Friday, January 20, 2006

Game Log 1/20/06: A pleasant surprise

JV and varsity tonight. 3rd place in the conference against last place. I was ready for a yucky one.

The JV game was a pleasure tonight. I was working with a first-year official. He was excited and eager to learn. He made some errors, but the coaches were totally cool all night long (not a peep out of either part because it was a blowout game). I felt good about the game. It was a ten-point game at half (17-7), but Blue blew it open in the third, which meant we had to go to BloggingRef's Blowout Philosophy (which worked out fine). I had to drop back a little bit to get a bigger look at the floor (wanted to help my partner in case of an egregious miss...but it was unnecessary). A fine JV game.

The varsity game. I was ready for a 40 point win...maybe even a 50-point win. It was 11-0 at one point, and I was bucking up for a blowout night. 20-point game at half. I'm not expecting ugliness, necessarily...this team is used to getting blown out...but I still commit to look out for problems that might grow.

Blue only outscores White by 3 in the second half. They didn't back off and start milking the clock or anything...their only change was taking off the press. White starts driving the land and getting points. Blue actually looks a little rattled. The outcome was never in doubt, but White was thrilled with their performance (they made very few mistakes), and Blue played poorly and was getting an earful from their coach.

I got a little bit of an earful from that coach because I called the 4th foul on one of their players, #25, in the third quarter. It was especially unfortunate since I knew I had already called the first three (two of them were good I might have been able to take a pass on). White's speedy point guard is running side by side with Blue 25, and she's a little quicker. Now she has a quarter step on her. Now she has a half step on her. Blue 25 reaches across and is pulling her back. I don't want to call it. I really don't want to be responsible for all four fouls on #25! But she's being beat down the floor, and is pulling back the player who's beating her. It's small, but I can't let it go. Too much of an advantage gained. Coach hated the call. Partner thought I could have taken a pass on the call. I stand by the call. She can't pull a player back just because she's beating her. I'll whistle that every time.

A different Blue player got me to tell her to cool it. I had a five-second violation on White, and as my count reached 4 and a half, she shouted "FIVE!!!" long enough to bounce off all of the rafters a few times. I told her "I've got the count, 33. Keep your cool." She apologized. It's all good.

I'll never forget the raucous cheering and applause from the White team and coaches after the game. They had just lost the game by 23, and they were elated because they really played well.

High school hoops can be awesome.

THINGS I DID WELL: I feel like I perform well when I'm the stronger partner. This is totally opposite the way I used to be.

THINGS TO WORK ON: Later in the second game, I caught myself ball-watching. Can't do that.

NEXT UP: Two littler-kid rec games (I think 6th and 7th grade) tomorrow.


At 4:17 AM, Blogger John B. said...

I keep stats for my son's 6th grade team (we are #1 presently in our division), and last night we played a less than spectacular opponent. I did notice that our own fans cheered a couple of times in the 3rd and 4th quarters when the other team scored (it was a real blowout, we won 48-14). They were cheering when both teams' second strings were in, because it was a spirited contest (especially in the 4th) and kids on both teams were scoring who don't normally score during the game.

That is what I love about youth and even high school is still innocent in the fact that most of the kids won't play basketball beyond the level they are at. Many kids won't play high school basketball when they leave grade school, and then most kids that play in HS are done with basketball when their senior year in HS is over. The players are in it for the fun and experience, not the bucks and the H2 's .

Plus, as an added bonus last night for Dad, my son, usually a 6 point or so a game scorer, he put in 11 pts. ...high scorer for the game, and he was out by midway through the 3rd quarter. Added 5 rebounds and two steals (that rebound/steal total is normal for him, he is more known for his defense than offense). A 'career' game for him, as they say!

At 8:33 AM, Blogger Blogging Ref said...

11 points was my career high--accomplished as a 6th grader in the YMCA tournament. I hit the game-winner in the second overtime with 7 seconds left, then stopped their top scorer on the last possession. I can still remember that day like it was yesterday. 39-37 was the final.


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