I may miss the Regional Final today as I'm debating heading to Vegas while I'm HOT. Muy caliente! I went 15-16 in my Regional predictions in 4A & 5A. The only mis-step was picking Dallas Kimball to upset Dallas Lancaster. They didn't, losing 55-53. (I am now waiting for my friends at Austin Bowie to call and cut me some slack..lol)
Regional Finals 4A
Region 1 The Colony Look for the Colony to exceed the achievements of the great team they had back in the early part of the decade with two pretty fair guys in the lineup; McDonald's All American Bracey Wright (Indiana) & NBA All Star Deron Williams (Utah Jazz)
Region 2 Dallas Pinkston Look for 6'8" Missouri signee and future pro Tony Mitchell to go off and beat a very good Lancaster team led by UTEP signee 6'9" John Bohanon.
Region 3 Houston Yates The question here is not that Yates will win, but whether LaMarque can keep them from setting the National Record for consecutive 100 point games. LaMarque is good, real good and they are led by Texas commit, Julien Lewis. Yates counters with Providence signee "Mighty" Joe Young, PG Darius Gardner (Stephen F Austin) and high flying Brandon "Snap" Peters (Western Kentucky).
Region 4 Kerrville Tivy I'll forego the 5A Regional game today to be on hand for this one @ Littleton Coliseum. This one's going to be a dandy. In fact, it will be so close that it caused me to change my prediction as I was typing it. Both teams are well coached. LT's Jan Jernberg & Tivy's Brian Young ( who has a State Championship under his belt) have some great tools to work with. Heady PG David Eads is so smart, he's got a perfect SAT and an offer to play basketball for M.I.T. His LT frontline is not huge, but at about 6'4" Zac Karchewski, Billy Sherekas & Cole Vukerevich are bouncy and active.
Tivy may well be the most physical team in the State. Lanky 6'7" P Taylor Finlay can hit the jumper while 6'6" Tyler Kotson works as hard as anyone to get position on the blocks. Once he pins you, it's "buckets". 2011 PG Deron Belford has raised his game as the season has progressed. He can get to the rim, but it's his D up top that's making a difference. He picked the Harlandale guards pockets several times last night for layups. That won't be quite that easy though against the steady Eads. The X factor for Tivy is 2010 Combo, Jonathan Perry. He can do it all and at 6'4" is a tough match up. The two time All Region Player just flat gets after it on both ends of the court. I'd better publish this one quick before I change my mind about the outcome AGAIN.
Regional Finals: 5A
Region 1 Plano West This is another game which could go either way. In a physical contest, I'm going to side with physical Post, Jackson Jeffcoat who as the Nation's Top Defensive football prospect will be intimidated by nobody. The Texas Longhorn signee is the son of former Dallas Cowboy Jim Jeffcoat.
Region 2 Garland Lake View Centennial Cinderella lives in Temple, TX but the clock will strike midnight early against a quality Centennial team. Centennial trounced Temple's district winner Bryan and according to Vikings Coach Bryan Reese "Centennial is really, rally tough." That endorsement is good enough for me, although on a purely emotional level I'd love to see Temple continue their magical playoff ride.
Region 3 Houston Bellaire I like Bush, and this could be close but Bellaire has too much star power, including Texas A&M signee Toby Oyejedi, Texas commit Sheldon McClellan & Western Kentucky signee Kenny Onyigbo. No more underachieving for the Cardinals.
Region 4 Converse Wagner Wow. Pretty impressive stuff with the two Region finalists coming from the same school district. Give this one to understudy Coach Cliff Ellis and his Wagner T Birds over his "sinsei", Coach Mike Wacker of the Judson Rockets. How can you pick against a team like Judson who have held playoff opponents to 35 ppg? Well, Wagner is averaging in the 80's and they have beaten the Rockets twice this year in District play.
Judson will be deliberate, while Wagner will try to push it. This one will be closer than most folks think but it's the game by game improvement of 6'7" Senior Wing Andre Roberson that will make the difference. He ripped a tough Laredo United team last night for 20 points, 11 rebounds and 6 blocks while UCLA Assistant Scott Duncan sat at the scorer's table with me looking on. Roberson is getting Pac-10, Big XII & SEC looks now as he's late bloomed into the best 2010 prospect in the San Antonio area.