Dawgs topple Eagles in “upset,” 49-47

Yes, folks, I do understand that today is Super Bowl Sunday, the one day of the year where all Americans are fixated on the pigskin.  But, as a basketball fan first and foremost, I couldn’t help but find some time today to reflect on what could potentially turn out to be a season-defining victory for RFH against Middletown South.  So amidst all of the wing-eating, chip-dipping, and soda-drinking (for the under 21 crowd) that makes today special, here are some thoughts on Saturday’s contest:

1) As basketball goes, it’d be hard to ask for a more exciting game than the one we got.  Lead changes, scoring runs, back door passes, and controversial fouls galore throughout the first 3 quarters and 7 minutes.  And then, a final minute of regulation that was one of the most riveting I’ve seen in all my years of watching basketball.  A flagrant foul.  An incredible performance at the free throw line by Jordan Iarussi.  Middletown South having a chance to tie it, or win it, with 9 seconds to go, down 2, with the ball.  A foul with 0.0 seconds left on the clock.  And to cap it all off, a missed free throw to end the game at 49-47.  Could it have been any more drama filled than that?

2) Before I get to individual performances, I’d like to give major kudos to the entire team for their effort yesterday.  That game was a real litmus test in my eyes as far as where the Dawgs are compared to other Shore Conference teams, and what this team cbe capable of in the postseason.  Middletown South is no slouch of an opponent; coming into the game, they were ranked No. 5 in the  most recent www.AllShoreMedia.com Top 10 rankings.  Granted, the Eagles were without star forward Kyle Cancillieri (who was out after suffering an injury in Friday night’s game against CBA), but in sports, that stuff happens, and you play with who you got.  The fact that the Dawgs were able to withstand several scoring runs by South, including a few during the fourth quarter, is a major indication to me that this team is starting to play like pre-season No. 6 team in the conference.  It doesn’t matter to me that it took them this long to click, because if you ask any coach, they’d rather have their team clicking in late-January and February than early December.

3) Matt Blumel against the Eagles.  Wow.  Amazing.  Maybe another “wow,” just for emphasis.  To put it bluntly, he absolutely carried RFH on Saturday.  Overall, Blumel tallied 24 points on 9-17 shooting from the field (53%).  I was most impressed with the pump fake clinic that he put on.  There were countless times when Matt would jump stop into the lane, pump fake, and then go under a flying defender to get an easy floater.  If Blumel can build off that game yesterday and continue to play like that, this team will be scary going forward.

4) As an aside, how good was the Middletown South pep band?  They were AWESOME! Really added to the atmosphere of the game.

Alright, enjoy the Super Bowl everyone.  I’ll go out on a limb and take the Cardinals. Larry Fizgerald is just a sick receiver, and I think he will be the difference for Arizona.

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