Monday, February 22, 2010

1st Round Spotlight: Austin Akins 61 San Antonio Madison 60 OT

Akins 2010 W Kevin McFarlane hits the winner at the buzzer in OT!
Preview: Many people will consider this an upset for the 4th place team to beat the 1st place team, especially a team like San Antonio Madison which is used to winning big games including several trips to the State Tournament. However, Akins is as well coached as anyone getting tremendous leadership from David Peavey. In my opinion the collection of Westlake, Bowie, Pflugerville and Akins could easily be the most stacked 5A District in the State. Unquestionably it is in Region 5.

I like the matchups for Akins. 2010 Kevin McFarlane is much more athletic than the taller Tyler Wood (UT-San Antonio) and even though Madison guard Jamaal Johnson is a Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo signee I would still take 2011 G Yolonzo Moore in a game of horse. The two X factors in the game could well be Madison soph Christopher Campbell who along with injured freshman sensation Travon Landry were IMO Madison's two guys with the biggest upside. 2011 G Malcolm Canada has tightened up his handles and now has an explosive first step to the hoop for Akins. Prediction: Akins by 3. Can Madison's experience overcome any jitters the Eagles have?
2010 Tyler Wood of Madison (UT-San Antonio)I have to start out by saying, "What a high school basketball game!"
Akins roared out of the gate taking a 24-8 1st quarter lead. The agile Kevin McFarlane abused Madison inside and out with 9 in the period and 2011 Pg Yolonzo Moore had 13 dropping three from long distance.
Madison settled down in the 2nd quarter and 2012 W Christopher Campbell almost singlehandedly kept it from being a blowout as he scored 11 in the 2nd and Madison went into the half only trailing by 4, 34-30. 2011 SG malcolm Canada started to assert himself for Akins as he had 10, including 4 from the charity stripe.
Never underestimate the power of a veteran team, especially one with a solid PG. Jamaal Johnson made all the right decisions and Madison finally took their first lead 45-44 with 1:03 left in the stanza. Junior Phillip Brown also had a couple of key plays. I look for the 2011 6'6" Post to have a breakout summer and senior year.
The 4th quarter was a doozy, and Madison dug deep taking a 55-52 lead with 12 seconds left to play. Canada took a leaning 3 point attempt and was fouled with 7 seconds left. Talk about pressure! The Junior knocked down all 3 and the game was tied, as we head to overtime.
In the OT both teams took the air out of the ball, being very methodical before attempting a shot. Madison led one last time 60-59 and Akins got the possession arrow in their favor on a tie up with 6 seconds left. Yolonzo Moore got off a decent contested look from about 17 feet. It hit nothing but air. However, McFarlane swooped in as Madison seemed frozen and tossed the ball up off the backboard for the winning bucket. There had to be less than a second left when the ball left his hand, and Akins did it. They slayed the dragon. Ding dong, the with is dead. High school sports, there's nothing like it!
Best wishes to Wood and Johnson as they head off to college, but meantime the dream still lives for the Eagles. Afterwards an emotional Malcolm Canada hugged Coach Peavey at halfcourt.
Akins went 20-24 from the FT line, while Madison went 9-11
Leading Scorers
Madison: Campbell 18 pts, 7 reb. Johnson 16 pts
Akins: Canada 18pts, 6 assists, Moore 18 points, McFarlane 17 points
Austin Akins 24-10-12-9-6
San Antonio Madison 8-22-17-8-5-60