Why the pink pen? Who the heck is Oscar?
Well, you know the Oscars are this weekend. So, that answers one question. But, why the pink pen?
Every week I write out my picks before typing them up. I typically do this with my perfect Sharpie pen (product placement…ca-ching!) but, I lost that pen. So, I dug around in the junk drawer (one of the junk drawers) in the kitchen and found a pink pen.
Now, you may ask why using a pink pen is worthy of all of this rhetoric. It’s not, but at the end of this sentence you’ll be over 100 words into the article so you should feel obligated to keep reading at this point.
I’ve given up the use of Twitter for Lent. I’m one day in and it is a lot harder than it should be. I’ve also given up pop. So, if you see me out before Easter Sunday and I’m on Twitter, smack my phone out of my hand. If you see me drinking pop, take it from me and dump it out. If you see me doing both at the same time, just walk away because I am hopeless at that point.
Congratulations to the Warsaw and Tippecanoe Valley girls basketball teams on winning sectional titles. I didn’t think Warsaw would do it, but I am happy to be proven wrong. Wabash and Rochester also won sectionals this past weekend. That just further proves how tough Valley was to win the Three Rivers Conference.
Kyle Hatch of Warsaw is heading back to state in wrestling. I wish him the best of luck as he competes in the 120-pound bracket this weekend.
Good luck to all of the swimmers and divers competing at boys swim sectionals this weekend. Warsaw is hosting so get out and support the boys if you get the chance!
I want to give a big shout-out to the Wawasee girls swimmers and Warsaw’s Brenna Morgan for allowing me to cover them at last weekend’s IHSAA Girls State Finals. It was a great time and I really appreciate the girls and head coach Julie Robinson of Wawasee and Tony DeBrota of Warsaw being so helpful with interviews on the deck.
You’re well over 350 words into the article at this point. If you turn back now, you’re just a quitter.
Last Week: 5-3
Girls Basketball Regional Round 2/21
LaPorte 4A Regional
No. 5 Penn (22-4) v. No. 7 Lake Central (21-3), 9:30 a.m. (CST)
The Scoop: This is a rematch for these two heavyweights. Earlier this year Lake Central escaped Penn 49-48. I know very little about these teams, but I feel comfortable saying that this should be another close game.
Central has a high-powered offense, as does Penn. But Central averages nearly 66 points per game on offense, which is top-15 in the state.
This is one of those “toss-up” games but I feel confident in picking Central to sweep Penn.
The Pick: Lake Central 51, Penn 45.
Warsaw (15-10) v. No. 9 Merrillville (19-7), 11:30 a.m. (CST)
The Scoop: Warsaw just looks completely out of place in this regional. The Lady Tigers record doesn’t matchup, they aren’t ranked, they were the best team in a bad sectional. But, yet, here they are. Warsaw made it further than a ton of other teams and that’s all that matters at this point in the season. Survive and advance.
It’s going to take a lot for the Lady Tigers to survive this regional field. It all starts with the game against Merrillville, a game which is winnable. Warsaw has played to the level of its opponents all season long. If that trend continues, Merrillville should be on its heels the whole game.
When looking at common opponents, these two team are very similar. If Warsaw can stay out of foul trouble and keep Pam Miller on the floor longer, then this game is winnable for the Orange and Black. Other things will need to happen, too.
Nobody can take a game off, every girl needs to be playing her best. If Erin Clemens comes can have another big game, that would be absolutely fine with Tiger Nation. It won’t take a miracle to come out of this game with a win, but it will take an excellent performance. Should be interesting.
The Pick: Merillville 58, Warsaw 50.
Merrillville v. Lake Central *Predicted Title Game*
The Scoop: Anything can happen here, even more so if Penn gets to this game instead of Central. I really like the top bracket teams more here, so I’m sticking with Lake Central (or Penn).
The Pick: Lake Central 60, Merrillville 48.
Bellmont 3A Regional
Fort Wayne Concordia (19-7) v. No. 11 Norwell (18-7), 10 a.m.
The Scoop: Rematches can be interesting. A lot can happen between one meeting and another. Norwell beat Concordia earlier this season by 15 points. That could mean Saturday’s game will be another blowout, but not necessarily.
Both teams hover around the same averages at both ends of the court. Concordia has played a tough schedule and should be more competitive with Norwell this time around. However, I am leaning with the Knights in this game.
The Scoop: Norwell 56, Concordia 47.
No. 9 Tippecanoe Valley (22-2) v. No. 16 Muncie Central (19-5), 12:00 p.m.
The Scoop: From what I’ve seen, this game right here will be the one to see. Both teams have dynamic players that can take over games and that should lead to some fun basketball.
Valley is led by Anne Secrest, who we all know is a dominant player. Secrest leads her team in just about every meaningful statistical category. When Secrest isn’t dominating the paint, Valley makes it living from the perimeter with Meredith Brouyette and Taylor Trippiedi. Trippiedi is also successful driving inside and stellar on defense along with fellow senior Caylie Teel.
Those four girls will have to play exceptional in order to leave with a regional title on Saturday. I believe that if Valley can get through Central, then they WILL win the regional. Easier said than done.
Central is led by junior Jayla Scaife (a University of Dayton commit) and the girl has a knack for playing in big games. Earlier this season she led her team with 29 points in an upset of then-undefeated Fort Wayne Canterbury. Teel and Trippiedi are athletic defenders that will both play a big part in keeping Scaife contained.
Valley still seems like that team of destiny, so I will jump on board for at least one more weekend.
The Pick: Valley 55, Muncie Central 49.
Norwell v. Tippecanoe Valley *Predicted Title Game*
The Scoop: Whoever wins the Valley-Central game is winning the regional, or so my gut tells me. If Valley makes it this far, Norwell can’t stop destiny.
The Pick: Valley 49, Norwell 47.
High School Boys Basketball 2/20-2/21
Tippecanoe Valley (13-7) at Triton (12-7), 7:45 p.m. 2/20
The Scoop: Anything and everything has happened between these two teams the past few years. Nothing will surprise me in this game. Nothing.
Valley has won five games in a row while Triton has won five of its last six.
The Trojans are 7-2 at home, that stat is only important when realizing that six of Valley’s seven losses have come on the road. The Vikings also have not won in Bourbon since 2007.
The real key in this game will be Triton’s offense. If the Trojans come out shooting hot, Valley could be in trouble. I’m really feeling the hot hand right now, though. That hand belongs to the Vikings.
The Pick: Valley 62, Triton 59.
Warsaw (17-3) at No. 4 Carmel (17-2), 7:30 p.m. 2/21
The Scoop: Warsaw has played some great games against some tough opponents, but the Tigers really lack that marquee win out of conference. Beating Carmel could be that win.
I was tempted to pick the Tigers to beat Homestead earlier this season, but they almost pulled off that upset. Warsaw will have to play at that same level Saturday night to beat Carmel, and I think the Tigers have it in them.
Paul Marandet, I’m looking at you to have these boys steady and poised on the court while I’m looking for Rashaan Jackson to get the guys pumped before the game. Throw in some quality threes from Tim Swanson and I smell a beautiful upset cooking.
It’s a long-shot, it’s ill-advised and it’s a little crazy, but I’m picking the mighty Tigers to get the upset.
The Pick: Warsaw 48, Carmel 43.
Whitko (6-14) at No. 7 Churubusco (19-2), 7:30 p.m. 2/21
The Scoop: Whitko ends its season with Busco and then NorthWood. The Wildcats will be well prepared for the sectional field after those two games and I would not want to be the team that has to play them.
Busco has been rolling teams all year long. The Eagles are primed to win their first sectional in school history and their next few games are just warm-ups before that postseason run.
Whitko will push this team and keep it close, but I like Busco to defend its home court and get the win.
The Pick: Busco 63, Whitko 50.
East Noble (4-16) at Wawasee (8-10), 7:30 p.m. 2/21
The Scoop: Wawasee scored a really big win Tuesday night over Westview. It was a game that really challenged the Warriors at a time where I really think the team was at a tipping point. A small comeback win over Westview may be the win that could propel this team to something much bigger.
In sports it’s all about how you respond. East Noble is a team that Wawasee should beat with some ease, and that’s exactly what the Warriors need to do Saturday night. Go out and don’t disappoint after Tuesday’s win.
Wawasee will honor its big senior class before the game so I expect the boys to be hyped for the game.
The Pick: Wawasee 64, East Noble 47.
I promised you Oscar picks a few weeks back. So, here we go…
All analysis are in parentheses
Best Picture: American Sniper (Duh)
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper – American Sniper (Duh)
Best Actress: Reese Witherspoon – Wild (Take it to the bank!)
Best Animated Feature: The Boxtrolls (Trolls that wear boxes, this should win every award)
Best Director: Wes Anderson – Th Grand Budapest Hotel (Okay, he won’t win, but I love Wes Anderson’s films)