It was a tough week in hoops for the varsity Pioneers, but the sophs mounted a furious comeback to earn a big win over Marquette on Tuesday night.
The Pioneers met #1 seeded Chaminade in the Finals of the Denver Miller Tournament last Saturday, and came out battling. It was a physical ballgame, and it was clear that the Pioneers would not be intimidated or back down from the highly regarded Red Devils or their All-American Bradley Beal. Beal took some punishment on his trips to the rim, but give him credit, he bounced up from tough hits and kept attacking. Then he heated up from the outside, hitting seven 3's. His teammates were equally hot, and when that happens, Chaminade will be tough to beat.
The Pioneers ran into another Div. I prospect in Ryan Rosburg and the Marquette Mustangs. The Pioneers fell behind early, but rallied to cut the deficit to 4 late in the first half. Marquette mounted a rally of their own in the second half, and turnovers doomed the Pioneers.
One real bright spot was the continued tough defensive play by 6'4" freshman Evan Booker. He had at least 5 blocks on the 6'8" Rosburg, which I think took the Marquette junior by surprise. This was no fluke, however, as Booker has distinguished himself as one of the best young shot blockers around. He has long arms, good athleticism, and excellent timing, and a "hard-to-come-by" understanding of how to block shots without fouling. You can't watch this kid play without wondering just how good he can become in the next 3 1/2 years!!
The sophomores used full court pressure in their game against the Mustangs to force several key turnovers necessary to complete a thrilling come-from-behind win. Eric McWoods hit some big free-throws down the stretch to seal the victory. I like watching this team play. They play hard and never stop competing.
You won't want to miss the game Friday night, as the Pioneers take on the Longhorns from Parkway West. It should be a great game, with the added attraction of the "Male Pommies" show at halftime. It'll be a fun way to spend a snowy Friday night at The Wood!!