When 4th Region MEETS 5th Region in Basketball
WHEN 4th Region MEETS 5th Region in Basketball
Is there anything more interesting than a meeting between the best teams from different Regions during the season just to test wills and talent not to mention who’s better? It’s also a chance to match up against possible State Tournament opponents since the brackets have been set up now for March at Rupp Arena and BB&T Arena. That seemed like a safe assumption since the 5th Region Champ will immediately face the 4th Region Champ in the first round March the 7th in the Girls State Tourney, meanwhile the 4th Region winner will face Region 15, but if they advance will face the winner of Region 4 and Region 12 on March the 16th in the boys State Tourney.
Regardless, it was South Warren, with the best record in the 4th Region (23-3) facing Elizabethtown which also has the best in the 5th Region (24-1) several weeks back. South Warren coach Blane Embry would like a different result from that game at Charles Rawlings Gymnasium as the Lady Panthers ran the Lady Spartans out of the gym. One thing South Warren had to contend with was head coach Donnie Swiney’s incredible group of tall athletes and despite coming off a season last year when they lost two valuable starters have seemed to get even better this season.
The 70-43 score was a good indication of how Elizabethtown took away then Lady Spartans inside game quickly and forced them to play catchup as the quickness of guard Tanisia Murphy (who had 26-points) quickly forced them back on their heels the entire game. South Warren LOVES to get their inside game involved and that opens up their dangerous outside game. With two players (Peyton Ferry and Natalie Pierce) responsible for 98 made three pointers that’s quickly apparent. Jordan McDonald did finally put up 15 points with an assortment of inside moves, but the Lady Panthers are VERY good at playing their game which is getting you behind quick and forcing you to play catchup. South Warren did pull down 23 rebounds (one more than Elizabethtown’s 22), but once again it was a tough night for the Lady Spartans, who simply weren’t ready for Elizabethtown’s size and collapsing defense on this night.
On the other hand, the Boys matchup between Warren Central (21-3) and Elizabethtown (13-8) was a little different. In a game which matched two possible opponents in Rupp in March, both the Dragons and Panthers put on a very entertaining game on Saturday afternoon with Warren Central hanging on for a 72-71 win. With a Noon tipoff, both teams spent most of the game feeling each other out, but the Dragons finally pulled away in the fourth using the strong inside play of senior Jordan Cousins and the strength of their transition game. After Warren Central went up by seven points late in the second quarter, Elizabethtown went to a zone and confused the Dragons while the Panthers shot themselves back into the game. Darius Harding (20-points) and Tait Pritchard (18-points) had three made three pointers each and late when it appeared the Dragons had the game in hand, shot their team right back, but were unable to pull down the rebound on a missed Dragon free throw with seconds remaining and just a one point difference and Warren Central pulled it out.
So what did we really learn from this?
Teams from other Regions sometimes play different styles and can either conflict or matchup better with other teams and in a state tournament situation where you have a limited time to scout any kind of info is helpful. So hopefully come March when everything is on the line, these teams will be at their best if they are lucky enough to face each other again.