Monday, March 08, 2010

Big Game for Ryan "PB&J" Pierson

The kid came to play Saturday (read the entire article here).

Led by a dominating inside game from senior center Ryan Pierson, and junior swingman Seth Jackson's inside/outside penetrating and floor play CBC defeated highly-ranked Webster Groves for a resounding 69-57 Class 5 quarterfinal victory.

CBC (22-8), which, will be making its first trip to Columbia since it's 1997 Larry Hughes-led edition was there will face Oakville in the Missouri Class 5 semifinals Thursday evening at Mizzou Arena in Columbia at 6:50 p.m.

"It feels great to be going to state and representing CBC for the first time since 1997," Pierson said. "Our goal was to try to get the ball inside and we did and then when they concentrated on me inside our guards and the rest of the guys stepped up and took over."

CBC fell behind by five points early but led by four points at 15-11 after one quarter but Pierson asserted himself in the second quarter and opening half with 16 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the field as CBC held a 31-24 edge at the break.

"In the first half we tried to get the ball into Ryan and he really did a great job of making space for himself and finishing shots," CBC coach Bob McCormack said. "He really had a probably his best performance of the season."

He'd had ok games last week in the district tournament, along with a deep thigh bruise, jammed fingers and a sprained ankle. But his team upset the #1 seed with balanced play--big accomplishment. So we spent this past week working on the ankle and making sure he was doing lower extremity mobility work. (I have to give a big shout out to Ed Ryan for hooking me up with the SportsWrap--the stuff worked great on the thigh and the ankle!) Ryan kept up with doing light/moderate workouts during PE/weight training at school.

The sectional (final 16) game on Wednesday had been a disaster. Ryan had his 4th foul early in the 3rd quarter. It seemed like he couldn't turn around on the court without being called for a foul. But CBC was able to easily beat Parkway South by 20. I told him to let it go and focus on Saturday's game against Webster Groves (27-2), who had been ranked in the top 5 in Class 5 all season.

I did not get to see the game on Saturday, as I was out of town for a family birthday. But I did get to listen to the Prepcasts internet broadcast. What a game! I am so happy for this kid. With his size, there have always been expectations. But people forget the kid broke his leg (tibia) during the spring of his freshman year and then fought off a life-threatening pulmonary embolism in the hospital subsequent to the surgery to repair the fracture. As a sophomore, he was gimpy and carrying about 20 extra pounds. He needed to rebuild the R leg and create a foundation for his frame and mind. This doesn't happen overnight. And it has been a challenge finding time between the never-ending AAU season and an ever-growing high school season. Here is a sample of the basic work Ryan did in the fall of 2008.

Ryan has made the effort, put in the work and he knows he has even more work ahead of him if he is to be successful as a collegiate athlete. Wish him luck this Thursday as he and the CBC Cadets play Oakville for a chance at the Missouri Class 5 state championship game on Saturday night.

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