Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Cy Creek caught fire and pushed the lead up to as much as 19 however a Rebecca Douglas three pointer cut it to four (48-44) with a little over four minutes left however Ikpeaku Owebi and Jasmin Cruz went to work on the inside to save the victory.
Haley Deakins got the Cougars going early, she finished with 11 while Calandria King was steady at attacking the basket at will for the Lobos. The Lobos were led by the Martin twins, Cayline (12) Corrine (10) while Owebi led all scorers with 18
Cy Creek is sitting pretty at the moment in District 17-5A. They are in 3rd place as they host tonight's game against Langham Creek. Cy Creek will have Cy Woods and Cy Ranch remaining as they try to hold on to their one game lead over Cy Fair. Langham and Ranch are both at 5-5, one game behind Cy Fair for that final playoff spot. After tonight, Langham has to face Cy Falls and Cy Fair, while Cy Fair has Falls tonight, so this is going to be interesting, especially since Ranch has Jersey Village tonight, then Cy Ridge and closing with Creek.
Seven Lakes has almost assured itself the district crown however they still have to go to Memorial before facing Katy Taylor in the final game of the season, so tonight's match-up between Katy Taylor and Cinco Ranch is important for a number of reasons but realistically thinking, which sometimes doesn't work, this game is about positioning for the playoffs. Katy Taylor was a few points away from the R3-F4 last season and with the core group back, it appeared that might be a possibility however this team hasn't truly recovered from the loss of Amanda Jungwirth
Cinco on the other hand has performed well of late after a "Friendship Game" finish at Sandra Meadows beating Taylor by a lot and losing to Seven Lakes by a little but in another year of "Jekyl-Hyde" performances by area teams, it all boils down to the most important part of season, "Part 3", the playoffs and both teams are capable of pulling off surprises
Monday, January 30, 2012
Johnson has continued her improvement and has steadily moved up the list of super sophomores in the area and standing at 6'0, she brings so much to the table. She is also the younger sister of former Elkins star Chelsea Johnson who at times played post against players taller than her sister and more than held her own which also made her more versatile as she also shot it very well and made it to the next level
Speaking of a next level players, Micheaux was a former star at Hightower and helped #canenation go to state not too long after the school opened. She went on to star at Texas A&M where she helped turn a .500 team into a Top 10 program that made it to the "Big Dance" all four years during her playing days, including an Elite 8 finish. She is also the daughter of former Houston Cougar great Larry who was an original member of Phi Slamma Jamma, you may also remember the name "Mr. Mean". Elkins faces district leader Bush tonight and is one game behind Clements and Austin for that final playoff spot. Ironically Bush has to also play Clements and Austin so they have a bulls eye on their back as those three teams are scrambling for positioning while Bush is trying to stay undefeated and win it's first district title.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
|COURTNEY LATHAM & TAYLOR GILBERT|
I have sayings I repeat over and over and sometimes when people hear things enough, they understand it. "The game starts at the one" and "It's not what you do, it's who you do it against" are the ones I use most frequently however although I don't use "There are basketball players and there are those who play basketball" as much, please note that it's equally if not more important than the other two. Let's backtrack to February 2010 when a freshmen named AJ Alix put Bellaire on her back and guided them to a 20 plus point come from behind victory over Elsik. Bellaire went on to play R-3 Final against Hightower and despite a 40 point performance from "The Real Deal", the Hurricanes advanced to state and finished second against Cy Fair. That loss stuck with the Rams "Big Three" of Porter, Ocanas and Elonu and they started and finished with a bang on their way to state last season. They had something to prove and they made their point, the true mark of basketball players
|TYLER GILBERT & JASMINE PROPHET|
Ironically Hightower found themselves in the same situation this season as they were"UPSET" by Clear Springs in the E-8 last season and like Elsik from the season before, they had proving a point on their minds and with three D1 players over 6'1, Tyler Gilbert, Taylor Gilbert and Jasmine Prophet, the Hurricanes had their sights on having opponents call FEMA but sometimes things just don't happen like they should, especially in sports and it's unfortunate when injuries dictate the outcome. The truly sad part is that 20 years from now, most people won't remember why this or that turned out the way it did. Who am I kidding, 20 days from now many forget however losing Taylor Gilbert to an ACL injury has definitely rearranged my preseason picks as the Hurricanes were supposed to be playing North Shore in the E8 to see who made it to Campbell, North Shore losing Monique Bedford has been equally devastating and it appears that neither team will win district. You hate to see things like this happen but no matter how it turns out, I'll be reaching my prime in 20 years and letting you know what really happened
Saturday, January 28, 2012
We'll revisit my preseason ranks which are somewhat different now as former top teams such as Hightower and North Shore have been dealt major blows by losing D1 players to ACL injuries. We'll also look at who the voters though the top teams would be and it's a little ironic that the team with second fewest votes is actually the top squad in the area
Brooke McCarty helped lead Clear Springs to the area final four last season and it appears they are on their way back again as they are once again healthy and ready to make another run at it and to be honest, Campbell Center is more likely than not. The same can be said for Cy Falls and since these are the top two teams in the area, that's probably the way it should be. The only way Cy Falls doesn't make it is if they lose at home February 7th to Cy Woods when they go to the other side and would have a much tougher time facing Bellaire and then Elsik to see who the representative would be, but again they are the top team in R3. The last spot is up for grabs, well actually the last two, North Shore made it last season however losing Monique Bedford in December for the season hit hard and how bad Courtney Williams injury in last nights loss to Channelview will tell the tale. Elsik ,Bellaire and Cy Woods will be a dogfight.
Friday, January 27, 2012
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Relatively unknown Taylor Overshon's brilliant offensive performance in the first half against Elsik in front of numerous college coaches shows the importance of knowing exactly who and where the "players" are and this Eisenhower senior is only one of a number of outstanding players that are still available and can play somewhere at the next level. Need more info, contact me by email, email@example.com or you can subscribe online to the GPR Scouting Service
It's funny how time flies and you see these young players grow up right before your eyes year after year. No matter how different the players are each season coming in, one thing that's for sure is because you were among the best in middle school doesn't always mean by the time it's all said and done that will be the case. I've seen outstanding players enter high school and their careers end or detour due to injuries, I've seen players choose another sport entirely, I've seen players freeze up or quit because they were pushed maybe a little too hard by the powers that be but more times than not, this stuff catches up and the strength, speed and understanding of the game has it's own way of evening things out, especially when you don't work on your weaknesses. The Goss twins head into Katy while Kiara Mc Elroy heads to Cy Fair, how good they wind up is truly up to them but right now potential is definitely there as well as for many other players. The three players who are at the top of the heap right now can viewed on the GPR website and the Texas Class of 2016 has can't miss players galore, remember this name, AMBER RAMIREZ from San Antonio!
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
If you haven't comprehended my saying over and over that the game starts at the one, then you will never be GURU certified and probably didn't have an SAT score of over 1500 like Jasmine Ocanas. The 2012 class of area basketball players mirrors the 2005 class in a number of ways, both had great kids who were great players and now I'm also seeing quite a number of great students. I saw Jasmine while she was in middle school and playing with the Houston Angels and had they stayed together, they would have been a team that could have competed on the national level. This young lady was completely under the radar as she had moved in from Dallas however 4 three pointers from around the timeline later let me know I needed to keep an eye on her and I have done exactly that
Ocanas is about to finish her star studded career at Elsik where she will have made not only all district four straight seasons, she has also been named Houston Chronicle All Greater Houston along with a couple of All Region Teams however to solidify her ability on the court, she was also one of my original Top 20 in the area for this class and when the "GURU" puts his stamp of approval on a player, he has documentation, well in my head, ready to support just why I say this or that and for this young lady to still be unsigned is a mystery to me. Throw out the all whatever teams, that can sometimes be as misleading as being nominated for this team or that team and that's the truth!
What's also the truth is she is the point guard on the defending Region 3 Champion and let's back track on her mindset. In her sophomore year, Jasmine's season ended in the Elite 8 after Bellaire came back from a 20 plus point deficit to win the game. We talked about it a few times and she assured me that wouldn't happen again. Jasmine isn't the flashiest or fastest point guard around, she knows that and what she also knew was whatever decencies she had in her game, she needed to improve on and that work ethic paid off. Opening day, they build up a 20 plus point lead on Bellaire and expand it as they not only won but sent a message heard around the city, or was it a fluke? After knocking off Cy Woods in the Elite 8, they defeated not only Clear Springs, who had lost only once until that point, but also North Shore for a trip to state
With all that being said, my "it's not what you do it's who you do it against" seems like the perfect closing however I'll end it with this. Yes, she is unsigned but with a 1500 score and a resume that shows she can run a team, that will be a blur before you know it
More on Elsik
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Memorial's Olivia Podaras started the season off with a bang before Ellen Anderson's return from volleyball then she suffered a freak injury. After she healed, it took her a little time to get back in the groove however she picked where she left off and started putting up numbers again ironically after Anderson suffered a minor injury. Now both young ladies are healthy which is bad news for 19-5A as they prepare to make a run for 2nd place in district starting tonight against Cinco Ranch, Friday night against Katy Taylor and next Friday against Seven Lakes and all are at home. Their three district losses have been to those three teams on the road, so this is a chance to make the district interesting
Elsik's Big Three of Jasmine Oconas, Akunna Elonu and Crystal Porter have never lost a district game and they can clinch their 4th straight district title tonight as they travel to Eisenhower. Story on Ocanas coming this week, stay tuned
click here for more on The Woodlands. After tonight, the only district championships left up in the air will be District 17 which will feature Cy Woods heading to Cy Falls on February 7th and District 20 when Bellaire plays Westside @ Butler Stadium on February 10th and a s/o to Archie Bell and the Drells for the title, 45th anniversary !!!!
Monday, January 23, 2012
Rice jumped out to a 14-6 lead and a five minute score drought for Southern Mississippi after that found the Owls up 21-8 as they cruised to a 72-43 victory. Brianna Hypolite led the Owls with 14 points while Jessica Kuster added 13. Rice had balanced scoring throughout the game as three players ended the half with 7 points and one with 5 as they went into the half up 30-21
Amenemope McKinney and Jessica Goswitz added 9 each for the Owls. McKinney showed flashes of what I watched her do growing up with several acrobatic moves to the basket. She and Ashley Fontinette put on one of the most memorable exhibitions of head to head action I have ever seen from back in the day as both scored close to 40 a few years back
Jameirra Faulkner (13) and Tanecka Carey (11) led Southern Miss in scoring. Faulkner went into the press table hard after a loose ball and had to sit for around 6 minutes however was visibly shaken when she returned to the game. Saw a lot of impressive freshmen hit the floor for the Owls and as I've said before about the area college teams and their very young talent, the future looks bright in the city.
Speaking of bright in the city, two young stars from two of the top teams were in attendance. Carol Willie from Cy Falls, the #2 team in the area, was checking the action out with her mom and cousin. Willie is one of the top posts in the Class of 2013 and will be a key part in how far the Eagles fly
2015 Adriiana Jackson was also in attendance with her parents. Jackson runs the point for North Shore and has done a more than admirable job. She is also one of the top players in her class and even though she's only 5'0 tall, she's shown that doesn't matter and I'm sure her watching another 5'0 guard, D'Franz Smart, take care of business for the Owls, she knows how far hard work can take you
Sunday, January 22, 2012
Let's backtrack just a little to last seasons R3-4A semifinal game at Campbell Center. Manvel was making it's first Final 4 appearance against state ranked Huntsville featuring Texas signee Ronisha Major. The odds were that this game would be a blowout and only a stepping stone for the championship game between Huntsville and Ozen however no one seemed to tell Jade Castille who put on one of the best offensive shows in Campbell Regional 4A history. Manvel actually led for most of the game in their 63-55 loss however a late game injury to Castille took some of the steam from the team. Though banged up, Jade continued to hit shots from just about every imaginable angle to finish the game with 30 points as she limped off the court, well she was limping the last 8 minutes of the game
Those injuries multiplied throughout the summer however Castille continued fighting through them because that's just her character, she loves to play the game and she gives it her all every time she's on the floor. Fast forward to the school season when the pain was just too much to take any longer and she finally had to rest and heal properly which will be a good thing for the Mavericks once the playoffs begin. This season Manvel added Brianna Turner who is either the top or among the top three players in the country depending on who you ask for the 2014 class along with Jordan Hosey, who I don't need to ask anyone else because I know she is one of the top 2015 players in the country. That duo has been a force this season knocking off several 5A teams along the way including last seasons R3 representative Elsik.
The two games that they have lost have been to Dekaney, the top team in the area and Irving MacArthur, last seasons state champion in 5A. Castille played sparingly in those two losses however her offense would have helped take some of the heat off of the "Dynamic Duo". Numbers can be deceiving, Castille is averaging almost 10 points per game despite playing only a few minutes in most of the games early in the season. How much was her offense missed? Well she leads the team in three pointers despite the injuries and limited playing time on her way back and Friday night, she showed she was back on track scoring 16 points and with her near 100%, Manvel may just get out of here. BTW, she is still unsigned!!!!!
Saturday, January 21, 2012
Rachel Arthur has been a key part of Atascocita's success since her sophomore season when the team elevated their status to one of the areas best. Along the way, she was known for her outside shooting but over this past summer her defense caught the eye of many college coaches. When school ball started this season she showed she could run the point as well while Curtyce Knox was recovering from an ACL injury. Arthur has been on a tear since December averaging around 15 ppg and the poise she has shown on the court shows how complete her game has become. I just spoke to her dad William who confirmed she will be attending Houston Baptist University next season. He said " She weighed her options and this was the best fit for her. It's a great school and it's also close to home". I agree and I also expect Rachel to step right in and contribute next season. Congratulations!
|CRYSTAL PORTER JASMINE OCANAS AKUNNA ELONU|
They are still the defending R-3 5A champions and at times have looked like they may be able to pull it off again. With all three starters being name to either Pre or Post-season All Greater Houston teams, it's kind of hard to believe that they are still available. All three are next level players and were among my GPR Top 30 so when I say U.T.R., that's guru talk for "under the radar", it certainly applies to these young ladies as they definitely can help some programs at different levels. Tuesday night they travel to Eisenhower to clinch the title.
With everything taking form, the playoff brackets on who the number teams from each district can be filled in with ink, well in most districts. Here's s Guru fact that you won't hear about anywhere else. Since 2008, there have been six district winners that lost in the first round to fourth place teams, so nothing is set in stone
Clear Creek lost to Hightower
Eisenhower lost to Lamar
Humble lost to La Porte
Deer Park lost to Baytown Sterling
Clear Creek lost to Elkins
Deer Park lost to Memorial
There is a difference between being called a Top 100 player and being a legitimate Top 100 player, so many things play into the situation but that's another blog. I said Seven Lakes led by Christen Inman would be in charge of their own destiny this season and their 38-32 victory over Cinco Ranch all but clinched the Spartans first ever district title. Inman scored 23 of the teams 38 points and this is what Top 100 players do, put their teams on their backs when they have to. In the first quarter the Spartans led 10-9, Inman had half of their points and at halftime it was 19 all, Inman with 12. To be honest, I didn't expect the game to be this close as Seven Lakes had more of a team offensive balance in their first two meetings however Cinco Ranch has found out that their showing in the Sandra Meadows Classic is the past and they appear to be riding on momentum from their Katy Taylor victory which may make for some interesting happenings in the playoffs. Angie Moore led Cinco with 14 points
Dani Fielder is already one of the the top 2013 players in Houston, the question is how does she fit in against the tops in Texas and if last night was any indication on what to expect over the summer, well stay tuned. I knew Cy Creek would win the game against Jersey Village, that was no brainer however they now have placed themselves in a pretty good position for the playoffs in 17-5A
Fielder led Creek with 16 points however Jazmine Cruz got them going early with an array of baskets around the rim finishing with 13 and her sister brought the house down before the game singing the national anthem. Brynae Thompson led Jersey Village with 11. Okay here's the deal, Cy Falls and Cy Woods remain 8-0, district will be decided on February 7th. Cy Ranch and Cy Creek are now tied for 3rd at 5-3 after Ranch lost again to Cy Fair in district. Ranch has to play both Cy Falls and Cy Woods and face Cy Creek at home the last game of the season which may be for a spot. Langham Creek and Cy Fair both won last night and are a game behind for the final playoff spot at 4-4
Friday, January 20, 2012
Mark your calendars for February 7, that's when Cy Woods plays Cy Falls for the district championship as both will likely be undefeated in district play. Not only are these the two toughest teams in the district, it's possible both could make the Regional Final 4, after all last seasons second place Woods upset Bellaire in the Sweet 16 and almost pulled a double whammy losing to eventual R-3 winner Elsik 60-54 in the Elite 8. These two teams will be 1 and 2, that's a given however what happens with the next two playoff spots is still, well up in the air
Right now, Cy Ranch is 5-2 and in third place while Cy Creek is right behind them at 4-3. Then you four teams at 3-4, Langham Creek, Cy Fair, Cy Ridge and Cy Springs, all fighting for a playoff spot. Things will change tonight as some of those fighting go head to head like Langham Creek hosting Cy Springs. Another game of interest has Cy Fair on the road against Cy Ranch, the Bobcats defeated Cy Ranch 35-34 the first time around to give them one of their two losses, the other was to Cy Falls
Thursday, January 19, 2012
I enjoy talking basketball with people who know and understand the game and I remember having a conversation with the late Ball High Coach David Jones about a middle school ballplayer that would be attending Ball and how well she could shoot the three. Coach Jones and I agreed that Caroline Spagnola would probably wind up being the all time three point shooter along with setting other marks before she graduated. In case you don't know about Coach Jones, he was an assistant at University of Houston and his daughter, Chandi, was an All American who later played in the WNBA, not to mention she is the Cougars all time leading scorer
Coach Jones never got a chance to coach Spagnola however I still recall the many conversations we had and how a lot of this stuff has played out. Spagnola went over the 1000 career point mark and has made over 170 three pointers, which is even more remarkable since she wasn't moved up to varsity until the second half of district play during her freshman season. I wrote a story on her performance against Wheatley a few weeks ago and even though Ball won't make the playoffs this season, Spagnola has helped them compete.
High flying 2013 Top 100 candidate Christen Inman has done some spectacular individual things over her three seasons at Seven Lakes as I mentioned in my GPR story on her from last week. Friday night, there will be another showdown for 1st place in district as Cinco Ranch invades the Spartans home-court. The Cougars are a game behind, losing the first time to Seven Lakes at home 46-34. Inman led the charge with 17 points and their "Big Three" of Inman, Jade Johnson and Sydney Buchel accounted for 42 of the 46 points. That in itself tells you a lot and to count Cinco out after their performance against Katy Taylor would be "BUSH" to say the least
Can Cinco win? Certain things have to happen, Megan Palmer has to go off, the other starters have to be consistent and the bench play has to be as productive as they were against Taylor. Sydney Thomas provided a much needed spark off the bench with some spectacular plays that got her teammates and their fans "crunk" however if the Cougars come out flat, this could get ugly.
47-42 on Tuesday night in one of my "Showdown" games. The other saying I love, "it's not what you do, it's who you do it against" fits in perfectly as Bush avenges a 20 point loss to #canenation in the FBISD Tournament. Winning this game against the team with most dominant post in the Texas Class of 2012, Tyler Gilbert, speaks volumes. How far can they go? That remains to be seen as they, like many others in the past and present have shown, only have to be the best team that game!
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Before I left Houston I checked the weather and I knew it was going t be cold in the Dallas area so I came somewhat prepared for the "Hawk". Arlington Seguin was on the road to play Mansfield Summit and they had to be prepared for a different "HAWK", Maya Hawkins one of the 2013 Texas Top 100 players I'll be interjecting business with road trips to reevaluate for the pre-exposure event rankings for the 2013 class