Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Expect the unexpected

Peyton Manning signs with the Broncos.

Tim Tebow lands with Jets.

Tiger Woods wins his first golf tournament in more than 2 1/2 years.

What a whacky couple of weeks it has been. But that's what makes sports what it is. It will be hard to Tebow wearing green and white. It will be next to impossible to see Manning wearing the Denver logo.

It won't be surprising at all to see Tiger slipping on the famed Augusta Green Jacket after the Masters next week, but it would have been six months ago considering just how badly the former No. 1 player in the world was playing.

The Final Four is set and if there's a team that went into — and remained — the team to beat in NCAA Tournament, Kentucky certainly is. Bitter in-state rival Louisville awaits the Wildcats in the national semifinals, with the winner of Ohio State and Kansas in the wings.

If the pattern holds, you can expect to see Kentucky coach John Calipari cutting down the nets Monday in New Orleans.

Then again, ask me two weeks ago and I would have said with as much certainty you would be seeing Manning in the Colts blue and white and Tebow in Denver.

Just goes to show, you never know.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Hooping it up in the postseason

I know baseball spring training is underway and the thought of sunny days and temperatures in the 60s being just around the corner warms my heart, but locally it's still basketball season around here.

That said, what a wild weekend we had in the Section 9 finals.

Let's start with the champions. Five area teams — Marlboro and Pine Plains in boys and Red Hook, Highland and Coleman Catholic in girls — are on their way to regionals. While Pine Plains, Highland and Coleman had relatively easy times in winning their respective titles, Marlboro and Red Hook had everything they could handle in their finals.

The Iron Dukes earned their first sectional title since 1989 by overcoming a double-digit deficit in the third quarter to beat Red Hook in overtime. The boys loss denied Raider nation a sweep of the A titles after the girls squad held off top-seeded Cornwall in their final.

Things won't get any easier for either team, as well as the other three as we head into regionals. Defending state D champion Coleman was bounced up to C this year, while Highland faces a familiar foe in Irvington — the team that knocked the Huskies out of regionals the past two years.

Let's hope all five of our local teams can ride the momentum of winning sectionals all the way through to states.

Congratulations on a great job thus far.