As the end of the 2007-2008 basketball season nears, only a handful of weeks are left to play before districts as teams fine tune their rosters and game plans in hopes to make a championship run.
And while there are many great teams out there, most of which I couldn't play for, it would seem as though three have risen to the top of Southeast Missouri. The Dexter Bearcats, the Kelly Hawks and the Portageville Bulldogs.
Now before I lose the seven or eight readers that I have, let me clarify-- this piece isn't devoted to the guys but rather the ladies of the court.
Coaches Chad Allen, Rod McQuerter, and Eric Ellerbrook have all done an excellent job with their respective ball clubs this year and have them in prime position for a playoff run. Of course, the right combination of team and individual effort does help when accumulating tallies in the win column.
There have been several individual efforts that have made the headlines for these teams this season. Some of those outings include a 26 point showcase by Portageville's Brittney Walker in a 72-48 win against Scott City, while Debra Hall's 35 points for Kelly helped give her team a 55-46 final over Oran.
And let's not for get the superior game of Dexter's Katelyn Heil who unleashed 42 points in a 81-66 victory over Portageville.
However, while I wasn't fortunate enough to see these games, the best performance I have personally seen this season didn't come from a powerhouse team from the area. Rather it came from Sikeston's Amber Minner who managed 33 points in a 60-47 win over New Madrid County Central last Thursday. With two seconds left in third quarter and her team down 41-31, Minner beat the buzzer on a long three before rallying her team with 17 fourth quarter points for the comeback win.
Yes, point wise it may have been no greater than some of the previous efforts listed, but never have I seen a single player change the complexion of a game in the short amount of time in which she did.
Although their record may not be as good as the Dexter, Kelly or Portageville squads, the Lady Bulldogs have already surpassed their win total of last season under the direction of coach Homer Jackson. With a relatively shorthanded, young roster this year they are showing signs of improvement each week.
Who knows what these following weeks might hold for these teams and others from around the area. But if the action thus far is any indication of what's to come, it should be an exciting final month of basketball.
As for me, after all these great individual performances, I can't help but be reminded of one thing. My dominating run in the church league circuit... before we went 0-8 my final season.