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Random thoughts: BL hoops, UConn men, steroids and the Super Bowl

POSTED January 16, 2014
BY Patrick Tiscia
Twitter: @PatrickTiscia


Last Friday, I witnessed one of the most dominant Berkshire League boys basketball teams in recent memory.

Looking for a game to cover, I selected Terryille-Lewis Mills as Terryville was unbeaten in league play and the Spartans had just one league loss.

Sure, heading in, the Kangaroos had demolished all but one of the BL teams it faced. But I, at least, expected a close game.

Wrong.

Terryville led 20-6 after one quarter and cruised to a 70-45 win. Since then, the Kangaroos added a 79-45 triumph over Gilbert on Tuesday.

The Berkshire League has had teams with great records over the past 10 years, but I can’t remember one that has routinely pummeled its opponents the way Terryville has.

Mark Fowler’s Kangaroos are 7-0 in BL play and have won by at least 24 points in their last six league contests. Among those wins includes an 80-29 victory over Wamogo and a 44-point triumph against Housatonic. Their closest encounter came on opening night as a tough Northwestern squad finished within eight of them.

Leading the way are Jacob Johnson (23.0 points per game) and Shea Tracy (18.3), who are second and third in BL scoring, respectively.  

Thomaston visits Terryville on Friday in a quest to upset the Kangaroos. At this point, an upset may be a loss under 20 points.

Not just for Thomaston, but anyone.

***

While it’s clear Terryville (8-1 overall) is the class of the league, there are some other good teams, as well.

On Friday, Northwestern (6-2) will make the short trip to Gilbert (4-2) for a big matchup with the Yellowjackets. I am covering the game and will have a report up late Friday night.

***

It should be an interesting two-game slate for the UConn men starting tonight at Memphis and late Saturday night (9 p.m.) at home against Louisville.

In the Huskies’ last game, a win over Central Florida on Saturday, the long awaited emergence of Amida Brimah finally took place as the freshman center tallied 20 points, eight rebounds and five blocks.

Asking for a similar performance tonight, on the road no less, is too much. The Huskies, in order to win their second road game, will need a better performance than they received from Shabazz Napier in their miserable two-game trip to Texas earlier in the month. Outside of a strong second half at Houston, Napier struggled in the losses to the Cougars and SMU.

It’s safe to say, this far into the season, the Huskies will go only as far as Napier takes them.

***

I loathe writing and talking about steroids, especially the A-Rod mess.

I have just one question I’d like to ask: Is Major League Baseball’s drug testing really working if a serial-user like A-Rod never failed a test?

Most of the Biogensis crew got suspended because they were too stupid in covering their paper trails, not because they failed a test.

Bud Selig can brag all he wants about the progress made in getting PEDs out the game. There’s still a long, long way to go, though.

***

For the record, I’m taking the road teams on Sunday. Between the Patriots and their Boston fan base along with the 49ers and their front-running fan base that terrorized me in middle school, this matchup at the Meadowlands is an absolute nightmare for Giants fans.

I’m hope I’m wrong.

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