Saturday, November 24, 2018

Sports this 'n' that

Suppose you were hosting a Thanksgiving weekend basketball tournament, and none of the local papers promoted the event in advance?

That's what happened in Lansingburgh, as the Knights opened their season with a holiday tournament, welcoming Kingston, Shaker, & Bishop Maginn to their gym on Friday. Ye scribe found out via the Knights' page on the Colonial Council website, which only promoted the home team's headline game vs. Bishop Maginn, which now plays in the Western Athletic Conference after the dissolution of the Big 10 4 years ago.

Kingston, which swept Troy High last season in a home-&-home regular season series, added another Suburban Council pelt in beating Shaker, 77-56 in the opener. Maginn vs. Lansingburgh was only delayed by a mere five minutes due to the earlier games, including the junior varsity tournament involving the same four schools, running over the Section II-appointed time frame. Will they never learn?

In Shaker's defense, two of their seniors, Connor McHugh & Rayveon Burt, might not have been in full basketball shape, less than a week after their football careers ended in Middletown with a loss to New Rochelle.

Maginn didn't have their rosters finalized in time for the printing deadline for 'Burgh's game program, so I can't tell you who did what. What I can tell you is that their coach decided to take a technical foul right at the start. Bad idea. Isaiah Knight sank one out of two free throws, starting him off toward a game-high 31 points. Trevor Green finished with 15, and Lansingburgh blew away the Griffins, 79-58. While it was the first game for both teams, the Griffins came out flat in the first quarter, outscored by a ridiculous 32-6. Maginn could get no closer than 16 points the rest of the evening.

It'll be Kingston vs. Lansingburgh in the title game, with Maginn vs. Shaker in the consolation game, later today. Oh, by the way, El Cheapo Media doesn't have it on their schedule of events for the second straight day. Priorities, you know.
Four days after Kansas City & the Los Angeles Rams put on an offensive show on Monday Night Football, a Big 12 matchup between Oklahoma & West Virginia sought to live up to the homily that "anything you can do, we can do better".

Well, I did say Monday's game looked like a Big 12 game, if not an Arena game. Once again, the scoreboard was lighting up like a pinball machine as Oklahoma earned a rematch with Texas for the Big 12 title next week with a 59-56 verdict in Morgantown.
Back in the day, you could count on Oklahoma playing Nebraska when both were in the former Big 8 (now Big 12) on Black Friday. Ditto Texas vs. Texas A & M. With Nebraska now in the Big 10 and the Aggies in the SEC, those matchups don't happen as often as they used to. Two traditional regular season-ending games take place today, as Michigan will play Ohio State for a spot in the Big 10 title game next week vs. Northwestern, and Notre Dame visits USC. The Trojans' other end-of-season tradition, vs. in-city rival UCLA, took place last week. USC coach Clay Helton is on the hot seat, and could be pink slipped with a loss tonight.
One week ago, ESPN decided to try something a little different.

Pardon The Interruption, part of the network's weekday afternoon drive chat block, went on location at co-host Michael Wilbon's alma mater, Northwestern. The Wildcats were hosting Binghamton, out of the America East conference. Tony Kornheiser, a Binghamton alumnus, wore their colors opposite Wilbon in Northwestern gear. It felt like a compacted College GameDay episode during basketball season.

Well, after SportsCenter, Wilbon & Kornheiser were in the unusual position of doing color commentary for their respective alma maters during the game. Unfortunately, this sweeps stunt was DOA. Kornheiser has already proven, after a disastrous stint on Monday Night Football, that he isn't meant to be a game analyst. Wilbon has called NBA games, and should've known better than to lapse into doing two hours-plus of schtick with Kornheiser. Oh, by the way, Northwestern blew out the Bearcats. That game was over at halftime.
Since Section II has just one team left (Glens Falls) in the state football tournament, Spectrum News' Albany branch isn't bothering to broadcast the game. It's a cost-saving move, although game analyst James Allen will cover the game for the Albany Times-Union.
RPI's playoff game today at Brockport has a decided hometown flavor.

Former LaSalle QB Joe Germinerio, Jr., whose brother, John, is a sophomore at Union, is the starting quarterback for Brockport, and was named the Empire 8 Conference Offensive Player of The Year. No, that game isn't being televised, either. However, RPI's student-run radio station will have the game, set for a noon (ET) kickoff.

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