Sunday , 17 December 2017

Mike Bruu: North Basketball, International Bowl & ‘A.H.S’ Season Finale

By Mike Bruu, TSB Sports Editor

1. If the first four weeks of the sports world in 2013 have showed us anything, it is that this will be the year of make-believe girlfriends, championship sabotage, and the OWN Network. Don’t try and tell me you haven’t gone by that channel once or twice since the Lance Armstrong interview now that you know you have it in your channel listings. I won’t believe you. Let’s talk sports.

2. Congrats to the McKinney North Lady Bulldog basketball team, who clinched a playoff berth with their home win versus Lovejoy on Tuesday night. The Lady Bulldogs are the first MISD team to make the basketball postseason and are in prime position to secure the District 13-4A championship with four games remaining. After Friday night’s road game versus Wylie, who is currently tied for second with Lovejoy at 7-3, North will return home to face Greenville and Wylie East before finishing the season on the road at Denison. The combined district records of the Lady Bulldogs final three opponents: 5-25. Road seems pretty easy after Friday night, huh?

Now in the Lady Bulldogs’ first meeting with Wylie, they escaped with a 51-49 victory back on Dec. 21. In that game North trailed 20-17 at halftime, marking the only time in district play that the Lady Bulldogs had trailed after 16 minutes. But despite being outscored again in the third quarter to trail 38-33 entering the final quarter, North prevailed with a 18-11 fourth quarter to take the two point win after Amy Kleynhans hit the go ahead basketball late in the ballgame.

Sophomore Chanterria Jackson finished with a team-high 15 points in the game, and North will likely need another stellar performance from their forward in order to hold off the feisty Lady Pirates. If there was ever a week to play Wylie it would be this one, considering the start to the week Jackson had on Tuesday night versus Lovejoy. She finished with 25 points and was a defensive nightmare for the Lady Leopards, one of the main reasons why Lovejoy turned the ball over 30 times. After senior Alexis Mason won Dallas Morning News player of the week last week, Jackson could make it back-to-back Lady Bulldogs with another performance on Friday night.

If North can overcome Wylie and 1-9 Denison can somehow take down Lovejoy on the road, the Lady Bulldogs can celebrate a district title over the weekend. But after Friday night for the blue and orange, the final three games are against teams that the Lady Bulldogs have outscored 206-111.

3. As for the boys basketball team at North, the 42-25 loss versus Lovejoy had the Bulldogs “soul-searching” last night, according to head coach Darryll Craft. Despite the 6-2 district record and a one-game advantage over Royse City for second place, the Bulldogs will look drastically different in the second-half of the season with the loss of Julion Pearre. Pearre, who was averaging 11 points per game in district play, suffered an ankle injury in the win at Royse City last Friday night and may not return to the court this season. While the Bulldogs never truly had a true big man to post up on the low block, Pearre was as close as the team got while also helping on the defensive end of the floor, often times guarding the oppositions leading scorer.

While the 13-4A title looks to be Lovejoy’s to lose at this point with just six games remaining, North will have to take a dramatic fall over the next three weeks to miss the postseason. In terms of the other teams in 13-4A, Greenville, Wylie East, and Denison all sit at least two games back of fourth place Wylie and Sherman, both of which are 4-4. Unless there is a drastic turnaround with those three programs, it appears the final three playoff spots out of the district will be filled by either North, Royse City (5-3), Wylie, and Sherman, (of course this is under the assumption Lovejoy wins the district). Fun things are happening in District 13-4A, my friends.

4. Since this week is a week of congratulations in the column, a warm congrats goes out to McKinney High’s T.V. Williams and David Tachle who were both selected to participate in the U-18 International Bowl between the U.S.A and Canada. This is the inaugural bowl between the two countries and both players were selected “based on outstanding football skill, leadership, and character,” according to U.S.A Football. I will have future details and information from both players in the upcoming weeks, but congratulations to the two Lions for a well-earned honor.

5. I have been following Johnny Manziel, a.k.a. Johnny Football, on Twitter for the past month, and I have one question about the Heisman Trophy winning Aggie: does the kid actually ever go to class? Seriously, while he might be one of the most entertaining and wheels-off follows one can have on Twitter, the dude must take online classes exclusively because he is either at sporting events or hanging out with Rick Ross at clubs. So in conclusion, follow Johnny Football on Twitter if you want some giggles.

6. After watching both the McKinney High and Boyd boys basketball teams on several occasions this season, I am completely stunned that both teams have combined for a 1-7 start to district play, with the lone win coming when the Lions topped the Broncos last week. I don’t mean to appear like a homer here, but that tells me that District 10-5A is just an absolute beast of a district, more than both teams not being very good. I have seen the Broncos almost 10 times this winter, and while they can be handled a bit in the paint with bigger size and have to rely a bit much on the perimeter game, that team is a feisty group to contend with over four quarters. Boyd has lost all four district games by a combined 22 points, the largest deficit (8) coming at Plano East who is state ranked and in first place with a 4-0 mark.

Boyd will face Plano (1-3) on Friday night, a team tied with McKinney High for the fourth and final playoff spot in the district. With six games remaining in district play, it appears as though there is a clear separation between the six schools. Plano East, Plano West, and Allen are cruising with a combined record of 10-2, while MHS, Plano, and Boyd are a mediocre 2-10 in district play. So, despite the 0-4 start for the Broncos, a win Friday night on your home court versus the Wildcats would put them right back in the playoff race.

7. By the way, TSB’s Games of the Week will be McKinney hosting Plano East this Friday night at MHS. The girls game tips off at 6 p.m. and the boys game will follow at 7:30 p.m. Both games are important for the McKinney teams, as the Lionettes and Lady Panthers are tied for third place in 10-5A at 2-4, while the Lions could pick up a huge win by upsetting the TABC No. 4 ranked Plano East Panthers at home.

8. American Horror Story came to a conclusion on Wednesday night, marking the end of one of the strangest yet addicting television seasons I have ever endured. After a phenomenal season one, the Asylum season promised to be better than its predecessor, and boy did that not come true. I am not saying that I didn’t enjoy the story and wasn’t mesmerized by the insane story twists on a weekly basis, but my high expectations for the second campaign of AHS were very rarely met.

9. If you want a full review of FOX’s new show The Following, which premiered on Monday night, check out The Sports Bruu Podcast next Monday to hear Steve and I recap what some are calling TV’s “best” new drama.

10. Does anyone still watch Maria Sharapova play tennis with the sound on? If only every job in life can be done with loud and obnoxious grunting noises, this world wouldn’t be so messed up. Also, I love the Australian Open, because those 2 a.m. sleepless nights can now be filled with live action tennis.

11. I hope to see a lot of you out at the East-MHS basketball games tomorrow night, but if you cannot attend the game make sure you check out TSB for a full recap and game story. Until next time, ladies and gentlemen.

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