Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pasadena (Joseph Henson) opens playoffs

6-9 Joseph Henson is another San Jose State signee -- the game preview (now outdated) below provides a little background on him. Pasadena beat Vista Murrieta 72-63 last night and now takes on Long Beach Poly (22-6) in Long Beach. Poly is ranked 13th in the state by Maxpreps. Joseph Henson photo courtesy of Larry Goren and many thanks to Miguel Melendez for his Pasadena High coverage.

Bulldogs hope for new heights
Taller the better for Pasadena
Miguel A. Melendez
Pasadena Star News

It's time to play with the big boys.

No, really.

For most, if not all, the Pacific League season, the Pasadena High School boys basketball team had trouble against smaller lineups.

The Bulldogs (21-5) will open the Division I-AA playoffs against Vista Murrieta (17-11), a Broncos team that boasts a tall front court. That will be a foreign but pleasant sight when Pasadena takes the court Wednesday night.

Vista Murrieta is led by 6-foot-7 senior senior Josh Barrett and 6-foot-5 senior James Bergen. The Broncos post an intimidating presence inside with the addition of Adrian Goodson. The 6-foot-6, 220-pound junior averages seven points per game.

It appeared as if Pasadena struggled against the likes of Muir and Burbank in the first half of the season, but much of it had to do with making adjustments against smaller lineups.

"Little guys are hard to block out," said Bulldogs coach Tim Tucker, whose team is riding on a 16-game winning streak. "Half the time you just don't know where they're coming from."

The Broncos do boast a tall front court, but the Bulldogs also will be tested when Nick Ross, a 6-foot-2 senior, is handling the ball.

He averages almost 18 points.

Still, not having to worry so much about smaller guys couldn't have come at a better time.

"We're better when we see a much (taller) team," Tucker said. "When we faced the Pacific League most of the guys are so small we don't really get to work on the stuff we need to for the playoffs because of the size difference."

Joe Henson, the Bulldogs' 6-foot-9 senior center, will not have to worry about smaller guys flopping on defense, either.

"Joe complains all the time he can't see or feel the littler guys," Tucker said. "When he does make a strong move (Henson) usually gets the offensive fouls. He takes it easy against the little guys because he doesn't want to get the offensive fouls."

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