Tuesday, November 17, 2009

San Antonio Wagner 58 San Antonio Madison 52

Every now and then I get the privelege of being on hand when a highly touted freshman gets to step on the floor with his varsity team and see his coming out party. That was the case tonight as I was at Wagner's gym to catch what is the City of San Antonio's best rivalry of recent years ( and one of the better 5A rivalries in all of Texas). The home team Thunderbirds beat the visiting Madison Mavericks 58-52 in a game which was surprisingly devoid of the kind of emotion one has come to expect from this game.

In the end it was a 3 minute span in the middle of the 3rd quarter where Wagner's press came to life, leading to a few easy transition layups. This, coupled by a pair of big 3's from Senior Devante Hill and Wagner turned a 4 point half time deficit into a 42-34 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. At that point, it was basically game over as no team got on any major runs to either pull away or to narrow the gap.

Below: 2013 PG 5'11" Travon Landry of San Antonio Madison showed signs of being "The Truth of 2013" as he handled the point guard duties for the perennial 5A powerhouse. The young frosh took care of the basketball against the Wagner pressure and scored 11 points. Landry showed he could hit the three and got to the basket going left or right. (Something most high school seniors still can 't do.)
Below: Unsigned W 6'7" senior Andre Roberson didn't score much (although he did hit a big three pointer) but he controlled the boards with 19 by my count for Wagner.
Madison's best basketball is ahead of them this year as along with Landry, 2012 W 6'6" Christopher Campbell were the two best Mavs on the floor. This despite the fact that they have two scholarship seniors in G Jamaal Johnson (Cal Poly-San Luis Obisbo) and P 6'6" Tylers Woods (UT-San Antonio).
Below" Tulsa commit W 6'3" Jordan Clarkson dropped a quiet 20 points. He's the best slasher in the City of San Antonio and was able to give young Landry fits down low as Wagner Coach Cliff Ellis wisely posted him up against the smaller player.
Wagner is talented, and are a tough veteran team. They will not be a pushover but I don't consider them any longer the favorite to come out of the Region. Why? Without 6'2" Senior Guard Jordan Jones, they just aren't nearly as tough and don't have the same swagger. Sadly, Jones tore his ACL near the end of the football season. Despite some folks hopes, he will not be back on the hardwood for his senior year. We wish him a speedy and complete recovery. Someone has to step up for Wagner or collectively they have to rally to prove me wrong.
Madison has also had a wonderful run. The loss of scholarship players Cameron Catlett (UT-Arlington), Jonathan Landry (Coppin State) and 2010 Stephen Baird who just committed to Liberty but chose to be home schooled once again instead of returning for his senior year really hurts. However, as noted above I really like their youngsters. Their depth is in question but they'll have enough to take care of business and at least another 25 win season. They'll face a big test in Houston this coming Thursday at the McDonald's Invitational. Let's see how quickly the young guys mature.