Life in the Cheap Seats: Can Anyone Best the West?

Another long and grueling NBA regular season comes to an end tonight, and the usual suspects are expected to contend for the Larry O’Brien Trophy in June.

While the Miami Heat are the two-time defending champions, they have cooled off toward the end of the regular season, with .500 play down the stretch. Meanwhile, their Eastern Conference counterparts, the Indiana Pacers, have somehow stumbled into the No. 1 seed in the East, despite mediocre and often abysmal play since the All-Star break. After those two leading contenders, the drop-off is considerable and most expect any other two teams to make the NBA Finals. The Bulls and Nets could give the Pacers and Heat problems, but home-court advantage should be enough to move past these type of teams in the second round. Read more

Regional Girls Golf underway

Two of the three regional girls golf tournaments with area players involved teed off this morning, while the third was completed on Tuesday.

In the 1-4A Regional, Plainview golfer Caroline Kinkaid is the lone Lady Bulldog to play at the regional tournament at Diamonback Golf Club in Abilene. That two-day tournament will wrap up tomorrow.

In the 1-2A Regional, Tulia’s Criselda Olvarez and Sara Espinoza of Dimmitt are playing in the regional tournament at the Ratliff Ranch Golf Links in Odessa. That tournament will also conclude on Thursday.

The 1-1A Regional was shortened to 27 holes because of wind conditions on Monday, which pushed the start time back until the afternoon. The Happy girls ended up improving on their position in Tuesday’s second round and wound up in 13th place in the team standings.

Regional Boys Golf: Happy’s Downing heads to State

As far as boys golfers go this spring, only one from the immediate area will be heading to the state tournament next week in Austin.

Mitchell Downing’s second-place finish at the 1-1A Regional Golf tournament nearly lifted his Happy squad into the state tournament, but the Cowboys ended up one place short, finishing fourth in the team standings. Downing finished one stroke behing medalist Trevor Millard of West Texas, and one shot ahead of Saylem Maddox of Memphis. All three will head to state. Read more

Life in the Cheap Seats: Tiger Woods Won’t Win Another Major

Golf’s most popular player won’t be in Augusta this week as the Masters tees off tomorrow on the elegant fairways and manicured greens of Augusta National Golf Club.

Tiger Woods is dealing with another injury, but the focus of the tournament is still on his quest to beat Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors, not who has the best shot to slip on the green jacket on Sunday afternoon. Three players even have the chance to supplant Woods as the No. 1 player in the world.

It’s time to settle the debate: Woods quest to pass Nicklaus will never come to fruition. Read more

Life in the Cheap Seats: I was Wrong About Calipari

After two messy years with Billy Gillispie, the University of Kentucky hired Memphis coach John Calipari to be the one to return Big Blue Nation to glory once again.

Calipari had just come off the heels of falling short of his first championship a year before due to some untimely struggles at the free throw line. Now, Kentucky turned to a master recruiter and motivator to right the ship. Read more

Life in the Cheap Seats: The Spurs are Still Here

The Miami Heat and Indiana Pacers are 11-7 and 11-8 since the All-Star break, with each team losers of 7 out of their past 12 games. One team not stumbling as the season inches closer towards the playoffs: the San Antonio Spurs. Read more

Life in the Cheap Seats: Four Teams to Avoid in March

Whether you pick by seeds, mascot names, or the flip of a coin, four teams in this year’s NCAA Tournament with impressive resumès likely won’t be making a deep run in March Madness.

All four of these teams come from power conferences, with 3 of them considered to be in the top 5 to 10 programs all-time. The fourth has been a contender most of the past 15 years. Read more

Life in the Cheap Seats: Have We Seen the Last of Kobe Bryant?

The Los Angeles Lakers announced today that Kobe Bryant will be out for the remainder of the season that already has the team destined for the NBA Lottery. Read more

Wheeler leads 11 area players on TABC All-Region lists

Plainview junior guard Karli Wheeler is among 11 area players who have been named to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches (TABC) Girls Basketball All-Region teams.

Three players from the Class 1A Division II state champions, Nazareth, also earned All-Region honors – seniors Kyla Acker, Lexi Rowland and Rebekah Van Dijk. Seven players from the area were on the Class 1A Division II list, including Mekenna Eita and Alyssa Garza of 5-1A Division II champ Petersburg, and April Villeral and Hayley Wheeler of Valley.

Also earning a spot on the All-Region lists were McKenzie Hockenberry of New Deal in Class 1A Division I, and a pair of Class 2A standout senior guards from the 2-2A – Tulia’s Markeyla Hicks and Dusti Martin of Olton.

Hunter third Lion to become a Pioneer

New Deal running back LaDaeron Hunter is the third Lion that has signed with Wayland Baptist University, as his addition was announced today by the university’s football program.

Hunter was a two-way player for the Lions, being an all-District pick at both running back and linebacker. The Lions reached the Class 1A Division I Region I Final before falling to eventual state champion Stamford. Hunter joins former Lion running back VJ Gamez and tight end-defensive end Braxton Agnew in the Pioneer’s recruiting class. Read more