By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor
1. Last week we started with four playoff bound teams in MISD basketball, and now we enter Friday night’s action with just one team remaining. That one team is the McKinney North Bulldog boys team, who rolled over Texarkana Texas 66-45 on Monday night in Paris. North will now face Jacksonville in the Area round on Friday night at Rains High School in Emory, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The Indians were able to hold of Lancaster in the Bi-district round, winning 63-63 in overtime.
The Bulldogs played a little different style of offense in the win versus Texas High, driving the line and scoring in the paint rather than relying on their three-point game. In fact, 45% of their points came inside the paint, while North needed just five three-pointers to come away with a playoff win.
Having the capability of getting the ball inside and scoring against some size will go a long way in keeping the Bulldogs playoff run alive for another game. Not only does that wear down the post players on the opposing defense, but with the explosive perimeter game that North has with nearly every guard on the roster, the three-point attempts become less and less contested because the defense has to respect the inside game.
You can read a full game story on the North-Jacksonville game on TSB early Saturday morning, plus check out my feature story on the Bulldogs’s season and their preparations for the Area Round by clicking here.
2. Last night in Garland, the Boyd Bronco basketball team had their historic season end in the hands of Richardson Berkner, who won 59-48 in the Bi-district round game. For a program that had never experienced a playoff atmosphere before, the Broncos certainly didn’t seem to be bothered by it.
Boyd hung around in the game for three quarters before the Rams pulled away in the fourth quarter by getting to the free throw line 18 times. In the end, Soma Edo and the size of the Rams proved to be too much for the Broncos. When the two teams met in non-district action back in December, Edo, a Fresno State signee, was held to just 12 points as the Broncos won 58-50.
On Tuesday night, Edo led the Rams with 16 points and was a factor in the paint, often times standing for well over three seconds in the lane without being called. Not only did Edo have a much better game in the second meeting, but also two players for Boyd who had exceptional games in December didn’t have a good playoff debut.
On Dec. 4, Martez Butler and Faisal Mansour combined to score 25 points in the Broncos’ win. On Tuesday night, Mansour had just three points while Butler was held scoreless and ultimately fouled out of the game late in the fourth quarter. When you factor those two differences in the equation, coupled with the fact that Berkner had not lost since Dec. 28 versus Plano East in the Whataburger Tournament, it just wasn’t the Broncos night.
3. Since the basketball regular season has come and gone, it is time to give out my first-ever awards and name my inaugural All-McKinney teams. Most of the awards and the All-McKinney teams will be unveiled on Friday right here on TSB, but the MVP awards will be given out next Friday as to build the anticipation for another week. But because I don’t like to keep you all hanging like that, here are the six nominees for the TSB Most Valuable Player Award for both the boys and girls:
• Mikel Parish – Boyd
Parish had another exceptional year for the Broncos, averaging 10 points per game in district play while being the unquestioned leader for the team. He led the Broncos with 17 points in the program’s first playoff game versus Berkner.
• Raynell Denny – MHS
Denny averaged 14.5 PPG and 12.4 rebounds per game for the Lions, leading the team with 372 rebounds and finishing second in points with 436.
• Red Shannon – MHS
The senior guard averaged 16.4 PPG and 6.5 assists per game for the Lions, finishing off a stellar career at McKinney. Shannon was the leading scorer for the Lions in nine of their 10 district games.
• Faisal Mansour – Boyd
In the four district wins, Mansour averaged 7.3 PPG for the Broncos that included a 17-point performance versus crosstown rival McKinney. Also, in 14 wins this season that Mansour scored in, he averaged 10 PPG.
• Colin Curran – North
The junior sharp shooter averaged nearly 14 PPG in District 13-4A this season, becoming an important offensive weapon for the Bulldogs from the perimeter.
• Julion Pearre – North
Despite missing four games with an ankle injury, that included back-to-back losses in Jan. to Lovejoy and Wylie, Pearre averaged nearly 14 PPG for the Bulldogs. Pearre could pull up and shoot a mid-range jumper or drive to the hoop, not to mention one of the team’s top defensive players.
• Alexis Mason – North
Mason led the Lady Bulldogs with 543 points and 144 assists this season, becoming one of the area’s top point guards. She set several scoring and defensive records while at North, including the school’s career scoring record when she scored 10 points in a win versus Greenville on Jan. 5.
• Chanterria Jackson – North
Jackson averaged 13.6 PPG and 7.5 RPG, giving the Lady Bulldogs length and size in the post that created matchups throughout district play. She was a key defensive player for a North defense that was the best in District 13-4A.
• Julia Hendrieth – Boyd
The senior post player averaged 14 PPG for the Lady Broncos in district play, becoming the leader and most important player for Boyd.
• Haley Carruthers – Boyd
Carruthers had an exceptional year for Boyd, averaging over 10 PPG in district play while distributing the ball well as the team’s point guard.
• Mariah Mitchell – MHS
Mitchell was the unquestioned leader for the Lionettes squad that snuck into the postseason, averaging 19.6 PPG and 6.3 RPG. She scored 259 more points than any other player on the team, finishing with 529 points on the season.
• Jazsmin Nelson – MHS
Nelson finished second on the team in scoring with 270 points, averaging 10 PPG for the Lionettes. She also grabbed six RPG and was a defensive weapon for McKinney.
4. There you have it folks, your 2013 nominees for the TSB Most Valuable Player Awards. I have to say that some selections were harder to make than others, as several teams had three or four players who could have walked away with the nomination. As for other awards like Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, and the Coach of the Year, not to mention the All-McKinney teams, those will all be announced on Friday. So I guess you have a reason to come back now, if you didn’t have one already.
5. Random thought of the week: If I see one more Harlem Shake video, I am seriously going to lose it. Sometimes my generation can be so unbelievably ridiculous.
6. Solid debut album for Atlas Genius, if I do say so myself. If you like new wave- sounding alternative rock, A.G. and their album When It Was Now are worth a good listen.
7. All four boys basketballs teams from District 13-4A advanced to the Area round earlier this week, with the highlight being the No. 4 seed Sherman upsetting No. 1 seed Marshall. Oh, playoff basketball. That is why we love and hate you all at the same time.
8. Yay for Spring Training baseball. If you love Triple-A prospects, split squad games, and seeing a infield full of players with numbers greater than 60, Friday can’t get here soon enough.
9. It was good talking to all of you for another week here on TSB. Remember to check out those basketball awards on Friday, and let the great debate begin on who should be the TSB Basketball MVP for the boys and girls teams. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.