This is my first trip ever to Smithson Valley, which in the past has been a basketball hinterland. This year the Rangers have a solid record and a senior lineup. Having said that they should be hard pressed to beat another senior laden squad in 4A Kerrville Tivy. Tivy's frontline is big, going 6'7" with Tyler Kotson & 6'8" with Taylor Finlay. Make no mistake about it though, the straw that stirs the drink is 6'4" combo guard Jonathan Perry who is certain (in my opinion) to be a Division One signee in the April 2010 late period. Perry can handle it, shoot it and this year brings a new explosiveness to his game thanks to his hard work in the off season with my partner, T.J. Garza of Speed Killz. At the half Kerrville Tivy has a 26-23 lead. It's my first time seeing Smithson Valley. Two of their seniors stand out as solid high school players. G Ty Etheridge shows nice quickness and a good shooting form although his shot has not gone down. P 6'5" Parker Taylor plays bigger than his size and brings toughness down low for the Rangers.
For Tivy, 2010 P Tyler Kotson shows a solid skill set to go with a physicality to his play that makes him a D-2/D-3 prospect. He finished the game with 12 points and 7 rebounds. 6'8" Finlay is rail thin and could also be a prospect if he hits the weight room. The other thing Tivy has going for it is superior, fundamental coaching from Brian Young whose teams are structured and most always get a high percentage look in the low post.
Couple the above with Perry, a two time All Region player and you can see why Tivy is 8-1 coming into this game. He's clearly the best player on the court. Perry had 16 in the first half, but SV has done a nice job on denying him on the perimete for most of the game and with less than a minute left he doesn't have a three pointer. Speaking of which, Perry missed a one and one which could have cost the game with 30 seconds left but he quickly made amends with a steal and then hitting the two subsequent freebies to give Tivy a 48-44 lead with 22 seconds remaining. A key board and two more free throws by Perry and it's over. Kerrville Tivy 50 Snithson Valley 44.
It was my first time meeting the SV Coaching staff. They seem like a great group of young guys. Best of luck to them as they develop their program in the shadows of SV's juggernaut football program.