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Sports Talk

By Nicholas Link
On February 25, 2019


Hi, my name is Nick Link and I am an avid sports fan who loves to watch, play and commentate on sports for fun and knows a good game or play when I see it. Growing up, I always loved playing and talking about anything sports related. I was never a great athlete, but If you wanted to talk about or watch sports, I was the guy to see. Sports talk is going to be a blog talking about anything sports related and giving my honest opinion on the sporting event or news.

Posted March 13, 2019

Erie Mason making history, Lions making big moves.

As the announcers say in horse racing, they are coming down the home stretch in high school basketball. The games are fewer, but while some schools are thinking about the spring sports schedule. Other schools are still dreaming of cutting down the nets, at the Breslin Center home of the Michigan State Spartans. One of the many teams eliminated was my Alma mater school the Summerfield Bulldogs. The Bulldogs put up a good battle but, in the end, lost to Erie Mason in the district finals 56-46. Summerfield finished off an amazing year with a record of 19-3, a 14-0 TCC crown, and a year full of packed crowds at home cheering and supporting the Bulldogs. Erie Mason, on the other hand, continues to roll. After Mason beat Summerfield in districts, they hit the road for a Regional semifinal at Whitmore Lake as they played River View Gabriel Richard. Both teams got off to a slow start as Erie Mason lead 12-11 after the 1st quarter. Erie Mason pulled ahead 25-13 lead just before halftime, then Gabriel Richard went on a 6-0 run to make it 25-19 Mason leading at halftime. Mason and Gabriel Richard kept battling it out in the second half, but Erie Mason pulled away in the 4th quarter and beat Gabriel Richard 47-36. Mason came back on Thursday night at the same court, to take on Detroit Loyola in the regional finals. Early it was a close batter in which neither team took control. Loyola, took a 1-point lead into halftime and a 4-point lead after 3 quarters. Erie Mason finally took control in the fourth quarter and beat Detroit Loyola in the Regional semifinals 59-53. This was Erie Mason’s second regional title, and first Regional title since 1973. Erie Mason had the biggest game of their history yesterday, as they took on Hanover-Horton in the Quarterfinals yesterday at Tecumseh. If Mason won against Horton they could make History, as Mason Consolidated schools have never made it past Quarterfinals. In the early going things were not going great for Mason, as they trailed Hanover-Horton 17-11. Things could have been a lot worse for Erie Mason if it wasn’t for Joey Lindel who scored all 11 his team. The second quarter was much as Mason ended the first half on a 9-0 run, which gave Erie Mason a 27-26 lead at halftime. The Eagles again went on run to end the third quarter, this time on a 6-0 run to even the score at 34-34 at the end of the third quarter. Hanover-Horton for a short took a 47-45 lead, but Erie Mason controlled the rest of the 4th quarter and won 55-48. Erie Mason plays Pewamo-Westphalia, 26-0 on Thursday afternoon at 2 pm at the Breslin Center in East Lansing.

        In NFL news, the free agency negotiating period began at 12 AM on March 11th  and runs through March 13th. Many free agents signed on the first day. Unrestricted free agents can officially sign with teams at 4 PM on March 13. The Detroit Lions were busy during and before the first day of free agency, over the weekend the Lions cut TJ Lang, Nevin Lawson which saved $13.5 million dollars. Over a month ago on February 15 the Lions also cut Glover Quin which freed up another $6.25 million. On the first day of free agency, The Detroit Lions did not let the freed-up money sit for too long. The Detroit Lions improved in a few areas, as they signed veteran 33-year old wide receiver Danny Amendola to a 1-year $5.75 million deal. Amendola, who got released from the Miami Dolphins, fills the slot receiver hole after the Lions traded Golden Tate to the Eagles last year for a 3rd round pick. In addition to singing Amendola, the Detroit Lions also signed Defensive end Trey flowers to a 5-year deal for at least $16 million a year, and Justin Coleman to a 4-year $36 million making Coleman the richest nickel cornerback. Lions also picked also got Tight end, Jesse James. While James was not the main threat last year for the Pittsburgh Steelers he is still a reliable option with good hands as he has 120 catches for 1,189 in 4 seasons with the Steelers. James is also a good blocker which you need in a tight when he is not running a route. I like all this deal for similar reasons. The signing of 25-year old DE Trey flowers makes the D-line stronger, it also acts as a security blanket in case free agent Ezekiel Ansah who was injured for much of last year doesn’t resign with the Lions. 26-year old Justin Coleman is a shutdown cornerback who can tackle, force turnovers, and get to the quarterback. Coleman in my option is an upgrade from Glover Quin. While Quinn was a good defender got beat many times on routes and did not get to the quarterback enough. Jessie James immediately improves the TE position that was okay but not great, that was led by Luke Wilson, and Levine Toilolo. With all these moves in mind, I still can’t tell you for sure if the Lions will be a better team in 2019 than 2018. Because if NFL fans have learned if the season not decided by who made the biggest moves in the offseason, there would be not any reason to play the regular season. Teams can spend all this money on good players, but if the players don’t perform or don’t fit with the team, the team will still not be good. Another key factor in the NFL is you got to have a good core of players that fit the system. With all that, I think the Lions should be improved from last year’s 5-11 record. I think right now I will give a conservative 8-8 2019 record, but it is a long offseason in the NFL with the NFL draft in April and training camp not until July.

The Detroit Lions made some big moves, but they did not make the biggest headline move of the offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Antonio Brown (AB) to the Oakland Raiders. Antonio Brown or now as he wants to be called Mr. Big chest, and in return the Steelers got a 3rd and 5th round pick from the Raiders. However, even though Antonio Brown getting traded to Oakland was big news, Odell Beckham Jr traded to the Browns was a bigger move. The Odell Beckham trade was huge for Cleveland, because they now get a young and talented wide receiver who can make an immediate impact. It also helps Cleveland because they give second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield another target to throw to, in addition to Jarvis Landry, Rashard Higgins, and Antonio Galloway. The New York Giants, in return, got a 1st round and a 3rd round pick, and Jabrill Peppers from the Cleveland Browns. This trade between the Giants and Browns, seems to favor the Browns in the short term, because they get an all-pro wide receiver with tremendous hands and production. However, the Giants if they draft well and develop their 1st and 3rd round picks, could come away with two good players in place of Odell. In addition to the picks, the Giants also got a young and promising 2nd year player in Jabrill Peppers who has shown he can play. Peppers has shown he can play multiple positions, if the Giants can develop Peppers more, I think the Giants can win the trade in the longer term. Overall there has been a lot of big moves, but there plenty more big moves coming up as unrestricted free agency is only just begging today. Happy NFL offseason watching everyone!

Posted February 21, 2019 

 Michigan and Ohio Basketball update.

This Photo was taken at Summerfield High School, shown here is the Summerfield Bulldogs with the TCC Trophy and championship t-shirts.

Michigan basketball took on Maryland last Saturday, looking to bounce back after a tough loss at Penn State 75-69. Michigan Came out on fire as they forced Maryland Terps to turn the ball over and take an early 16-4 lead. Maryland after turning the ball over, calmed down and was only down 27-18 at the half. The Terps kept Michigan within striking distance, as Michigan had a 6-8 lead the first part of the second half. With the Terps down 42-34, they went on a 5-0 run to make it 42-39 with 10:26 left in the game. Maryland had a chance to tie the game at 42 with a 3 pointer but the ball rimmed off. Michigan then went on its own 5-0 run to the lead back to 8. Michigan, then started to push away and got much needed 65-52 win at home against Maryland. Michigan improves to 12-3, and tied with Michigan State, while Maryland falls behind in the Big Ten race at 10-5. Michigan went 1-1 last week did. Michigan, however, does not get a week off, as they have 2 more tough games this past week. Michigan passed the first test, winning at Minnesota Thursday night 69-60, in a game that was never as close as the final score. The Wolverines, then played in State rivals Michigan State at home Sunday afternoon. Coming into the game, it looked as if Michigan would have the advantage in the game yesterday. Michigan State was without their leading scorer Nick Ward 15.1 points per game and third-leading rebounder at 6.7 rebounds. Nick Ward, who broke his left hand in a game against Ohio State this last Sunday. Ward is expected to be out for a few weeks, as he had surgery on the left hand Monday. Michigan State is already without their third-leading scorer in Joshua Langford since December, who had season-ending surgery to fix his broken left foot. Even with the two injuries, I expected it will be a hard fought game, and a close one between the two in-state rivals. I was not wrong, as Michigan and Michigan State went back and forth in a first half that saw a lead no bigger than 7 points. State led 39-37 at halftime, in a first half that saw the Spartans up by 5 and 7 only to see Michigan take the lead or tie the game. In the start of the second half, it looked as though Michigan might pull ahead for good, as they led 51-45 going into the 16 under timeout. However, State started to lock down on Michigan, and went on 21-7 run and led 66-58 going into the 4 and under timeout. #10Michigan State ended up winning 77-70, and upsetting #7 Michigan on their home court, it was also the first home loss of the year for them. With the Michigan loss, Michigan State is now 14-3 in Big Ten, and one- half game ahead of Purdue 13-3, and 1 game lead over Michigan, 13-4. Michigan and Michigan State meet one more time in the regular season on March 9, this time in East Lansing home of the Spartans.

In Mid-American news, Toledo took on 25th ranked buffalo at home, the early returns looked pretty well as they built a 10-0 lead. The Bulls had other plans, as they slowly fought back and only trailed the Rockets 39-36 at halftime. Toledo maintained a slight lead for the first 7 minutes, but Buffalo took a slight lead for the rest of the second half. Buffalo ended up with an 88-82 win. Buffalo is now 23-3 overall and 11-2 in the MAC East. Buffalo holds a game lead over Bowling Green for first place, after Buffalo beat Kent State 80-57 and Ohio beat Bowling Green 92-87 in overtime. Toledo is now 20-6 overall and 9-5 in the MAC West. Toledo holds a 1 game lead over Central Michigan, 8-6. Toledo is at Ball State, while Central Michigan plays at Eastern Michigan at 7 pm both games are on ESPN+ at 7 pm Tuesday. 

 The Summerfield Bulldogs tune-up game against Erie Mason was originally postponed Tuesday morning. However, the two teams rescheduled the game the next day. Erie Mason 14-2 hit Summerfield early and led 27-15 at halftime. Erie Mason went on to win 64-44, and hand Summerfield 15-1 its first loss of the year.  Erie Mason kept its winning ways going as they beat Onsted 80 59 to improve to 15-2 overall and 12-1 in league play and capture the league championship. Summerfield had little time to dwell on their first loss as they had to get ready for rival Whiteford and a chance of a share of a TCC crown with a win. If Summerfield was down from its first loss of the season it didn’t show, as they got off to an 8-0 in a game that was never close. Summerfield, led 23-10 after the first period and 29-11 at the half. The Bulldogs wound up beating the Bobcats 57-29 to clinch a share of the TCC championship. Summerfield can win the League outright if they win 1 of 2 make-up games scheduled this week. First up, the Bulldogs played at the Sand Creek Aggies at 7 pm Monday night. Summerfield was hot from the start, as they jumped on top 25-2 in the first quarter, and 47-11 lead at halftime over the Aggies. They rode the great first half to improve to 17-1 and 13-0 in the TCC, and clinch the outright TCC championship. They continued the winning play at home against Morenci Tuesday night. The Summerfield Bulldogs jumped out to a 16-7 lead over the Morenci Bulldogs, and easily won the game 48-25. With the win, they improved to 18-1 and 14-0 in the TCC, and it was the Forth TCC title in school history, the first since they shared in 2012. I also learned after the game, that it was the first time Summerfield won the league and went undefeated in the TCC. They had one more tune-up game, Thursday night home against Blissfield.  Summerfield dug themselves a 21-9 first-quarter deficit, and could never recover as Blissfield (11-8) won 72-59. Districts, which are at Blissfield this year, start for (18-2) Summerfield on February 27th at 7 pm, they play the winner of Saint Mary Catholic Central and Blissfield, that game is set for February 25th at 7 pm.

In NBA news, The Pistons are 28-30 and in 3rd place in the East Central division. The Pistons have not played since February 13th, and got a much-needed break, as this past weekend was full of all-star festivities in Charlotte. The Pistons have looked refreshed after the all-star break, as they have won back to back game. First, they beat the Atlanta Hawks on the road 125-122, thanks to new Pistons forward Thon Maker’s game-winning three-pointers with 17.1 seconds left in the game. They then went to the road again, to take on the Miami Heat. The Heat started the game on fire leading ahead 29-20 after the first quarter. The Pistons, however, took control in the second quarter outscoring the Heat 34-17, and took a 64-56 lead at halftime. The third quarter was tied between the two teams at 30-30, but the Pistons took control of the game with a 35-20 advantage. The Pistons went on to win 119-96, and are now 28-30 and now in 7th place, and are a half game above the Charlotte Hornets, who are 28-31 for 8th place. The Pistons 28-30, are home tonight against the Indiana Pacers who are 40-20. it should be interesting to see how the Pistons do against the Pacers in the second of 4 meetings between the teams. In the first meeting on December 28, the Pacers won on their home court 125-88.

Posted February 18, 2019

Basketball news

Image result for crisler arena

    Tired of hearing about how boring and terrible the Super Bowl or halftime show was? Well, I have some good news for you, there is plenty of high school, college or pro basketball to catch up on if you were focused only on the NFL playoffs. Here are some things to watch as high school, college and pros are in the home stretch of conference play and making their roster and resumes stronger for postseason play. 

   Don’t want to travel far. Well, the good news is there are plenty of good teams and races in Monroe County, Ann Arbor, Detroit and even in Northwest Ohio. Monroe County basketball teams have some good teams who are in some tight League races. In the Tri-County Conference (TCC), the Summerfield Bulldogs control their own fate. They are 15-0 overall and 11-0 in the TCC after beating Adrian Madison 56-40 on Tuesday, thanks to Joel Breeding and Brandon Defoe, and Whitmore Lake, 64-37, led by Joel Breeding, who scored a career-high 32 points Thursday night. Summerfield holds a one-and-one-half game lead in the TCC over Adrian Madison, 10-2. Summerfield then beat Clinton 74-55, thanks to a 17-0 start that rocketed Summerfield to another easy win. Next game for Summerfield is home against Whiteford Friday, as their game with Erie Mason was postponed due to ice.  It would have been a very interesting and good non-league matchup for both schools, who are riding in hot. No makeup date has been announced. Whiteford at Summerfield should be interesting despite Whiteford being 6-10 and Summerfield 15-0 because of the rivalry. Whiteford and Summerfield are two small class C schools only separated by 10 miles on US-23, which means a lot of people from both schools know each other. It is also one of the most intense rivalries, as both sides play hard and both fans pack the bleachers, no matter the sport, which makes it super loud.

   In Lenawee County Athletic Association basketball news, Erie Mason is 10-1 and the leader of the LCAA over Onsted, which is 7-4, and Brooklyn Columbia Central, 7-5.  Erie Mason, if they can win Friday, clinches the LCAA for the first time in a while. Saint Mary Catholic Central Falcons have lost 2 games in a row to the Flat Rock Rams and Grosse Ile. With the losing streak, the Falcons are now tied with the Rams for first place in the Huron League. Gibraltar Carlson, 7-1, is just a half game behind Woodhaven in the Downriver League.

    In college ranks, Michigan, Michigan State, Central Michigan are in some tight races. Michigan and Michigan State are tied for first in the Big Ten at 11-3, and both have a half-game lead over Purdue, 10-3. Maryland is third, 10-4. Michigan is looking to bounce back in their first of 2 season meetings vs Maryland, the first meeting a home game Saturday at noon on FOX. Michigan played awful in a terrible loss 75-69 to 2-11 Penn State, a game that saw Michigan Coach John Beilein get ejected for the first time in his Michigan tenure. It was his first ejection since the 70s when he was in his mid-20s, and coach of Erie Community College (NY). Michigan State got a big road win at Wisconsin 67-59 to get even with Michigan last night. MSU looks to stay hot in a home game against Ohio State Sunday 1 pm on CBS. Last time MSU and OSU played Michigan State won in Columbus 86-77, it was tightly contested game until the Spartans took over the last 4 minutes.

     In the Mid American Conference Toledo is having another good year and is in first place in the MAC at 8-3 coming off a big rivalry win 78-73 against Bowling Green in the battle of I-75. Toledo holds a 2 and one half game lead over Central Michigan, 5-5. Central Michigan is coming off a loss to Buffalo 90-76. Buffalo is now tied for first place with Bowling Green in the MAC East after Bowling Green lost to Toledo. Buffalo and Toledo are on for a big game for the two MAC leaders this Friday at the Savage arena this Friday at 7 pm on ESPNU. Toledo is looking for some revenge against Buffalo at home after they lost 110-80 in a game that was a blow out from the start. Toledo has all week to practice and prepare for the game as they do not have a game until Friday night. Buffalo, on the other hand, does not have as much time to prepare as they have a tough road game at Akron who is 6-4 in the MAC West division.

     The Detroit Pistons, for as bad as they have been playing since a 13-7 start are 26-29, and hold a one-game lead for the 8th seed over Miami, 25-30. The Pistons have some tough games coming up mixed in with some winnable games. The Pistons go on the road at Boston tonight then go on the road at Atlanta, Miami, and Indiana.  Miami does not have a much easier schedule though they play at Denver, Dallas and at Philadelphia before hosting the Pistons.  It should be an interesting race who can get the last slot and possibly play either the Bucks or Raptors. Stay warm and happy basketball watching!

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