonder how viable this can be in the future. I don't have any problems calling games solo as I've done for most of the season, and my colleagues all have other commitments, but I wonder if it's really a sign telling me how much interest there truly is in girls basketball and/or announcing. I know I'm not the only one who cares about this, but I think I may be in a small pool.


1. Tayler Hill is sitting at 3,368 points, 326 points behind Katie Ohm's all-time record. She has already claimed second place, passing Megan Taylor's career total of 3,300.

2. Neither Brittany Chambers or Tayler Hill have scored below double digits this season. Chambers' lowest total was 12 against New Prague while Hill has still yet to score below 20. Her lowest total was 21 points against Hopkins at the Dick's Sporting Goods tournament.

3. South is still lacking in support, with Tyisha Smith and Ameshia Kearney averaging just over 10 points per game, part of that helped by playing two weak teams in the Minneapolis City Conference. Hill can't win games by herself.

4. Jordan isn't loaded with basketball players, but all-around athletes. Most of the team played on this year's volleyball team, who won the class AA title.

5. About a quarter of Hill's points are coming from the free throw line, where she's averaging 79% as a free throw shooter. She leads the state in free throw points and free throw attempts.

Wrap-up to follow.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Wrap-ups: South vs. Park and Eden Prairie vs. Roosevelt

I apologize for not posting sooner, I was home for the holidays and spent some time catching up with the family, and I had issues getting a hold of Roosevelt's staff for the green light to televise their game with Eden Prairie. Fortunately, the game worked out, but a two-man referee crew proved to be problematic with our floor cameraman. One of them apparently made a stink about him being down there. There should be a three-man crew at every game, but I can't control that.

The Minneapolis South-Park (Cottage Grove) game turned out well, although a guardrail prevented my overhead cameraman from getting shots on the baseline. If we go there again, we may try to move up; I like a clear shot of the entire court because you never know when you'll need that space. South blew away Park, who was no match for South after the 2nd half started.

On an interesting note, Jackie Voigt was there, but said she wasn't allowed to talk to reporters while Brianna Mastey, another freshman, had no problem talking to me on my visit to Becker for the Tip-Off Classic. I didn't have that problem with Pam Borton, Gopher women's basketball head coach, either. Perhaps there's something I'm not aware of or something I did that I wasn't supposed to do. Perhaps it's individual preference. My nerves are slowly fading, although I was thinking too much about avoiding questions Borton could not answer in my four-minute chat with her at Becker. In any case, I haven't received calls or e-mails telling me I'm in trouble, so I won't fret unless that happens.

On Eden Prairie and Minneapolis Roosevelt, I worked with Brandon Jones, who made his broadcasting debut for high school sports. It took a little while to establish roles, but I thought he was poised and prepared to handle the responsibilities. I'd definitely work with him again, simply because many of the mistakes were likely caused by his lack of experience in calling a game while I've been at this for three seasons. Eden Prairie could be a dark horse for class AAAA, already beating Central and Osseo with a 7-2 record so far. Their depth is their advantage. Roosevelt played good defense, but shooting was their Achilles' heel in a 79-59 win for the Eagles. We'll see what changes are made when Boler is ready to play, which should be soon. They're not bad without her, but she'll add some much needed help with depth when she does suit up. Overall, I wish I could have better prepared for this game, but I thought it turned out all right.

South will be our next stop, and our sixth different location in as many games (Hamline, Becker, Central, Park, Roosevelt were the first five) before we make a repeat stop at Central and Roosevelt. I definitely like the expanded coverage we're doing this season, giving more teams a share of the pie.

Next TV game:
Jordan vs. Minneapolis South @ South, 1:00 p.m.
Will broadcast on SPNN channel 15 and YouTube

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