So players think they have pressure coming into this afternoon’s championship games? I’ve got a perfect record in the prediction game on the line. Now that’s pressure.
Haha, kidding of course.
Remember when I said to arrive early for Thursday’s boys semifinal games? Yeah, you might want to get to Harrisburg before noon. Otherwise, there’s a good chance you’ll have to commute to the game by shuttle bus.
Okay, no delaying this any longer. Time to see if I have it in me to go a perfect 12-for-12 in predicting games this week. Who ya got? (And remember, I’m not playing favorites here. I’m just doing all of this for fun.)
No. 2 Harrisburg (G) vs. No. 1 New Franklin (1 p.m. tip-off): For the past two years, I’ve stayed away from guessing what team is going to win a district championship before the tournament even begins. Today’s game is a reason why. Both of these teams were expected to be in this game, but this week wasn’t a piece of cake for them. First things first, let’s throw out their first meeting, a 38-30 New Franklin win on Dec. 7 in the Glasgow Tournament championship game. Harrisburg won the first three quarters of that game, but New Franklin dominated the all-important fourth quarter. That was a 50/50 game, being played on a neutral court. Today’s game isn’t, and home-court advantage is going to be a huge bonus for Harrisburg today. I really have no clue which team will win today, but I haven’t picked an upset for a few days. Eh, why not? Prediction: Harrisburg 46, New Franklin 42.
No. 2 Tolton Catholic (B) vs. No. 1 Harrisburg (2:45 p.m. tip-off): There may be standing-room only for this game, which is a perfect conclusion to the week I call the “District of Doom.” Tolton has impressed all week, so it would be easy to pick the Trailblazers to win. I mean, Michael Porter Jr. has been every bit of good that I’ve heard from earlier this year, and with a balanced attack that includes Josh Boyer and Brennan Church (among others), it’s pretty easy to see why Tolton is a well-oiled machine. Yeah, I know, all I’ve been doing is talking up Tolton, but hear me out. From the games I’ve seen this season, Harrisburg’s pressure changes an opponent. Many teams aren’t capable of playing Tolton with full-court defense, but Harrisburg can. The Bulldogs showed it earlier this season, beating Tolton 61-59, at Tolton. And from what I remember, Harrisburg actually had something like an 8-point lead with a minute to play, so the Trailblazers fought to the finish to make it a close game. And let’s not forget the home-court factor. Harrisburg needs one more district championship to fill the last spot in the banner hanging on the east side of the gym, and it’s starting to get on Steve Combs’ nerves. I think the “Coach of the Decade” will get to fill the last spot with a “14″ after today. Prediction: Harrisburg 70, Tolton Catholic 67.