Monday, January 05, 2009

Game Log 1/5/2009: Videotape night...

I had a buddy come and videotape the varsity half of today's girls' JV/Varsity doubleheader. I'll look forward to seeing how it went.

JV game was quite uneventful. I can't recall any calls I'd like back. It was a little some point I started noticing that most of my calls were going against White rather than Red. I'm sure I had at least one foul call against Red along the way, but about 6 or 7 against White (this in the third quarter, or maybe early fourth). It was just one of those bizarre things; the foul count was roughly even. Anyhow, I came in on a jump ball on the far side of the paint. I was C; it wasn't really quite my area, but it was my call, as neither L nor T could see the tie-up. Red coach was upset. "You're calling fouls down there, and they're all fouls, but my kid got knocked three times before you called that jump ball." At a loss (why didn't I fall back on "I hear you"???), instead I said "That's not what I saw." I wasn't in a position to see the knocks, of course, and my partners had taken a pass on them...Anyway, his response was "Of course you didn't!" Play then went to the other end of the court, and coach shouted something I forgot...something about arms or a street fight...some military metaphor, maybe?...and I showed him my palm from there. A couple seconds later, his girl bumped a shooter for an and-one. Coach thought the call was retaliation...muttered it, but didn't say it loud enough to matter. The rest of the JV game was uneventful. Liked my game.

Varsity first half was U-G-L-Y. My partners and I were clearly the best team on the floor. We probably called about 30 fouls. No fun. I remember thinking we could have passed on some of our first-quarter calls, but the second-quarter calls were all tired kids grabbing and slapping; nothing to pass on there. Coaches were mostly okay...I chatted with the White coach about shouting out calls, but it was a little deal.

Two really good calls and on bad one. Both good calls were player control. The first was on a fast break. I'm new lead. I'm ahead of the play (not bad for a slow guy). I'm looking over my shoulder and I see the primary defender is running parallel to the dribbler. All right. I'm not going to get a good look at that over my shoulder, and T is behind me looking right through the daylight between them anyway. My job: find that secondary defender; and there she was, waiting inside the block, right in front of the rim. Waiting for a while. Collision; easy PC foul, wave off the basket. It's not the call that's a big deal to me (like I said, she'd been there a while). It's that I consciously picked up the secondary defender and stone-cold knew that she'd been waiting. Yay me.

The second was weirder and more controversial, but my position made it a damn good call. I'm new trail when White retrieves the ball in the corner (along Red's end line). A Red defender comes and does what she should, which is stand stock still with her hands in the air in the corner. White gets a look in her eye and then leans in and bonks her (bicep/shoulder to the defender's belly) to get some room. Nope. Advantage gained, contact initiated, good defense established...Player control. In front of White's bench, alas...but since I was right on there in the corner with the players, I saw the player lean in. Coach only saw the defender's back. She was annoyed, but my positioning gave me exactly what I wanted. Twice. Yee-haw.

The only one I want back was a quick-whistle illegal dribble call. Red dribbled past half-court, then put both hands on the ball as White put a hand underneath it. Red sort of pushed through White's hand to put the ball back on the floor, and I too-quickly called it a double-dribble. It probably showed on my face, and if Red have asked, I'd have said "That's not my favorite call of the night, coach." As it is, during the subsequent time out, partner came over to say "I saw the ball knocked out of her hand." I said "Yeah, it was a terrible call." He responded, "What are we going to do about it?" I said "nothing." I guess I could have called an inadvertent whistle, etc., but with nobody complaining (and a 15-point fourth-quarter game), it was best just to tell myself to focus better and move on.

It proved to be a momentary lapse. Good game overall.

THINGS I DID WELL: Picked up secondary defenders. Called consistent travels.
THINGS TO WORK ON: Perhaps overzealous coach communciation. Mental lapse late. The rest we'll save for the video!
NEXT UP: Tomorrow. Another girls JV/Varsity doubleheader. Slightly smaller teams.


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