Sixty is the magic number.
Nederland head coach Brian English tells his team their focus should be on holding teams to 50-55 points per game. That will be vitally important Tuesday, as the Bulldogs face a team that’s almost a mirror image of itself in performance this season in the Georgetown Eagles at 7:30 p.m. at Magnolia West High School in the Class 4A regional quarterfinals.
Georgetown (28-8) has one more victory than Nederland (27-9) and one less loss. Both teams feature strong defenses that helped them burn through a district schedule. Both fell to eventual district champions late in the season.
The Eagles are also led by a strong senior class, much like Nederland, with 6-foot-1 senior guard Jacob Vick averaging 10.7 points per game and 6-foot-2 senior guard D’Andre Day averaging 10.4 ppg. Oh, and it just so happens that the two teams also played in the Region III, Division I semifinals in football this season, with the Eagles beating Larry Neumann’s Bulldogs 38-6.
The Eagle basketball team finished 12-2 in District 17-4A this season, falling to district champ Elgin twice. Georgetown is in its first year back in Class 4A since 1994. The Eagles are on a six-year streak of making the playoffs, having done it in five straight seasons while a 5A team.
Last year, the Eagles finished as the third-seed from District 16-5A and beat Austin Westlake in the first round before falling to The Woodlands College Park in the area round. The Eagles also reached the area round in 2010, when they lost to The Woodlands.
In fact, going back to 1993, the Eagles have made the playoffs 10 times, but never advanced past the area round of the playoffs. The last time Georgetown made noise was when it was last in Class 4A, which was 1992.
Back then, the Eagles advanced all the way to the 4A state title game, falling to Dallas South Oak Cliff 73-60 in the championship after beating Pampa in the state semifinals.
Both Nederland and Georgetown had similar scoring averages this year, too. Nederland has scored 58 points per game this season and allowed 47.4 per game while Georgetown has scored 51.8 ppg and allowed 42.8 ppg.
Over their last ten games, both saw drops in scoring average allowed, with Nederland’s falling from 47.4 to 44.3 over the last 10 and Georgetown’s going from 42.8 to 40.5. The points scored, though, diverged some.
Georgetown has struggled more to score points over its last 10 games, seeing it’s scoring average drop to 48.3 from that season average of 51.8. Nederland, meanwhile, has seen an increased scoring average, from 58.2 up to 60.2.
Still, all those numbers are close enough for the changes to be statistical noise. Georgetown does seem to have trouble scoring enough to keep up with high-octane offenses, which could benefit a hot-shooting Nederland team.
That’s borne out, too, in looking at how the teams performed in wins and losses. For Georgetown, the Eagles upped their scoring to 52.1 in victories this season and dropped that defensive scoring average down to 38.1 ppg. In losses, however, Georgetown has scored about the same at 50.4 ppg, but given up over 20 points more than in victories at 58.9 ppg allowed.
Nederland is in a similar situation, seeing a bump in scoring average in victories up to 61.5 ppg while showing better defense than its season average at 44 ppg allowed. In losses, Nederland’s scoring also fell off to 48.3 ppg while the defensive average jumped 13 points to 57 ppg allowed.
That’s why it appears if Nederland can top 60 points on Tuesday, it will have a great chance to win. Georgetown lost every game this season when it gave up at least 56 points. Nederland has a slight edge there, having won one of four games where it gave up 60 or more points by beating Silsbee 66-61 on Dec. 14.
The signs are there in the numbers, but all Nederland is concerned with is that “W,” and a return trip to Katy’s Merrill Center for the Region III tournament on Friday and Saturday.
Sixty is the magic number.
Bassmaster Elites are coming back
The Bassmaster Elite Series returns to Southeast Texas in March 2015 to fish out of Orange.
The announcement was made last week, ahead of Bassmaster’s official tournament schedule announcement and the buzz is already strong in Southeast Texas and beyond.
I was in Orlando, Fla. attending the ICAST (fishing trade) show and talked with a number of top anglers including Kevin VanDam, Mike Iaconelli and Shaw Grigsby who said it was no surprise they would return considering the massive turnout for the weigh-ins and that the area welcomed them in a very special way.
It’s far too early to speculate anything like who the top contenders will be or how the fishing will be but there are some things to keep in mind and to look for over the next few months and into the event itself.
• Prefishing-There is a pre-fishing cutoff that usually extends to right before the Bassmaster Classic and I fully expect most of the anglers in the Elites to come back and prefish.
Last go-round probably 2/3 of the field fished the area but this time I expect that to be just about everyone. Many of the anglers that did not pre-fish told me they expected to have a lot of water to fish but the sheer volume and diversity was almost overwhelming.
Beginning probably in the early fall we will see many anglers fishing local waters to get a better idea on how to approach the area.
• East to West Runs-The Elite anglers fished far and wide but I expect even more running next go-round. After launching from the Simmons Drive Boat Ramp in Orange angler Bill Lowen ran down the Intracoastal, across Galveston Bay and fished in the Clear Lake area and placed in the top 12. The more adventurous anglers will try super long runs, in my opinion, even longer than last time to try and score on big fish. The Intracoastal Canal system makes that possible.
• Sabine River -Very few of the anglers actually fished in the Sabine River despite the event being called the “Sabine River Challenge”. I think that will change with more anglers running as far north as they can to find pockets of fish that receive little pressure and perhaps a four or five-pounder to push them over the top.
• Bigger Turnout-Last year some 34,000 people attended the event which set a Bassmaster record for an Elite event.
It was broken a couple of weeks later in New York but I fully expect the 2015 tournament to draw 40,000 plus. The reason they are coming back is not for the stellar fishing because while we have lots of bass, everyone knows our fishery cannot compare to Toledo Bend for example.
The support from the public however was amazing and that is what is bringing the top anglers on the planet to fish our area.
We will have the very best coverage of the event beginning now and leading up to it with exclusive interviews with all of the top pros with not only their thoughts on the big event but with unique tips on how you can catch more fish.
It’s an exciting time and I look forward to bringing you special coverage on a special event.
(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at email@example.com. You can hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com or watch him on “God’ Outdoors with Chester Moore” Saturdays at 10 a.m. on GETV.org)
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Mid County Babe Ruth set to host Southwest Regional
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