Bernie plays undefeated Sturgeon in the Class 2 State Championship on Saturday at 5 p.m. Bernie has NEVER won a state championship in basketball.
Any thoughts or predictions regarding this game?
I will post my prediction for this game around 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
The question of the semi-final game between Bernie and Eskridge was wondering which Bernie team would get off the bus. I think the only question about the championship game will be which team gets off the Sturgeon bus. Bernie did not have a particularly good offensive game against Eskridge but made their star player work for everything he got in the second half by assigning him to "the hound" Jordan McGowan. Sturgeon is a very balanced team and I can see why they are undefeated, but can they maintain the defense it will take to take the mules out of their game for the entire game? While being able to handle man to man defense that Bernie is known for? I think Bernie has a great chance of bringing home their first state champonship. It will be a fantastic game to watch and with the fans of sturgeon and Bernie in the Mizzou Arena, it is certainly going to be loud!
I just cannot say enough about how well Bernie's players executed offensively after the first quarter of the Bernie / Eskridge (Wellston) game. Here are my thoughts on the Bernie / Eskridge (Wellston) game I posted on Tuesday:
" If the game is close after the first quarter I think Bernie will have a great chance to win the game. But the first quarter will be a crucial portion of the game. More specifically, the first two or three minutes of the first quarter. Wellston has the ability to jump out to an early lead. Hopefully, this won't happen on Thursday."
Wellston jumped out early in the game. Bernie was forced to call a timeout after falling behind 9-2. At the end of the first quarter, Bernie trailed 20-11. However, in my opinion, the most crucial portion of the game was the second quarter. Bernie outscored Wellston by 15 points in the second quarter. This was the difference in game. So many players played well for Bernie during this game. Jake Smith's contributions were unprecedented. I think you could present an argument he is the best center in Class 2 this season.
There was also one HUGE coaching decision in the game that wasn't mentioned after the conclusion of the game. Bernie took the lead with 11 seconds remaining. Bernie coach Brad Botsch elected to use his final timeout to set his defense. The timeout was extremely valuable. If Bernie doesn't have the timeout I think McLemore probably has an opportunity to hit the game winning shot. I do not know what was said in the huddle during the timeout. I do not know if there was a plan to trap McLemore in the corner when he crossed half court with the ball or if things just turned out that way. But if Brad Botsch doesn't call the timeout I do not think Bernie gets the opportunity to trap McLemore at half court. If McLemore doesn't get trapped in the corner he probably takes the last shot. There is no guarantee he would have made the shot. But his shooting percentage is extremely high.
According to maxpreps Bernie should have an advantage in height. Sturgeons' tallest player is listed at 6'3", with only 2 others over 6". Which is probably a safe bet that since they have limited height=they can run. I mean they have to be 31-0 for areason. They have 3 players averaging double figures; 2 of which are Juniors. One of their big wins was against Pilot grove by score of 58-47, Pilot Grove & SCC will play in the class 1 championship on saturday.
Sturgeon can light up the scoreboard as only one of their of bench players has not attempted a three point shot this year. They did not get to 31-0 without being able to score. Now, by admission of a Sturgeon player, they have not played alot of stiff competition this year, as their schedule does not consist of larger schools as Bernie's does. Sturgeon likes playing a zone defense, and with the lack of height in the middle Bernie could make quick work of that zone if they won't come out of it. The Bernie guards could light up from 3 point range and then dump it in the middle to Jake Smith, who will have his way around the bucket I think. Now, Bernie will have to adjust theif defensive strategy as well though. I would expect them to continue to play man to man, as they have all year. But they will not be able to drop off in the paint and help on defense without paying the cost of Sturgeon players getting hot from 3 point land. I have talked with several members of the Bernie squad today and they have thier heads screwed on tight and just the intentions to finish what they came to accomplish, bringing the first state title home to Bernie, MO! Members of both the '63 and '89 squads are in attendance here in Columbia and are excited at the possibility of the state title coming to Bernie. A former coach came and talked to the Bernie squad in their work out this morning, motivating them even further than what they were already. The team introductions will be done NBA style with highlights of the semi final games on the big screen over the court in the Mizzou Arena. It will be an awesome experience for the teams and fans!! Mizzou Arena will be bathed in blue and white as both teams wear the same colors. Fans and alumni of Bernie are coming in from all over the midwest, as well as the chearing section from Meadow Heights coming up tomorrow to support the Mules!! The two teams have developed a friendship that will continue for some time to come I expect.
Ok, with all that being said, I will go ahead and walk out on a limb here and make my prediction...it is going to be a great game to watch and I can't wait. Bernie by 15. Defensive pressure will bring fatigue and frustration into play for Sturgeon in the second half and the Mules bring home the first state title to Bernie.
I agree with u early80smule i feel that the Mules Defense will be a major factor in this game .... I say the same thing about the score i say by 10-20 Mules WIN ......
DRAWMULES what do u think ?
I will post my prediction for the game at 4:45 p.m. Saturday.
I hope Bernie loses because they have an arrogant and annoying coaching staff. If all coaches were humble and gracious like Jim Bidewell, then they would be easy to root for. Unfortunately, we are stuck with the likes of David Heeb, Botsch & Long, and Bausch and Lomb.
I was getting worried about you. You haven't spoken since Thursday morning when you were talking about how Eskridge would beat Bernie by double digits because their schedule was stronger. I'm glad you are ok. Win or lose . . . Bernie is having a special ceremony at the Bernie gymnasium on Sunday at 4 p.m. You should come to the celebration.
I am 723 miles away in Fort Polk, Louisiana, and thanks to MSHAA TV, I will be able to watch the Mules bring home their first title, and then at 8pm on NJCAA TV, watch the TRCC Raiders win the NJCAA national title, and then of course with SCC taking home the title, it will be a GREAT Day for SEMO basketball.
I never said Eskridge would beat Bernie by double digits. I don't remember ever making a prediction. I just said that people assumed because Eskridge played a close game with Scott City, that locals think Bernie would win easily. And obviously that game wasn't easy. I only have like 6 posts on here. That's why I've been "quiet". I have other things to do with my life. Go...whoever Bernie is playing in the finals!
fans of bernie here at the hotel are saying scc would loose to them by 20 points if we played them ...lol what are they smoking down there to make these people say that lol scc would kill them
I could have guessed you didn't follow basketball closely without you offering the information.
Prediction: Bernie over Sturgeon by 8. With this being said, final four games are hard to predict. You never know if a team will come out playing scared. In my opinion, Eskridge is more talented than Sturgeon. But Sturgeon is undefeated. They are also 22 miles from Columbia. They have a home court advantage that would be comparable to home court advantage in a college game because they do not have to travel and stay in motels. They are also in their territory. Many have suggested Bernie will win by 15. But something tells me the game may be closer considering the obstacles Bernie will have to overcome in the game.
I'm live from Mizzou Arena now: http://semoball.com/coveritlive
"I heard that Wellston plays a lot of Class 4 and Class 5 schools from the St. Louis area, etc. and that is why their record is 18-10. It would be interesting to see what Bernie's record would be if they had the same schedule. When playing Class 4 schools this year, Bernie hasn't been too successful. All the locals are constantly saying that because Scott City played a close game with Wellston that Bernie will win by 67 points. Hmmm...maybe they are right.
Wellston is also one of those teams that makes you realize how nonathletic your team really is. Your team can barely get the rim, they are throwing down windmills. It takes more than athleticism to win a basketball game, but apparently Wellston has some ball players too. I hope Wellston wins based on funk only. And if Bernie wins, some people's heads will swell up so much they will look like those Wii characters, and their bosoms will overflow like C.S.
R.I.P. John Ritter"
Is the only thing I've ever said about Bernie vs. Eskridge. So where did I predict a double digit victory for Bernie? What evidence is there that I don't follow basketball before forming an opinion?
You're just a Bernie homer who can't be objective right now. It's okay. Bernie will probably win, but I hope they lose.
All I can say they had 6 players almost whole game enough said
Sturgeon was a better team on Saturday than Thursday. I would love to tell you Bernie just didn't play well. However, I do not think Bernie could have played much better on Saturday. McGowan and Owens were amazing.
I found it interesting McLemore did not take the last shot for Eskridge on Thursday and I found it just as interesting that Bernie did not hold for one shot against Sturgeon Saturday. Bernie started melting the clock with approximately one minute remaining. They had melted over half the time off the clock when they drove to the basket and missed. Even if the shot would have fallen Sturgeon would have had an opportunity to win the game with a 3. The shot didn't fall for Bernie and Sturgeon got an opportunity to win the game in regulation they simply do not get if Bernie holds the ball for one shot and does not turn the ball over. Nevertheless, Bernie rarely held for one shot at the end of any quarter this year. I guess you have to stick with what got your team to the state championship.
In 1963 and 1989 Bernie won second in the state. A coomon theme in my posts for volleyball and basketball this year is history repeats itself. I guess the theme is appropriate for Bernie's finish for 2010. Second once again.
In my opinion, the players should be very proud of their accomplishments. The community will have great memories of the players on this year's team for the next several decades. Very very special group.
Once again defense was key and sturgeon was able to bother the mules the entire game. I really thought the tides had turned heading into the 4th quarter with a lead. But sturgeon wasn't done yet. If a couple things had gone differently it would have been a different outcome, but what close sporting event isn't that way? It was a great game to watch! Congrats to sturgeon going undefeated n winning the championship. The Bernie squad has nothing to be ashamed of. I stopped in kingdom city and was approached by several people who was at the game and voiced that sentiment. As well as did coach Paul Hale who was sitting three rows behind me. What a great season it has been! I have had a great time watching this team play and develop. Go home with your heads held high guys, it was one heck of a run! I only hope it isn't another 20 years before we do it again!!
Poor Bernie, The just seem to have a problem in big games against teams with a Bulldog as a mascot. The Portageville Bulldogs last year and the Sturgeon Bulldogs this year. After watching them play several games this year in Semo it was easy to see that this team wasnt ready for the pressure of a game like today. They have some okay ball players but the coaching staff is full of egos and attitudes. I hope all the Bernie fans enjoyed being in Columbia this weekend and I hope they took lots of pictures because I predict it will be another 21 years before they make it back.
Drawmules, I hope you have another job besides predicting the outcome of High School basketball games. Arent you also the one who predicted Heeb would have a great year at Caruthersville. I guess that makes you 0-2
I would say my predicting percentage was close to 85% this year. However, the focus of this thread should remain on the outstanding accomplishments made by the Bernie basketball team this season.
As 2.8 sec had ended all I could think was that Jake did all he could to make the shot, Jeremy did all he could to get the ball to him and the boys played a great game all around and were beat!! As my eyes watered I turned around and a fan behind said can you believe that North Iowa beat Kansas and all I could think was **** happens!! Hold your heads high as we had one hell of a season!! I text Joe and told him about the Kansas game and I hope I made it better!! I have enjoyed this year and these kids are the best!! Look out baseball season!!!!!! Thank you Bernie Mules for an exciting season!!
I wanted Bernie to lose. But I've very rarely seen a team as successful as Sturgeon take such horrible shots. I think they got very lucky tonight. It was Bernie's game to win/lose with a minute to go. They just kind of let it slip away. Some of those three pointers, and even long two pointers, that Sturgeon hit were crazy. Perhaps that's just how they play. But if just a couple of those horrible shot selected three pointers didn't go in, Bernie wins. It was an exciting game to watch.
This group of seniors for Bernie have been succesful since they were in jr high. I doubt Bernie will be in this position for a long time as well. They have one returning starter? And their bench was horrible. But Class 2 is always the weakest class in basketball. You never know what could happen.
I guess Bootheel Baller has the highest basketball IQ in the forum, besides Joe Raider & Hoss Jones.
I was as surprised about the result of this game as you were about the result of the Bernie / Eskridge game. I was not impressed with Sturgeon on Thursday. However, people from other portions of the state had told me this was the best Class 2 team in the state. I believed these people until I watched Sturgeon play on Thursday. I was not impressed. Perhaps Sturgeon didn't want to impress anyone Thursday. Nevertheless, Bernie had a 7 point lead late in the fourth. Yes Bernie was in a good position. But it didn't happen. It may be too early to begin talking about next year but I agree with you that Bernie will not be in this position again in the near future. Hopefully, it won't be another 21 years. But even if it happens in 10 years I doubt if I will get the chance to see it. Best of luck to your school next year even if you do yell against Bernie for some unknown reason.
What is the crying shame about this blog is that Bernie continues to be a laughing stock of southeast missouri because it's very own people like to get on the internet and tear the town and the school down! Some entries on this blog made me think that I was on topix instead of semoball.com! It's not about the coaching staff or the school board or officials, this is about the team! A fine bunch of young men that have played their hearts out all season and should go out with their heads held high and proud of the years that they have represented the Bernie school system and town. Anyone who wants to go after anyone should be required to walk in their shoes for a month before publicly blasting them. Do you see this kind of thing anywhere on the internet about Scott County Central, Charleston, Cape Notre Dame, Poplar Bluff, Sikeston and Kennett or any of the other schools that have been successful over the years? Not nearly as much as you have Bernie I'm afraid. If you don't like the school system, employees of the school system or the school board then don't let those feelings take away from the accomplishments of a bunch of boys that gave their heart and souls to play the best basketball they could and bring pride back to our little town! Lets go back to the old addagge of, "if you can't say something nice, then don't say anything at all"!
Go Bernie Mules!!!!! I have only lived here 3 years but I love this little town and all that comes with it!! Anyone that has anything negative to say about this place obviously hasn't lived anywhere else!!!!! I will be here for ever and think of Bernie as my home town!!! Look out 2014 thru 2018!! My hope is we will see this kind talent one of these years!! Yes that's because my son would be a 2018 grad!!! I will see all you Bernie fans at 4:00!
I agree with some of your comments and disagree with some of your comments. Nevertheless, everyone (including you, Pwilcox, Bootheel baller and mulesfan77) are entitled to their own opinion as long as they do not break any of semoball's forum posting rules.
I see nothing shameful on this thread. I only see one comment about officiating and zero comments about the school board (and I have know idea what the school board has to do with the Bernie / Sturgeon state championship game and I really don't want anyone to explain this to me on this thread). There are a few comments about the coaching staff. State championship games decided by two points in the last 30 seconds are debatable.
I found it interesting that Bernie did not hold for one shot after melting over half of the time off the clock in the last minute of the game. I do not believe mentioning this takes away from the accomplishments of this year's team.
Other forum threads about other schools contain negative comments and positive comments. Read the thread about Sikeston, Notre Dame, Charleston, etc. There are hundreds of positive and negative comments written by hundreds of posters.
I agree with you the team should receive recognition for their accomplishments. I do no think there are a considerable number of posts that do not recognize the outstanding accomplishments made by this team. This team is a very special team. I do not believe their accomplishments will be forgotten anytime soon.
I am not a Bernie fan, but I predicted last year they would win class 2. Boy was I wrong. They didn't win, but they did great. I don't see the point in "crying over spilt milk" ...unless of course, crying makes you feel better.
I had Harrisburg defeating Bernie in the finals last year. In the end, Portageville got past Bernie and Harrisburg to win the state title.
This year I would say Bernie, Sturgeon and Eskridge were very equal. All three teams could have won the state title.
You never know what will happen in March. This weekend was a perfect example of March Madness.
Sorry, had to watch miss the zoo blow another chance. March madness indeed. Baseball starts (as soon as the field is dry) tomorrow.
Drawmules, any job prospects?
You must know me well or you wouldn't have made the zoo comment. We don't need farther elaboration on the topic. Me and you both know what it means and most of the other readers and the moderator have absolutely know idea what we are talking about. Sorry Moderator . . . I hope curiosity doesn't do you know what to the cat.
I look forward to baseball season. I think Bernie has a better baseball team than basketball team. There are many talented baseball players on Bernie's baseball team. The pitching, defense and hitting on this year's team should be outstanding. The basketball team almost always gets the larger crowd and basketball tends to get more coverage. In reality, however, I've always felt like the baseball team had more raw talent.
Regarding the job prospects sawdust49, I'm not 100 % sure yet, but I think we both know I don't plan on covering the circus next year (If you know what I mean).
Its funny. We've never met, and I don't know you, yet reading your post / columns I've developed a feel for who you are. I think you've got a good "vision" for the game. You see what others don't, or have overlooked. I think you'll make it.
Drawmules, I think you have done a good job covering and updating games plus other aspects of the games coming and going. I was in Columbia for the games. Bernie and Sturgeon was a classic. I wish it never would end. Very good game to watch. I felt bad for the Mules. It's a hard to say they choked or any stupid remark. Sturgeon was just the better team that day. Bernie's kids played their butts off. The ref's did a OK job. Smith getting in foul trouble was a factor, but Bernie seemed to play through it. I heard 1 player tell him when he fouled out, we got it. I thought they had it too. What a game. WOW!
It wasn't a unique decision for Bernie not to hold for one shot at the end of the final quarter of the state championship game. Bernie has rarely held for one shot at the end of any quarter over the past four years. This has always irrated me and it really irritated me on Saturday.
The players were amazing. You cannot say enough about the way McGowan and Owens played in the state championship game. Smith was outstanding in the state semifinal game and would have dominated in the state final barring foul trouble. Other players also made significant contributions. Hopefully, some of the players will receive all-state for their accomplishments this season.
http://www.dailystatesman.com/story/1619... from this picture i see no other ref in the pic and it was taken from other end of court... and as far as i remember the ref in the picture which was closest to the play didn't call the cheap foul to give the game away I believe it was the REF that TURNED a OUT OF BOUNDS call around to the other team after it was called by one of the ther refs. I am sure everyone that was there knows which one i am talking about ....... they should have let it go to OT but as the ole saying is sh@# happens........ i think the MSHSAA should review tapes of games that are officiated like some have been ...... and discipline them....
There was NO BODY CONTACT and hand was on ALL BALL if you zoom in
Ok. I just got off the phone with MSHSAA and said your right. It should have reviewed like NCAA. They said to let them know when you want to reserve Mizzou Arena, and how much time you want put back on the clock. But they refuse to reimburse you for your mental anquish. NOT
UMMMMM . . . . I really hate to disagree considering I'm probably in the minority but I thought the officials did a good job.
Here are my thoughts regarding the officiating . . . The officials did a good job in the state championship game. A large number of fouls were called on both sides. I was unable to determine with 100% certainty that there was a foul on the play you are referring to at the end of the game. However, it looked like a foul from my vantage point.
I would be shocked if the officials are disciplined for their calls in this game. But if they are I'm sure Crader will get an article on it up on semoball ASAP. It would definitely be newsworthy. Have you heard anything about disciplinary actions being taken against the officials Crader? HaHa You watched the game Crader. Did you think the officials were objective? I thought they were pretty fair. But I'm just one person and I think I am probably outnumbered on this thread.
I watched the film of the game today. You cannot really say Bernie blew a 7 point lead in the last three minutes of the game. Sturgeon hit some really big shots from long range. Bernie had one turnover that stands out late in the fourth quarter. However, both teams had a few turnovers earlier in the game also. The decision not to hold for one shot after running the clock from 1:05 to 0:25 was the most crucial error in the fourth quarter.
Maybe you should call Brad Botsch and tell him how big of an idiot he and his team are for shooting the ball with 0:25 remaining. Time to move on...
Blew a 7 point lead/other team fought back from a 7 point deficit...it's all the same. Those three point shots Sturgeon hit were pretty remarkable, however, they had been shooting ill-advised shots from long range all game. So obviously, getting out on the three point shooters and taking the shot away should be priority number one. But anyone who has played basketball understands that the closer you get to the man with the ball, the easier it is to get beat off the dribble. And a great basketball player can both penetrate and shoot, so pick your poison.
McGowan got away with a travel in a critical situation anyway that made Bernie look like they were going to pull away. Then Surgeon hit shots that most teams would never hit.
Congrats to Bernie on a wonderful season. They played hard and were coached well. Finishing 2nd in State is an awesome accomplishment, many people don't realize the work ethic it takes to just reach the title game. Again congrats to all involved with Bernie, you represented your town and the SEMO area very well.
I would like to congratulate the Bernie Mules on two great Final Four games! They had two very tough games and played well in both and have nothing to hang their heads about. Following Sturgeon all year - I can tell you that while they have blown out some weaker teams - lately that have kept our hearts racing by playing to the same caliber as their opponents. The Bernie team/fans witnessed this on Thursday and Saturday. While not speaking poorly of Clever - Sturgeon didn't play to their potential in that game - as has been mentioned. Sturgeon fans knew going into Saturday's game against Bernie that this would be a great game because of very similar matchup of players/style of play. If you hadn't seen either team play - you could have switched uniforms and not known the difference. As far as Trey Chisholm (#31) someone from Bernie asked me after the game "has he played like that all year?" - I told them "if he wanted to he could"... Trey is a lot better person than an athlete... He is the most humble and selfless young man you'll ever meet... Being a fan of youth first and foremost - I was happy for all the young men from Bernie and Sturgeon who gave it all they had on Saturday and all players/fans should be proud of the boys on both teams. The boys played with heart, class, sportsmanship and left everything on the floor.
One more thing I wanted to mentioned - Sturgeon was one run away from going to the Final Four last Spring in Baseball. We graduated 1 senior from that team and the entire pitching staff is back... Good luck to Bernie is baseball this spring and hope the boys can match up in a classic baseball final four like they did in what many are saying was the "best high school basketball game they ever saw!"... btw - the first person to tell me that was a very kind elderly Bernie man that I talked to after the game Saturday..
I was very impressed with Sturgeon on Saturday. #31 deserves all-state. I've only watched him play twice. However, he was very impressive. I find it very interesting Sturgeon will be in a position to compete for the final four in baseball this season. There are several extremely talented Class 1 baseball teams in Southeast Missouri. Bernie may have the best pitcher,hitter, CF, and baserunner in Class 1. I think Bernie is a clear favorite to advance to the state final four in baseball. But the competion they will face in Southeast Missouri in Class 1 is very strong. Cooter, Oran and Oak Ridge are loaded and Bernie may have to play all three teams in the state playoffs.
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