Here is a quick look into some city happenings for December:
- The Wulf is showing why he is one of the premier coaches in the city. The Churchill leader, Cal Wulfsberg is arguably the best the city has to offer and his 19-1 record lends to that argument. True the Chargers have not played a very challenging schedule early but they will be heard when the fight for 26-5A is over. The Chargers have quality wins over Top 10 Clark (twice). 2015 guard Mickey Flores is now the 'go get it done' piece that Wulf is riding this year. The tenacious and physically tough Flores is averaging close to 18 a game and is joined in double digit territory by Dori Villareal chipping in 12 a game.
Back to the Wulf, female basketball enthusiasts spotted the Churchill girls coach on the bench of a recent game as assistant coach for the Top 5 Churchill boys teams. This should be no surprise. The guy is a gym rat and I would be very surprised if he does not end up on the boys side soon enough.
- Speaking of girls coaches flirting with the boys side, NEISD head coaches, Terry Barton (Reagan), Randy Evans (Johnson) were both long time boys coaches. In fact, the story goes that Evans was turned down for the boys job at Brennan and took the girls job in consolation. It turned out to be probably the best move for him since the Brennan squad was loaded and led Evans to his most successful coaching season and his 1st and only SAEN Coach of the Year award after two decades on the boys bench. It also started a streak of Evans inheriting D1 players, another first for the long time boys coach.
- Staying on the subject of coaching, watching Triva Corrales zone offense vs Reagan was impressive. I had to scan my brain to realize that the zone offense she employed is one of the most common strategies that Michigan State men's coach Tom Izzo uses. Corrales is a student of the game and put her kids in position to get open shots. The problem is, Judson has a tough time making shots, from the from the perimeter or the paint. Simone Fields shot 75% for the game but had little help in the area of point production. That said, Triva's team is arguably the best in the city on the defensive end. They held #1 Brennan to 40 points and Top 10 Johnson to 34 points.
- Roosevelt's leader Rob Rheinberger has his team flying below the radar. The Roughriders are 11-2 with good wins over Southwest, Clemens and Brandies. In this down year for the city, Rheinberger's patient offensive philosophy coupled with his stingy defense will make a lot of teams uncomfortable. They have decent size, aggressive athletes and a style of play that should prove difficult for some expected favorites come district.
- This city IS down! I championed the 2014 class as the most heralded in SA history so how can I say the city is down? No disrespect intended but it is the 2015 and 2016 classes that are thinning out the high school scene in the city. For instance, when the 2014 were freshman, the city had a strong 2011 class(Donovan, Govan, Roberson), a decent 2012 class(Mitchell- Cole,Berry,Gumbs) and a good 2013 class(Smith, Vorpahl, Allemand). This equated to close 50 plus D1 players going at it during that time. In contrast, I would be surprised if there are more than 35 D1 players playing in HS today. It also hurts that two Top 10 nationally ranked guards are not playing on the local scene.
- With the thin depth around the city, coaching is going to become even more important in 5-A. Coaching and toughness! When I sit back and think tough, I see Judson as a team that will cause problems come playoffs and a Steele team that has the most on-court "alley cats" equipped to battle. When I think coaching, Terry Barton's team will execute when needed and Tina Camacho always seems to find a way during crunch time.
Some players getting it in early!
Brackenridge Offense- Averaging over 60 pts a game in 17 outings. Miranda Acuna leads them with 14.8, Breean Rodriguez earning 14.2 and Skylar Reyna putting in 13.2.
Bailey Quisenberry- Devine HS- The savvy 2016 PG is averaging close to 18 points and over 5 assists.
Liz Cathcart- Smithson Valley- The 2015 SF is producing over 13 pts and close to 8 brds a game.
Gabby Connally- Brandeis- The freshman combo guard is leading 27-5A in scoring at over 14 a game.
Desiree Rodriguez- 2014 G for Southside is putting up 16 plus a game while shooting 36% from 3pt land.