By Norm Haney, BuyLocalBG.com, BuyLocalBg@gmail.com/
Friday, October 14th, 2011 11:00 AM CST
For a lot of sports fans in southcentral Kentucky this week has been a long time coming. Although football season is just starting to heat up, it’s never too early to start thinking about basketball, especially in the Bluegrass State.
Friday night Bowling Green will play host to crosstown rival Warren Central. There are a few story lines that need to be mentioned. First and foremost, Bowling Green coach Kevin Wallace has yet to beat Warren Central’s Mike Rogers, who is in his third season as the Dragons head coach since leaving Graves County. The only reason this holds any significance is because Wallace has dominated the prep football scene in Bowling Green for the last 20-plus years.
Bowling Green (7-0) is the top ranked team in Class 5A while Warren Central (7-0) is third. When the two teams met last season at Dragon Stadium the Purples led the game up until the final play. That dramatic finish in 2010 has left fans optimistic that this installment will also provide some fireworks.
This matchup could also have postseason implications with the winner more than likely holding home field advantage in the playoffs, which could be important if the two teams meet again.
Both teams are very similar as well, boasting very physical front lines and stables loaded with skill. Scooter Hollis is a three-year starter for Bowling Green while Michael Bush is in his second year under center. It is worth mentioning that Bush started as a freshman in this matchup and won, so he’s used to the Purples tenacious defense.
Prediction: I’ve gone back and fourth on this game, but I think the Bowling Green defense is going to be the difference. The Purples defense is as tenacious as it gets and pursues the football with a fervor that’s rarely seen at the prep level. Hollis has a lot of options to throw the ball to, but expect Nacarius Fant to make a big play or two that’s the difference in the game. Bowling Green 24, Warren Central 20
Last and certainly not least – it’s time to tipoff this Friday night in the Commonwealth. Western Kentucky has Hilltopper Hysteria at Diddle Arena while Kentucky will have Big Blue Madness at Rupp Arena in Lexington.
It’s an exciting year for both programs. The Hilltoppers roster will feature seven
freshmen. In his third season at WKU, coach Ken McDonald is hoping his young
team will show consistent improvement and be ready to make a run at a Sun Belt
championship come March.
For John Calapari, it’s year three and if his last two seasons are any indicators of what’s to come, then Wildcat fans could be in for a fun ride. Year one yielded an Elite Eight appearance. Year two, the Final Four and it’s safe to say the Big Blue Nation is hoping this year means another banner in the rafters at Rupp.