Thursday, August 27, 2015

Troy 42 CJ 31

High School Football
Home Team:
 Chaminade-Julienne Eagles
Visiting Team: Troy Trojans
Venue: Heidkamp Stadium (Huber Heights, Ohio)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Read my thoughts here.

As usual, my writeup is available on my blog. In addition, here are a number of articles on the game from around the Internet:

Return of the Trojans (David Fong, Troy Daily News)
Troy Stuns CJ (Marc Pendleton, Dayton Daily News)
DDN Photos
Trojans Overcome Adversity, Stun Eagles (Joe Neves, Press Pros Magazine)
Troy Starts Off New Era with Comeback Win (Bryant Billing, Top Billing Sports)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Bowling Green 88 Ball State 75

Men's Basketball
MAC Tournament First Round
Home Team: BGSU Falcons
Visiting Team: Ball State Cardinals
Venue: Stroh Center (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

Game Story | Box Score

I travel to the Toledo area, of which Bowling Green is a part, once a month for work, and it's kind of amazing how rarely my trips coincide with home games for BG hoops. When it happens, as it did tonight, I'm stoked to be able to make the trip down for the game. The funny thing is, this is the second time I've seen the Falcons play in person this season, and both games have been against Ball State.

Fortunately, both were victories, although they were quite different games. The first was a lower-scoring, defense-oriented affair. Tonight, with rim defender Richaun Holmes out for BG, it was much faster paced. The cool thing to see is that they could play well and come away with victories using both styles. This game got tight for a bit in the second half, but the Falcons were able to keep their poise, weather the storm, and put it away, even without their best player.

They were able to do it because of a big night from the backcourt, with senior guards Anthony Henderson and Jehvon Clarke scoring 20 and 19, respectively. They were both really impressive in a way that we never really saw from them under Louis Orr, which makes me sad that they don't have another year under this coaching staff, so they can continue to grow and get better as players (and the same goes for Richaun, a fellow senior, who was great before this year and has become incredible).

For a tournament game, I have to say the atmosphere at the Stroh left a lot to be desired. It did get a little loud when the game got close, but having some more people in the arena definitely would have been a lot cooler. Just bad timing, I guess--it's spring break for BGSU, and it definitely showed in the student turnout. Other than the pep band, there were only a handful of people in the student section, and there were no cheerleaders (although the dance team was there). I don't know if it's spring break for all/most of the MAC schools, but if so, I wish they would just move the first round of the tournament to Cleveland with the rest of the games. I wouldn't have been able to make it myself, but the crowd overall probably would have been better. These guys deserve to play in front of a good crowd.

At any rate, the Falcons are now moving onto Cleveland for the first time in four years, and hopefully they can make some noise. Personally? They've made major strides this year, and I'm ecstatic about the improvement they've shown; however, I don't see them as MAC Champion material. I'd love to be wrong about that. As it is, they've won 20 games for the first time since 2001-02, which was the end of Coach Dakich's first go-round. Being there to see it was pretty awesome.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Bowling Green 58 Ball State 46

Men's Basketball
Home Team: BGSU Falcons
Visiting Team: Ball State Cardinals
Venue: Stroh Center (Bowling Green, Ohio)
Game Time: 4:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Brandi

Game Story | Box Score

Of all the things I miss about living in Bowling Green - and there are several - going to BG basketball games is at the top of the list. Being a couple of hours away makes it tough to get back as often as I'd like, and it's always a treat when I get back to the ol' alma mater for some hoops. And it seems poised to be even more of a treat now that the Falcons appear poised to play consistently competent basketball.

Prior to this year, the only coach the Falcons had known in their tenure at the Stroh Center was Louis Orr, who never had a great deal of success. Sure, they won their division of the MAC one year (his only winning record in seven seasons), and they played hard, but they played a lot of sloppy, uninspired basketball, and they were never much fun to watch, aside from an occasional player here and there. So there weren't too many people happier than me when Coach Orr was cut loose following the expiration of his contract and Chris Jans was brought in. I wanted to get to a game earlier this season to see the new-look Falcons for myself, and just could never make it work until now, but I had watched them play on TV and the Internet whenever possible and found myself quite impressed with the style of play Coach Jans had brought in. Not to mention the results, of course.

At any rate, I was really excited to finally see this team play at the Stroh. Early on - well, for pretty much the entire first half - it didn't look good. BG wasn't hitting shots, and they looked a little flat and out of sorts. Ball State was really working hard to take away Richaun Holmes in the post, and it was throwing everything else off. Down 27-23 at halftime, I have no doubt that this was a game that last year's time would have lost, and probably by a lot.

This year's time, though, fought through it. The shooting didn't improve much in the second half, but they tightened up on defense and in general and looked a lot better, taking the lead and then pulling away for not just a win, but a comfortable one. And I have to say, I was really impressed with Zack Denny. Being from the Dayton area, I had heard quite a bit about him, and my impression was that he was mostly just a shooter. It turns out he actually has a very solid all-around game. He was everywhere, making good plays and doing all sorts of little things. He ended up with a double-double and led the team in scoring, which, with Richaun usually facing a double-team, was sorely needed.

Now, getting to the game was a little bit of an adventure. Brandi and I left Columbus around 12:30, planning to get into BG well ahead of the game so we'd have time for a late lunch before heading over to the arena. It worked out, but it was a lot closer than it should have been due to some construction on I-75 that had traffic at a complete standstill for several minutes on a few different occasions. But we made it, and the only thing that really suffered was our chance to wander around the Stroh for a few minutes prior to the game. This was Brandi's first visit, and we didn't have any time to explore, but it turned out okay. We had a great time, and got to see a very solid MAC win.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Piqua 41 Troy 10

High School Football
Home Team:
 Piqua Indians
Visiting Team: Troy Trojans
Venue: Alexander Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Dad

Read my thoughts here.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Butler 38 Troy 7

High School Football
Home Team:
 Vandalia Butler Aviators
Visiting Team: Troy Trojans
Venue: Butler Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Gary and Nikki

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Troy 27 Sidney 0

High School Football
Home Team:
 Troy Trojans
Visiting Team: Sidney Yellowjackets
Venue: Troy Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:00 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: Gary and Nikki

Read my thoughts here.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Kilbourne 22 Hayes 0

High School Football
Home Team:
 Worthington Kilbourne Wolves
Visiting Team: Delaware Hayes Pacers
Venue: Ron Hopper Memorial Stadium
Game Time: 7:30 p.m.
Fellow Attendees: None

The real story on this one, of course, is the game I didn't attend. Here's something I've never been able to say before: I voluntarily chose not to attend Troy's game tonight, not because of something else Brandi and I had planned, but because it wasn't quite worth it.

I say this with nothing but fierce love in my heart for the Trojans, but I knew they had little shot of winning, or even staying particularly close, in their game against the powerhouse Wayne Warriors. Not this year, at least. Still, if that was all there was to it, that wouldn't have been a deterrent. I've followed Troy to premeditated blowouts (in both directions) before with no compunctions. There were a couple of other factors at play. For one, the new running clock rule in Ohio high school football - I had a feeling the second half of this game would be played under this rule, making for a short game. Having already attended two Troy games played under this rule, I know how unsatisfying it has been to attend games that barely last longer than it takes for me to drive there. And two, true or not (probably not), I remember hearing rumors that Wayne ducked out of games with Troy back when the Trojans had Ryan Brewer in the backfield, saving themselves the embarrassment he regularly lavished upon opposing teams and leading to Troy playing such opponents as Akron Coventry and Columbus West, who provided no competition (or Harbin points) at all. While I admire the Trojans greatly for their unwillingness to take a similar stance now that the tables have turned, I still just don't really like when they play Wayne.

So it was that I found myself this evening at Ron Hopper Memorial Stadium watching the Wolves take on the Pacers, rather than at Troy Memorial Stadium watching the Trojans take on the Warriors. Worthington has three high school football teams; living in Old Worthington as we do, technically I suppose that Thomas Worthington is our "home" team. Unfortunately, they're terrible at football. Worthington Kilbourne, on the other hand, is pretty decent at football, and as Troy met them in the playoffs once upon a time (a Troy loss at Welcome Stadium in 1997, Brewer's junior season), I'm inclined toward them.

Being at the game was a little strange, never more so than when it turned out that Kilbourne and Troy have the same fight song. But it was fun. Kilbourne has a pretty good team, with good size and speed. I left after the third quarter, with the score at 22-0 in favor of the Wolves. Their quarterback had left the game with an injury, and it looked like they were going to use a DB at QB and run the wildcat for the rest of the game, which didn't especially interest me. And as that turned out to be the final score, it seems I didn't miss much.