Thursday, July 13, 2006

Game Log 7/13/2006: Two more good ones

Two more games today as the big tournament finished up in town. I'm told that the games were finals for their brackets, but I don't by it...we were on an auxiliary court and there were only a very few friends and family watching.

Both games were smooth.

The first game was a little weird. One of my partners is a chronically late guy, so the other partner and I simply assumed that we would start the game in 2-man. We were right. Sure enough, the guy showed up 5 minutes into the game. It became clear that he was going to call it a lot tighter than the on-time partner and I wanted to. The game was going pretty well, actually, but this partner called something like 6 of the first 8 calls in the first half. It might have looked funny, and some of them were gray-area calls that I had not missed, but chosen to take a pass on. Oh well--not worth getting too worked up about such things. Life is short.

Green led White by 20 points at half. I was pretty stoked because I thought that meant that the clock would run in the second half. No such's a 25-point spread that activates the running clock.

Amazingly, White started pressing Green, chipped away at the lead, and won. White played beautiful defense...they were actually out-fouled by Green in spite of their press!...and Green just never figured it out.

I felt in control and fine throughout.

The second game was another comeback. Blue totally took it to Gold in the first 3 minutes. They ran several was tremendous. 10-0 before we'd warmed up. Gold called time out, and I said to my partners: "If every game I did had teams that ran like this, I'd either be dead or in the best shape of my life." I geared up for more running...and that running never happened. Blue must have wanted to work on their halfcourt offense, because they slowed it down. Gold caught up and wound up winning by double-digits.

Blue had a couple of whiny players: my partner (the on-time one) T'd one of them. Rather than handing him the ball, she knocked it away from him after a call she didn't like with 3 minutes left. I'm not sure I'd have called that, but I think she probably said something too (I forgot to ask exactly what happened). But the game was quite easy to officiate. We had no fouls in the first 7 minutes or so in the second half...just two teams playing clean defense. I ended that streak with a player-control foul on Blue that was so easy that anyone in the world could have called it. Why didn't the kid jump-stop?

Anyway, it wasn't a hard day. There was minimal coach chirping...all were calm. One wanted a critical jump ball to go his way, and lobbied for it, pointing towards the table, claiming they had it for him. I was next to him and I said: "Nope. You got it at half, and there hasn't been a jump since then." His response: "You're right. Damn!" Cool. I love being right.

I don't put much stock in this sort of thing, but both losing coaches came up and shook our hands after the game. I liked that. I told one: "Travel safely." As he walked away, I realized that his team was not from another state, but from a matter of blocks from the gym. Oh well...I guess I can still wish him safe, albeit brief, travels.

I'm realizing that these smooth games are helpful, but I'm sort of looking forward to the next difficult or weird one. I think I can handle easy games at any level I do without issue now. The challenge will be to handle the next intense or bizarre situation properly, and to keep my head together throughout. Bring it on.

THINGS I DID WELL: Stayed focused in a game without too much action, call selection
THINGS TO WORK ON: Missed a partner's whistle that was at the same time as mine, still giving too much voice

NEXT UP: Four weeks to camp.


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