Saturday, March 8, 2008

1A Championship - Girls Terrell County vs. Calvary Day

4th Quarter
Another turnover forced by Hewett of Calvary. After shoring up that rebounding problem they have excelled.

Someone should tell Natalie Paris that you get 3 points from the closer black line too. For the second time in the game she hit 3 pointer from beyond the NBA line. Time out Terrell. 5:26 CD 44-40.

Best Terrell possession of the day, they patiently took the ball inside, waiting for the double team on Thomas and passing out of it, leaving Timnah Hendry with an easy bucket. Covington hits 2 ft's on the other side. CD 41-38 6:17

Sarah Hewett now doing damage offensively hitting the wide open jumper from about 12 feet away. CD 39-36.

Well it looks like everyone is awake now and the Centreplex here in Macon is about half full. We start, Calvary with the ball and up by one, the final eight minutes left.

3rd Quarter
In the waning seconds Thomas goes coast to coast to lay in a shot. The quarter ends with the star of the quarter Calvary's Natalie Paris, scored two threes, missing a shot at the buzzer. Calvary takes a one point lead into the fourth, 37-36.

Thomas again is responsible for bringing the ball up, and she scores on a back door cut after passing the ball off. A veteran move by an excellent player. Coming back Natalie Paris of Calvary hits an NBA three to tie the game at 30.

Calvary has been able to keep Terrel's defense moving in the second half, getting better looks at the basket. Covington has carried the team offensively but the second half star has to go to Sarah Hewett. She just hit 1 of 2 ft's but defensively she has made life difficult for Thomas, with her only points coming on a fast break opportunity. Media Time out 4:32 TC 28 - CD 27

Covington drives and gets fouled, 1 of 2 FTs. Coming back the other way Thomas again brings the ball up and Terrell gets another offensive rebound. Then comes back after a block gets a layup and is fouled. TC 28 - CD 26

Again a Terrell press leads to open Covington shot, this time for three. 6:07 CD 25 - TC 24

Give Sarah Hewett of Calvary credit. She is guarding Thomas and is jumping out making it difficult to get her the ball. As a result she caused Thomas to mishandle the ball for a Terrell turnover.

After a miss by Thomas, Terrell implements a full court press which Calvary and Covington beat for a lay-up. 7:01 TC 24- CD 22

Terrell starts with the ball and the ball slips out of the hands of the Calvary defender, leaving the ball with Terrell.

The teams have switched ends and we're ready for the final 16 minutes of action here in Macon.

Score: Terrell 24 Calvary Day 20

It looks like Coach Hamilton's philosophy for keeping Terrell off the glass includes tapping the ball out of the block allowing for Calvary's guards to fight for the ball. Offensively Calvary has been able to catch Terrell over pursuing in their zone, and that's probably the most effective they've been able to be on offense. Katie Covington has kept them in the game scoring nine points.

For Terrell as usual the story begins and ends with Monshay Thomas. She was kept to four points in the first, but in the second she went off scoring nine bringing her total to 12. In my opinion, Terrell hasn't taken full advantage of their size inside except when it came to offensive rebounds. Defensively Terrell has utilized their size blocking multiple shots by Calvary.

With that the girls are back on the court.

2nd Quarter:
Well the 2nd ended much like the first quarter. Let's all take a deep breath and relax, it's too early to keep up with all of this excitement. As we speak the boys of Hancock Central have hit the quart to warm up, along with the boys from Turner County.

Surprisingly Calvary has remained in this game even while lacking an inside presence. They have been successful hassling the guards and getting their hands up when the ball goes to the post. On the other side Terrell's height allows them to make open shots difficult for Calvary. TC 24 CD 20

Good Idea: Pass Thomas the ball when she's open.
Bad Idea: Leave her open for a transition three. 2:37 TC 22-CD 18

To try and get the ball in the hands of their best player Terrell is now having Thomas bring the ball up. Calvary is doing a great job of stopping the ball handler just as she crosses half court. 5:03 TC 16-CD 14

Okay so the nerves might be in Calvary's head. For the second time they have shot a three pointer from the NBA range, instead of the high school/ college range. There are two lines on the court here in Macon, probably not a great idea, but Calvary just needs to make sure they're behind the right line. Terrell back in man-to-man. TC 14- CD 12

Monshay Thomas is so quick, taking advantage of the slightest edge she's given on the baseline. Calvary living and dying by the three early, 2-4. On the other end Thomas is being flustered by the physical defense Calvary is using against her.

Calvary should be happy they've kept Thomas to only four points in the first quarter. However their struggles rebounding the ball has given Terrell too many extra opportunities. Calvary played with greater intensity early and caused a plethora of turnovers, but were unable to keep the lead. If Calvary keeps up the intensity on Thomas and improves the rebounding they'll have a good shot. TC 12 - CD 9 Calvary starts with the ball.

1st Quarter:
The 1st quarter closes with a flurry of points. Calvary is able to get an offensive rebound off a three for an easy basket and with 1 second left Shaylia Jester gets an offensive rebd. for Terrell scoring just as the buzzer sounded making the score Terrell 12 - 9.

Terrell's big advantage will come inside if they can get the ball past the pesky defenders from Calvary. They have a height advantage and should be able to use that for a rebounding edge. Three offensive rbds. in one possession.

Calvary has had the ball for over a minute, trying to find gaps in the zone. They are catching Terrell over pursuing and drain a three. 2:06 CD 7 TC 6

The zone has Calvary a bit flustered. However it has lead to some offensive rebounds. Terrell calls a timeout with 3:52 to go. Just to recap some early action. Terrell is funneling their offense through Thomas who has all their points. As for Calvary their are perfectly happy to play on the perimeter with the zone in the game. They don't have a dominating inside prescence and are willing to challenge Terrell with their speed. 3:56 TC 4 - CD 4

The play has been very physical early, reminding me of a Big Ten basketball game. Points and rebounds are going to be tough to come by. Early Monshay Thomas is putting Terrell on her back with all of her teams points. 5:56 TC 4 - CD 2

Terrell opens in a zone to keep Calvary out of the paint, but it's lead to two quick fouls and two Calvary points. 6:50 CD2 - TC0

Terrell wins the tip and begins the ball but a steal by Calvary sets up their first offensive possession.

Well the competition has begun even before tip-off as the "Lets Go Greenwaves" and "Let's Go Calvary" have tried to out done by each team's opposing fans.

A few stray thoughts before tip-off:

Just a reminder, I will try and keep a track of individual point totals, but they are by no means official, just my running tally. So lets get ready for some basketball!

The clock says three minutes to go till tip. Fan support looks about split as each team has the immediate section behind their bench filled with supporters. The starters have removed their warmups and tip-off is just around the corner.

Just finished with the playing of our National Anthem and the girls of Calvary Day and Terrell County continue their final shots in warm up. Just by where each team is shooting from in warmups you expect Terrell to take advantage of their size inside while Calvary will rely on their jump shot from the top of the key.

10 minutes to go and both teams have headed back to their benches and the pre game festivities begin.

Luckily both these teams have already played one contest in this arena. One of the most difficult things to get used to is the changed depth perception when you are out of a close knit gym you see in area high schools.

Right as the horn sounded the Calvary Day players came out on the court to the cheers of their fans. Not to be out done the Greenwaves appeared immediately following. The teams have begun shoot around and Terrell looks like the looser of the two teams, joking and chatting while the Calvary Day squad is fairly quiet. Don't let that be deceiving however, one thing I remember the late George Morris say about Coach Dodd is he always preached saving one's energy during warm up so to be ready when the game is on the line. We'll see which philosophy works today.

Thirty minutes before game time and their is an excitement as fans wait for the players to hit the court. As I type the chants and cheers of the Terrell County players can be heard from the hallway so expect them to hit the court soon. They are the favorite as the #1 team from Region 1 and looking for their second title in four years, so they'll be playing the role of the favorite. We'll see how they respond.

If you haven't checked it out I suggest reading the previews put together by my fellow SCORE-Atlanta writers. If you have yet to check out the 1A preview I'll give you the cliff notes. As mentioned Terrell County is led by Monshay Thomas. On the other side Calvary Day has a much more balanced scoring, although you wouldn't have known that seeing their semi-final match in which Katie Covington went off scoring 29 points.

50 minutes until tip-off and the fans are beginning to file into the Macon Coliseum. Don't know how loud things will be with most people still waiting for the caffeine from their coffee to kick in. Can't quite tell who's bringing more fans at this point as most people have their coats over their school gear. However one kid is brave enough to wear his Calvary Day t-shirt and mesh shorts in this weather, so I'll give the Cavaliers the early advantage in terms of fan support.

Driving in this morning from Atlanta made this trip extremely interesting as I woke to snow pelting me in the face. Atlanta weather is some of the most unstable I have ever experienced. One day after enjoying the sun in sorts and a t-shirt, I was bundling up for my travel. Reminds of the famous slogan about Boston weather, "If you enjoy the weather, stay a few hours." But back to basketball, I am extremely excited to see Monshay Thomas in person of Terrell County. She's a prolific scorer who knows how to control the tempo of the game. Calvary Day will have to use a swarming defense to try and stop her. It's something we'll follow throughout the day

Good morning ladies and gentleman, my name is Jason Boral and I will be giving you live updates of the 2008 1A Championship Finals live from here in Macon, GA. The weather in the Atlanta-metro area is pretty nasty, I'll get to that later, so sit down relax, grab a cup of joe maybe a bagel or two and enjoy as I give you analysis updates and my personal thoughts on the game. Feel free to leave comments or e-mail me at We're about an hour fifteen away from opening tip of the women's game at 11:00 am.