April 10, 2012, 10:40 am
If you didn't catch our season preview earlier this month, the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies are the team to beat this year in the 5A SIC. With a balanced lineup 1-9 and a solid pitching staff, they are the most complete team right now, but that doesn't always translate into a State Championship. They suffered their first defeat of the season last week against Meridian and have a tough game on their hands tonight as they will play the Capital Eagles. For the Eagles and head coach Jerry Hollow, its all about pitching. They have two guys that can throw over 85 mph with a solid bullpen to shut the door in tight games. This game will be a huge test for Rocky Mountain to try and distance themselves in the standings from everyone else.
A team on the move in the standings is the Meridian Warriors. As previously noted, they were the first squad to beat Rocky and they followed it up with a 5-2 win last night over Mountain View. Down 2-0 going into the bottom of the 6th, the Warriors used a big 5 run inning to complete the win. As for Mountain View, they are very young, but steadily improving. Tonight, it will be important for them to protect their home field to earn a split against Meridian.
After a slow start, the Eagle Mustangs are starting to find their groove. Much like Capital, Eagle has a very strong pitching staff led by future Oregon Duck, Brandon Brown. Brown was a tough luck pitcher his first few times out as he did not receive much run support, but he battled through that and threw his 3rd no-hitter in High School last week in a win over Borah. The Mustangs followed that up last night by defeating Centennial 15-5 to improve to 7-2 in the SIC. The two teams will play again tonight and it will be tough for the Patriots to regroup considering they lost with their ace, EJ Leitzinger, on the hill last night.
Another team breathing down Rocky Mountain's neck is the Timberline Wolves. Timberline defeated Vallivue in two close games over the weekend using dominate pitching and continued that trend yesterday defeating Borah 1-0 behind Cody Price. The versatile junior improved to 5-0 on the season and has become one of the best pitchers in the SIC. Borah is a young team that is in a tough stretch of games, but will look to build some momentum tonight at home against the Wolves.
Two teams looking up at everyone else in the standings are Boise and Vallivue. The Braves have been hovering around the .500 mark all year while Vallivue has not won a conference game to date.
February 6, 2012, 11:30 am
After getting their lead up to 8, the Patriots were the ones that missed out on opportunities in the 2nd half with plenty of dropped balls (one by the always sure-handed Wes Welker) and the Giants did their part in taking advantage. Believe it or not, the unit that surprised everyone yesterday was the Patriots defense. They absolutely exceeded everyones expectations after getting bashed for two weeks and they held the Giants to just two offensive touchdowns. It was the mighty Patriot offense that sputtered throughout the game and in turn, cost them a championship. A lot of this has to do with the hype surrounding the game, but I am not sure it lived up to many people's expectations. The 4th quarter was exciting, but it seemed both teams took forever to get settled in.
Now that football is officially over, it is time as a sports fan to devote all your attention to college and high school basketball. There are plenty of compelling college basketball matchups this week, most of which you can listen to on 630 The Fan. High School Basketball in the Treasure Valley is nearing tournament time where we will eventually crown some more State Champions.
Here is a quick recap of what happened in the 5A SIC over the weekend. The Borah Lions clinched the outright conference title by beating Rocky Mountain and now have two games to rest up and get healthy before the district tournament. Centennial got back on track by beating Capital and because of Mountain View losing to Eagle, the Patriots and Mavericks are tied again in 2nd place with just two games remaining. (Mountain View holds the tiebreaker) Boise barely beat Meridian over the weekend and it is looking like Jeff Ulrickson's team will be the #5 seed in the District Tournament. Finally, Vallivue kept on rolling as they beat Timberline over the weekend all but securing the Falcons spot in the District Tournament.
April 9, 2012, 1:34 pm
Its difficult to pick a single storyline that stuck out during the last four days, but the most asked question had to be: what happened to Tiger? Woods came into this tournament with all the momentum in the world with a win at Bay Hill and two weeks to prepare for the most important golf tournament of the year. According to oddsmakers around the world, he came in as the favorite and for good reason. However, he never got anything rolling and his tantrum on Friday turned out to be the biggest story of the weekend. After a miserable shot on the par-3 16th, Tiger threw his club and kicked it 15 yards sending everyone to conclusions that he is not even close to being "back" at all. The typical saying of one step forward and two steps behind applies perfectly to Tiger and your guess is as good as mine determining when he will officially be "back" on top.
With all of the drama surrounding Tiger and Phil, it seems that everyone is forgetting about Rory McIlroy's collapse on Saturday. Considered another pre-tournament favorite, McIlroy shot a miserable front nine on Saturday taking him out of contention for the weekend, so why is everyone talking about Tiger and not Rory's collapse? In my eyes, it was actually worse than what Tiger did due to the fact that Rory played solid on Thursday and Friday and was legitimately in contention heading into the weekend.
Let's be honest, the triple bogey on #4 for Phil Mickelson opened up the door for everyone else to seize control of this tournament and Phil could never recover. After his debacle, it seemed to be a two man tournament between Bubba Watson and Louis Oosthuizen. It was only fitting that they were paired together and ended up going to a playoff to determine who won the green jacket.
In the end, how can you not root for Bubba Watson as he is genuinely one of the "good guys" in golf and someone that every fan can root for. However, despite the drama on Sunday, TV ratings were down 22 percent from last year and one can only wonder if that was due to the fact Tiger was out of contention very early.
Tune into the show this week for exclusive High School Baseball coverage here in the Treasure Valley as well as Spring football talk with the Broncos and the Vandals.
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February 3, 2012, 1:47 pm
The Borah Lions just keep on rolling on and may have avoided their final hurdle to ending the conference season with 17 straight wins as they blew past Boise High in the 2nd half on Wednesday. If there is a knock against Borah, its their lack of depth as they don't have a true 6th man that they can rely on for scoring. Tonight, they will welcome in the Rocky Mountain Grizzlies who have won 3 of their last 4 contests. Rocky is looking to regroup after getting beat by 20 at Vallivue on Wednesday night.
The most intriguing matchup of the night is Timberline at Vallivue. The Wolves responded on Wednesday by beating Eagle on the road, but who knows what team will show up on a given night. Jarid Downey hasn't quite been the same after he missed the Mountain View game and if the Wolves want to make it to the Idaho Center, they will need him to return to his normal self. Vallivue is fighting to still make it in the District Tournament, and on a night where they will honor their senior class, they will look to avenge a narrow defeat that Timberline gave them a few weekends ago.
The Boise Braves look to end a mini two game losing streak tonight as they travel to Meridian to take on the Warriors. It has been well documented on the show that Meridian is a completely different team when they play at home and add on top of it that they are on the outside of the District Tournament picture, look for the Warriors to play with an edge tonight. The Braves need to get their offense clicking again as it was in their win over Mountain View two weeks ago. Joe Simpson was held to just 7 points agains Borah and if they are going to win tonight, he needs to at least get to double figures.
The Centennial Patriots looked like a confused team two nights ago against Mountain View. Not quite the look of a team that was playing their best basketball heading into the District Tournament. Fortunately for the Patriots, they host the Capital Eagles tonight looking to get back on track. The Eagles surprised Timberline last Friday but faltered at Meridian on Wednesday. Capital needs to win out and get some help to have a chance to make the District Tournament, but the story tonight will be how the Patriots respond against a team they should beat.
Keep listening to 630 The Fan for all your local High School Basketball coverage as we will be very busy with District and State Tournaments coming up throughout the next month.
April 4, 2012, 11:52 am
The Wildcats never had a close game the whole NCAA Tournament. I suppose you could say Louisville gave them a scare in the 2nd half of that contest, but Kentucky was never really nervous and seemed in control throughout. The title game was the same story; they held a double digit lead for the majority of the game and when Kansas made one final push the Wildcats made sure to leave no doubt. And if you're wondering about the Wildcat's other games that got them to the final four, they were all laughers.
The same could be said about the Baylor women's basketball team. They rode double digit wins all the way to claiming the trophy last night and with the exception of an impressive 10 minute spurt by Stanford in the National Semifinal, they were never truly tested.
With all of that being said, it begs the question: were either of the NCAA Tournament's exciting? Don't get me wrong, we had our share of close games throughout both tourneys, but what really gets the whole nation amped up is when the top dog is losing at halftime of a game or when they are really on the ropes in the final 3 minutes. As fans, we never got to see that in any tournament and I believe thats part of the reason why some thought this year was a dud as far as comparing it to past tournaments.
Now that both champions have been crowned, its time to turn the page to the world of golf for this weekend before we officially dive into baseball on Monday. Remember, you can listen to the Master's on 630 The Fan from 12-5 PM Thursday-Sunday.