The Point After:
Published: Apr 10, 2012 05:48 PM
Modified: Apr 10, 2012 05:55 PM
Spring break baseball tournaments are the rough equivalent of Christmastime basketball tournaments.
They bring together teams from different areas and conferences in hopes of creating better-than-normal regular-season games that create interest for fans and players alike.
But theres one big deteriment to scheduling baseball tournaments other than being reliant upon good weather conditions and that is different N.C. school systems have different spring breaks. Sometimes its not feasible to put together the best tournament possible.
What it sadly leads to is a field like the Bobby Murray Tournament in its 25th year having 10 teams with half of them from the same conference.
Thats a trend that has been in the making for awhile, as a few area coaches have tried to get away from the Bobby Murray because they wound up playing too many teams already on their schedule and some already in the same conference.
Though the Bobby Murray is the oldest area tournament, its hard to argue that its still the best.
This years field had no teams ranked in the N&O top 12.
Meanwhile, the Hilltop in Orange County had 16 teams two out of state, five from the Triad and the remaining nine teams representing four area conferences (but split so that those teams had little or no chance to play one another).
Four of those nine Triangle teams were in the N&O top 12.
Improvements can always be made, however.
The Chatlee Invitational in Sanford last year hosted Green Hope, Middle Creek and Cary in a round-robin format. It wasnt much of a challenge to those teams, but this year the field changed. The Chatlee will now have an eight-team bracket that featurse five of the best teams in the Sandhills area, including four conference frontrunners.
Itd be nice to see a shake-up of that next year.
A few of the Bobby Murray teams specifically any of the five from the Cap-8 Conference who were in this years field need to leave Wake County and try to play in the Hilltop. Maybe a few of the Hilltop teams or maybe those in the Johnston County Easter Invitational should try their hand at the Bobby Murray, where at best you can topple big 4A schools like the Wake Home School team and at worst your team can play on some of the finest fields theyll ever see.
Spring break baseball tournaments will never receive the level of hype that Christmas basketball tournaments do. But that doesnt mean we cant strive for a better product. Delay on voting:
Im not one to whine about voting processes but the biggest awards in high school need to be expedited.
It took until March 31 to announce the AP all-state basketball teams which took into account players who had their high school seasons end as late as Feb. 25 or March 10 the dates of the NCISAA and NCHSAA championship games. The N.C. Basketball Coaches Association came out with its all-state teams and awards on April 2.
This isnt too different from football season, when the seasons officially ended with the final championship game on Dec. 3, yet the AP all-state teams werent announced until Jan. 20.
So why so long?
Did anyone need a month of reflection to try and place Rodney Purvis and Kristen Gaffney as players of the year?
Theres no need for it, and it almost seems as though it tries to take away from others, though there is no disrespect meant by the late timing. Tri-Nine fares well:
In all, the Tri-Nine Conference went 16-9 in spring break tournaments.
Three of those are losses by Lee County, who entered this week as the leagues seventh-place team, playing against some of the nations top teams in the National High School Invitational hosted by USA Baseball.
The big winners were tournament champions Cary, Middle Creek and Green Hope each going 3-0 in their respective fields. Thomas to Francis Marion:
Cary Christian senior Chris Thomas has accepted a scholarship to play mens basketball at Francis Marion in Florence, S.C.
Thomas is the schools second all-time leading scorer with 1,649 points. He averaged 23.2 points and 9.9 rebounds per game this year for the Kinghts, earning NCISAA 2A all-state status.
He also set a school record his senior year for the most points and rebounds in any one game (47 points, 20 rebounds). Young switches:
Panther Creek senior Thomas Young, the first player in the schools history to sign with a Division I baseball program, has switched that commitment to Western Carolina, where hell still be a Catamount. Young was previously heading to Gardner-Webb.