News and Tribune

March 15, 2013

Semistate staff perspectives

New and Tribune writers weigh on Borden, Jeff's chances


Kevin Harris, Sports Reporter: “Doc Nash continues to build a Class A juggernaut at Borden and I don’t see that stopping on Saturday. The Braves have been on a roll since they suffered that embarrassing loss to Springs Valley on Feb. 9 at home. As for University, its schedule and the teams it has beaten in the postseason do not impress me. Yes, I saw where the Trailblazers have played solid Class 2A teams in Park Tudor and Speedway and last year’s Class 3A state champion Guerin Catholic (by the way, they lost to those three teams by a combined 69 points). Plus I know they have a big kid inside in 6-foot-8 Dominic Dixon. But the majority of University’s schedule is made up of parochial and charter schools, and it concocted only a 15-11 record from that slate. I fully expect Borden to advance to its first state championship game on Saturday.”

Chris Morris, Assistant Editor: “No way to pick against Borden.”

Matt Koesters, News Reporter: “This Borden team and last year’s squad are night and day. The 2011-12 Braves relied on a star player and a supporting cast of role players. This squad is much more complete, with several players upping their game to contribute to the squad’s success. Although University’s hot at the right time, I see the Braves as the team to cool them off and advance to the championship game.”

Mitzi Thompson, Sports Correspondent: “This is a no-brainer barring a complete Braves meltdown. University’s road to the Final Four was unimpressive to say the least with wins over mediocre teams. Battle-tested Borden continues to find new ways to win, and Saturday will be no different.”

Mike Riley, Sports Correspondent: “The Braves are in an entirely different situation from Jeff. Of the Class A teams left in the tournament, Borden has the best record and will be considered the ‘Big Dog.’ Two one-point wins at the regional should make them mentally tough, which should make the difference against a team that has advanced this far against questionable competition. Hopefully, the fans will embrace this. It’s not often that teams from this area make it this far in the tournament.”

Ryan Ingram, Sports Correspondent: “Tough, fundamentally sound, well-coached and unselfish are all ways to describe the Braves. Come Saturday, state finalist will also apply.”

Joseph Adams, Sports Correspondent: “Borden had two very tough matchups in the regional and ended up pulling them both off with one-point victories. Borden has had the tougher road and University will have a tough time against an experienced Borden team. Borden leads the entire way and heads to state.”


Kevin Harris, Sports Reporter: “The strategy is pretty cut and dry when an opponent plays Jeff. If you don’t turn the ball over and don’t rush your shots against the Red Devils’ quickness, you’ve got a pretty good shot of winning. But if you don’t do those things, you are going to have a long night. It is a lot easier said than done when opponents say they need to handle Jeff’s quickness, so I’m giving the edge to the Devils this time. Plus, I’m making this pick so I can slow down the teasing that I have been getting from WNDA-AM Radio color commentator and Jeff super fan Ted Throckmorton when I don’t pick Jeff or IU. So this week’s picks are all you, Teddy so get off my back (Ha! Ha!).”

Chris Morris, Assitant Editor: “I don’t think there is anyway to keep the Red Devils out of the 4A title game.”

Matt Koesters, News Reporter: “It’s become painfully clear that this isn’t a typical year for the Red Devils. Chad Gilbert has them playing at a high level, and they’ve managed to defeat much stronger opponents through smart play and hustle. Will they beat Cathedral in Seymour? I hope so, but I’m going to keep picking against them because they’ve already gone further than I could have guessed.”

Mitzi Thompson, Sports Correspondent: “Just like he did with the girls’ program, coach Chad Gilbert has turned the Red Devil boys into genuine state contenders. I’ll admit, on paper Cathedral is the winner, but well ... not on this paper, OK? Limit second-chance looks for the Irish and Jeff is state-championship bound.”

Mike Riley, Sports Correspondent: “By far, this is the toughest game of the season for Jeff, which should have erased any doubters last week at regional. But Cathedral has won 18 in a row after starting the season 6-5 with no loss by more than six points. Two of those losses were to [Indianapolis Tech], which the Irish defeated for the sectional championship. The deciding factor should be the ‘home’ crowd advantage the Red Devils will have at Seymour.”

Ryan Ingram, Sports Correspondent: “Jeff’s offense looked unstoppable in the second half of the regional final. Cathedral won’t be able to shut down all the scoring threats the Red Devils have.”

Joseph Adams, Sports Correspondent: “This is going to be a great game between teams that haven’t done much losing lately. Jeffersonville has the tools to get it done and this will go down to the last minute of the game. I went back and forth on this game, but finally went with coaching ... and coach Chad Gilbert has the experience that will be the difference.”