By Norm Haney, 1340 The Ticket
Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 11:00 AM CST
Here’s another installment of 3-and-Out for BuyLocalBG.com and what a week we’ve got ahead of us.
We’ll start with the main event. This Friday night at El Donaldson Stadium the Bowling Green Purples will play host to crosstown rival Warren Central in round three of the Class 5A KHSAA Gridiron Bowl Championships.
These two teams met at The El on October 14th with the Purples (12-0) winning 21-0. The first half was a nip and tuck affair with Warren Central (11-1) trailing just 6-0, despite two first half fumbles that derailed potential scoring drives. Bowling Green began to take over the game late in the third quarter and never looked back. Bottom line – nobody that was at the game could have walked away not hoping these two teams would meet again.
Last week Warren Central put together its best effort of the season according to head coach Mike Rogers when it blasted a one-loss Christian County 49-0 in Hopkinsville. Bowling Green also continued its dominance with a convincing 35-6 win over Greenwood. So, it would appear that both teams are playing their best football when it matters most.
I see the difference in the game being what it was in the first meeting – turnovers. Both play great defense. Both have playmakers on offense that can make an ordinary play exceptional. Both teams have a better idea of what to expect from each other.
So, in my humble opinion, this is going to be a very close game and the team that does not make the most mistakes, will win the game and advance with a very good chance to going all the way. I successfully picked the Purples in the first matchup, but I think Warren Central is playing with more confidence now and have made the necessary adjustments to get over the top in this one. It should be epic!
Prediction – Warren Central 24, Bowling Green 23
Up next – first impressions on the collegiate hoops scene in the Commonwealth.
Second-ranked Kentucky was very impressive in its first real test of the season as they defeated No. 11 Kansas by the count of 75-65 at Madison Square Garden in NYC. While it took some time for the Wildcats offense to heat up their defense was very impressive. If the defense is already that good, just imagine what this team will look like once the offense becomes more consistent. UK fans have every right to be excited this season. A run for an eighth national championship is in the cards.
Speaking of the Cards, Louisville is very talented, but it might be a while before we truly know how good they are. Rick Pitino has once again provided his team with a cakewalk schedule in nonconference play. The Cardinals will play Vanderbilt, Memphis and of course UK, but other than that, it’s easy street until Big East play starts. With that said, I do think U of L is worthy of its top 10 ranking and should be in the mix for a Big East championship again this season.
Western Kentucky has been less than impressive in its first two games of the year, losing to St. Joseph’s and nipping Tennessee State. The Toppers youth and the growing pains that go along with it are obvious. Due to a compliance mistake WKU is without freshmen George Fant and T.J. Price for the first six games. Both players, especially Fant, were expected to be key contributors. This is the first season after hitting the reset button with coach Ken McDonald, but it appears the finger might remain on that button for quite a while. This is not going to be the typical Hilltopper season. Don’t judge this team on how they play in November and December, but instead what they look like come March. I expect them to be much improved, but also yielding a less than impressive record. Get to the Sun Belt tournament in Hot Springs, Arkansas and it could be interesting. This is not WKU’s year, but the next two or three very well could be.
Last, but not least – let’s give a belated shout out to the Greenwood volleyball team, who made it all the way to the state championship match before bowing out to Louisville Assumption 2-0.
It’s worth mentioning, that since they started crowning a state volleyball champion in Kentucky, Assumption has won 15 of them and a public school has never taken home a title.
The Lady Gators, coached by the husband and wife team of Allen and Holly
Whittinghill, have won seven of the last 9 Fourth Region titles and 10 straight District 14 championships.