Friday, August 23, 2019
Page 839

Texas coach fired after 100-0 win

By now, most have heard about the Covenant School’s 100-0 victory over Dallas Academy Jan. 13.

Yesterday, Covenant fired Coach Micah Grimes, calling the blowout “shameful.” Grimes, however, emailed the Dallas Morning News disagreeing with the decision.

I do not agree with the apology or the notion that the Covenant School girls basketball team should feel embarrassed or ashamed,” Grimes wrote in the e-mail, according to the newspaper.

The game has ignited an old debate on message boards about whether or not playing such a game is running up the score, or just how the cookie crumbles.

What I thought most interesting in the story released today is that Texas has no mercy rule in girl’s basketball. Why not? It’s the right thing to do.

In California, our mercy rule states that when a team attains a 40-point lead the clock then runs, not stopping for timeouts or free throws, even if the lead again dips below 40.

Story link:

NJCAA head resigns

Wayne Baker, executive director of the National Junior College Athletic Association, has stepped down after 24 years, due to health reasons. Associate Director Mary Ellen Leicht has been named acting director.


#3 Brea Olinda 58, #2 Cajon 47

Brea pulled off the upset last night, beating longtime rival Cajon and avenging their December loss to the Cowgirls in the championship game of their own tournament. It was also Cajon’s first loss of the season.

In front of a packed Brea gym of about 1000 vocal fans, the Wildcats won in dramatic fashion, out-hustling and out-shooting Cajon in the last 10 minutes of the game. These teams were supposedly second- and third-ranked not only in California, but the nation. Add to that backdrop some outrageous theatrics by players and coaches alike, and the evening was pure entertainment.

Both teams were slow to start, missing their first few shot attempts. Then they traded threes and layups, and the score was knotted at 9 at the end of the first quarter. Cajon’s biggest lead was four points at the 9-5 mark, while Brea’s biggest lead was three points at 5-2.

First thing in the second quarter, Cajon’s Layshia Clarendon heated up and fired off a two, a three-shot and went around a pick and scored a layup. Brea kept pace with buckets by Jonae Ervin and Kelsey Harris.

There were a lot of jump balls in this quarter, with the ball going back and forth from team to team after the call. Monique and I counted eight jump balls. But for the most part, the refs let them play and didn’t call a lot of fouls.

Clarendon had 10 of her 25 points in the first half, and Darshae Burnside had five of her 15. For Brea, Justine Hartman had nine at the half and Harris, seven. Brea was up 22-20 at the break.

As the buzzer sounded, the Brea student section stood and began chanting, “o-ver-ray-ted!” at the Cowgirls. Monique and I were amused by this, because Brea was only ahead by two and hadn’t looked any better than their opponents. Two of the top teams in the nation should be able to score more than 22 by halftime, anyway.

Both teams begun the third quarter on fire. Burnside made a tough shot, and on the next possession, Wildcat freshman Jeanier Olukeme scored on a back door play. Burnside scored, then on Cajon’s next possession, Hartman decisively blocked Clarendon. Hartman blocked again on the next play, and Clarendon went into assist mode, making two in a row.

Cajon lead 28-26 at the 4:06 mark. But it was then that Brea went on a 10-2 run that culminated in four straight Kendall Rodriguez free throws and a bucket at the buzzer to put her team up 36-30 at the end of three quarters.

In the fourth quarter, Burnside made the first basket, but the Wildcats then went on a 10-0 run to put them up 42-32 at the first timeout, at 5:16 to go. There was a brief moment of hope for Cajon with under a minute to play, when they cut Brea’s lead to 52-45 after a Burnside two and a Clarendon three. But at 35 seconds left the Cowgirls had to foul, and Brea made all of their free throw shots.

In fact, Brea made most of their free throw shots in the game, period, which is good for them, and their outside shots were falling. Brea also seemed to want the victory more than their opponents.

For the Wildcats, Harris finished with 16, Rodriguez 15, and Hartman 13. Ervin, Olukeme and Clarendon had six assists each.

I know both these teams, from personal experience last year.

Clarendon seemed to be having an off-night, because she was slow-moving. She would often keep the ball until the shot clock had almost run out, then try to shoot it. She brought the ball up the court walking, even at times when she should have been pushing it. There seemed to be no urgency in her play whatsoever, until the last minute of the game when Cajon was closing the scoring gap.

Monique and I also disliked her tendency to be a ball hog. There were numerous times when she could have and should have given the rock to a teammate who was more open, but she chose to drive and attempt the layup. Clarendon had six assists, but she could have had 11 or 12 if she would have quit trying to be Superwoman. If she plays like she did last night, she will have a hard time at Cal next year.

Hartman, a sophomore who was named to the Nike TOC first team last month, was impressive last night. She only had three blocks, but each was a monster block. She hustles well for a big girl.

Besides the game, there was a heck of a lot taking place on the benches and the sidelines.

First, the setting: Brea Olinda High School is located at the top of a big hill in Brea, Orange County. There is a lot of money in the area and in the school, as is evidenced by the school’s spacious athletic facilities that cater to every sport, the fact that there are separate girls and boys athletics directors, and the cleanliness and flawlessness of the gym and gym floor.

The “Ladycats” coaches have a painted office with a green recliner, and the parents are organized, money-making machines with the snack bar and raffles. Students are polite and actually sit and watch the game, and oh, the number of people who turn out for those games.

I have to give it up to the Brea community, because the gym was packed last night. More people came to that game than I’ve seen at many D1 and D2 showdowns. The student section’s chants were annoying at times, but I’ve seen worse. The only thing missing were cheerleaders. If they show up for the boy’s games but not the girls, Brea loses points.

Then there was the coaches: The contrast between the coaching styles on the two benches couldn’t have been more striking.

On the Cajon side there was Coach Mark Lehman, who rose from the bench only at timeouts until the last two minutes of the game. The rest of the time, he sat with his leg crossed. At the timeout before the start of the second quarter, Lehman didn’t even say anything organized to his team; it was just he and his two assistants standing over them having random conversations with each other or players.

Monique and I noticed that none of the coaches ever say anything to Clarendon during timeouts; they just speak to the other four players. Also, Lehman only played two of his four bench players until less than a minute to go, when it was almost certain they’d lost.

On the other bench is type-AAA Brea Coach Jeff Sink, who Monique and I are convinced is crazy. His shiny white forehead jutted from his receeding hairline, and he never sat down once. He paced back and forth the entire game, between sips of a Diet Coke he clearly didn’t need, and took turns yelling at the refs, screaming at his players or getting on one of his assistant coaches.

In fact, next to Clarendon walking up the court, Sink’s propensity to require an explanation from the refs on every single call that went Cajon’s way annoyed us the most. I can understand asking about one or two calls, but not each and every one. It makes me wonder what he’s like at home.

Sink has a young male assistant coach who seems to be just as intense as he is. They speak to each other with their faces close together, doing lots of pointing. During the last few minutes of the game, young coach grabbed the back of the shirt of the female assistant coach and began talking to her, making hand gestures in her face. He guided her to sit down, and once there, he leaned down into her face and made some more hand gestures while speaking, eyes wide open.

No one seems to be phased by this – least of all, the players. At one point Sink was halfway onto the court yelling at a girl like a crazy man, and she just looked him in the face and nodded, saying something that I couldn’t hear. Then she calmly walked off.

Sink has the respect of the students, too. During one of the courses of “o-ver-ray-ted!” Sink held up his palm to the student crowd, and they suddenly fell silent. It was amazing. After the game, the same group of students gathered on the court as the team walked out to the locker room and chanted, “Sink! Sink! Sink! Sink!” Does he feel like a celebrity yet? I would.

From the “what the heck?” department: Burnside did something in the fourth quarter that Monique and I had never seen before. When the ball went out of bounds off of Cajon, Burnside would make sure she was right there as the ref came back with the ball. He’d hand it to her, and she’d set the ball down on the baseline and then stand over it. This would force the Brea player to reach down and get it, which would eat up precious time. It was clearly an in-your-face thing on the part of Burnside.

Burnside did this twice, and on the third try, the ref finally called her for delay of game. Monique and I didn’t understand why they let her get away with it twice beforehand. And what are the Cajon coaches teaching their kids in either letting them do that or instructing them to do so? Wow.

Interesting fact: Brea has 17 girls on its varsity team. 17!

Interesting fact 2: Sink seems to be insistent on making at least five passes during an offensive set. Monique would hear him say “one more” at times when a player was stalling with the ball at the side of the key.

Bottom line: It was hard for Monique and I to believe that these teams were ranked second and third in the state, much less second or third in the nation. We saw better play earlier this month at the Fairfax Tournament than we saw last night. It’s obviously time for some new rankings.

UCLA 83, Washington State 48

It wasn’t as bad as the score would indicate. In fact, UCLA was up 59-42 with 6:35 left in the game. I guess they decided to go nuts and put the whoop on WSU after that.

The Bruins started a little slow, and to be sure, Coach Nikki Caldwell substituted all five players at once, two times during the game. She was not pleased. But in fairness, the Cougars have a lot of potential. They are 2-3 (post) players away from being contenders.

Jazmine Perkins is fearless. She is a relentless pickpocket (four steals in Thursday’s game – a high for both teams) who drives to the basket like it’s the most natural thing in the world. She finished with 14 points, four rebounds and two assists to go with her steals.

Also impressive is Katie Appleton and her 3’s. She was 4-5 the other night, and she shot two of them right in a row. WSU needs to work on their shooting – except for her.

The Cougars have an impressive array of guards, including April Cook and Danielle LeNoir. What they need are some effective posts. Heather Molzen is OK, but she doesn’t make shots under the hoop. Ebonee Coates should be more aggressive. Ditto for Jessica Oestreicher, though she’s only a freshman, so I cut her some slack.

I like the way the WSU team supports each other on the bench and communicates during the game. They seem to have the enthusiasm and the cameraderie. Hopefully Coach June Daugherty can bring their skills along to match that.

On the UCLA side, Antonye Nyingifa got her first start Thursday night. She responded with eight points. Team scoring was once again balanced, with Doreena Campbell leading the way with 15 points, Nina Earl following with 12, and Erica Tukiainen with 11.


– During the game, I sat with a UCLA usher who’s worked there for four years. He said the change in the Bruin players this year, under Caldwell, has been dramatic. Before, they seemed apathetic and uncaring about winning, he said. Now they are enthusiastic and energetic, and with that has come more aggressive play. Some girls, the usher said, never got off the bench under former coach Kathy Oliver; now they’re starting or getting significant minutes (read Christina Nzekwe).

That just proves my theory: Kathy Oliver couldn’t recognize talent if it hit her in the face. Also, it proves that motivation starts with the coach. If you have given up, then your players will as well.

– Transfer Jasmine Dixon was wearing a boot on her right foot. She must have done something in practice.

Today I’m going to catch Washington State play at USC, instead of going to the UCLA game. I’ve been waiting to see Camille and Danielle LeNoir play against each other for the longest time.

This evening, Monique and I are going to the Brea-Cajon game. I have found my batgirl!

Coach Kay Yow passes away

RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina State’s Kay Yow, the Hall of Fame women’s basketball coach who won more than 700 games while earning fans with her decades-long fight against breast cancer, died on Saturday. She was 66.

Yow, first diagnosed with the disease in 1987, died Saturday morning at WakeMed Cary Hospital after being admitted there last week, university spokeswoman Annabelle Myers said.

“I think she understood that keeping going was inspirational to other people who were in the same boat she was in,” Dr. Mark Graham, Yow’s longtime oncologist, said Saturday.

Yow won more than 700 games in a career filled with milestones. She coached the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1988, won four Atlantic Coast Conference tournament championships, earned 20 NCAA tournament bids and reached the Final Four in 1998.

She also was inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in 2002, while North Carolina State dedicated “Kay Yow Court” in Reynolds Coliseum in 2007.

But for many fans, Yow was best defined by her unwavering resolve while fighting cancer, from raising awareness and money for research to staying with her team through the debilitating effects of the disease and chemotherapy treatments. In her final months, Yow was on hormonal therapy as the cancer spread to her liver and bone.

She never flinched or complained, relying on her faith as the disease progressed. She commonly noted there were other patients with “harder battles than I’m fighting” and said it was inspiring for her to stay with her team.

“Almost everybody is dealing with something,” Yow said in a 2006 interview.

“We’re all faced with a lot of tough issues that we’re dealing with,” she said. “We know we need to just come to the court and let that be our catharsis in a way. You can’t bring it on the court with you, but we can all just think of basketball as an escape for a few hours.”

Yow was a past president and founding member of the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The group’s president and CEO both hailed her impact on the game and her legacy.

“In sickness and in health she was a bastion of courage and kindness,” said Oklahoma coach Sherri Coale, the group’s president. “Her zest for life and her determination to make a difference in this world have galvanized our profession while inspiring millions.”

“Words cannot even begin to express the impact that Coach Yow had on me personally and on this Association,” said Beth Bass, the association’s CEO. “I have known her for 32 years, and she is by far one of the most amazing people I have had the opportunity to get to know. Her legacy and impact will continue to live on even in her passing through her foundation leading us toward a cure.”

“I am honored to have a Fund established in partnership with The V Foundation that bears the name of Kay Yow,” said V Foundation CEO Nick Valvano. “Her courage, faith and legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of those she helped to inspire throughout her coaching career and battle with cancer.”

“Kay taught us all to live life with passion and to never give up. She carried herself with great faith and dignity,” said ESPN and ABC Sports President George Bodenheimer, who served on the V Foundation board with Yow. “ESPN will always be committed to the Kay Yow Fund of The V Foundation in her memory. She was truly a beautiful person.”

Yow announced earlier this month that she would not return to the team this season after she missed four games because of what was described as an extremely low energy level.

The team visited Yow in the hospital before leaving Wednesday for a game at Miami. Associate head coach Stephanie Glance — who led the team in Yow’s absences — met with the team Saturday morning to inform them Yow had died, Myers said.

Yow’s fight was never more public than when she took a 16-game leave to focus on her treatments during the 2006-07 season. After her return, her inspired Wolfpack won 12 of its final 15 games with wins against highly ranked rivals Duke and North Carolina in a run that attracted plenty of fans wearing pink — the color of breast-cancer awareness.

Her players also wore pink shoelaces for their coach.

“There were so many times I felt like giving up,” forward Khadijah Whittington said after the Wolfpack’s loss to Connecticut in the 2007 NCAA tournament’s round of 16, “and then I see Coach Yow and she never gives up.”

Yow always found ways to keep coaching even as she fought the disease. She spent most of games during that emotional 2007 run sitting on the bench while Glance stood to shout instructions at players or to help a weakened Yow to her feet.

“She’s the Iron Woman, with the Lord’s help,” Glance said.

Yow was quick to embrace her role as an example for others battling the disease. She often found herself going about her daily activities in Raleigh only to have someone stop her and say they were praying for her or that she was an inspiration to them.

“When they say that, it really gives me a lift because it’s at that time I know for sure that I’m not going through it for nothing,” Yow said in 2007. “That means a lot to me. I have to go through it. I accept that, and I’m not panicked about it because the Lord is in control. But it just would be so saddening if I had to go through it and I couldn’t help people.

“But then I see I’m helping others in a greater way than I ever have. That’s the amazing thing, you know?”

Born March 14, 1942, Sandra Kay Yow originally took up coaching to secure a job teaching high school English at Allen Jay High School in High Point in the 1960s. Her boss, along with the boys’ coach, agreed to help her plan practices and to sit on the bench with her during games. Midway through the season, Yow was on her own.

“Really, it was like love at first sight,” she said in 2004.

She spent four years there followed by another year in her hometown at Gibsonville High, compiling a 92-27 record. She moved on to Elon, going 57-19 in four seasons before being hired at N.C. State in 1975.

Her original cancer diagnosis came the year before coaching the United States to the gold in the Seoul Olympics. She had a mastectomy as part of her treatment, then discovered a lump in November 2004 close to where cancer was first discovered. She had surgery that December and started on a regimen of radiation and daily hormone therapy. Still, the cancer came back again and again.

She missed two games of the 2004-05 season while attending an eight-day nutritional modification program, which called on her to eat an organic-food diet free of meat, dairy products and sugar. She stayed on the diet for eight months, losing 40 pounds by keeping junk food and Southern favorites like biscuits and gravy off her menu.

Still, she cheated on her organic diet during home recruiting visits because she didn’t want to offend anyone by passing on a home-cooked meal.

Over the years, Yow never lost her folksy, easygoing manner and refused to dwell on her health issues, though they colored everything she did almost as much as basketball. Ultimately, her philosophy on both were the same.

“If you start to dwell on the wrong things, it’ll take you down fast,” Yow said in ’07. “Every morning, I wake up and the first thing I think of is I’m thankful. I’m thankful for another day.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Story link:

It’s stunning, waking up to this news. Even though it’s been known she’s been sick for a long time – 22 years, to be exact – she’s always been so tough and has fought back. I guess this time she couldn’t win.

In an unusually emotional interview, Tennessee Coach Pat Summitt remembers Yow, who she’s known for decades:

Rest in peace, Coach Yow. As much as you’ve been admired and respected for your fight both on and off the court, you will be missed.

More upsets!

Georgia Tech beat North Carolina! (Above, featuring Seattle’s own Jacqua Williams, screaming on the far left)

Georgia beat Vanderbilt! (No surprise to me since seeing Vandy in person in December – they’ve got weaknesses)

Tennessee beat Arkansas gets no exclamation point, as the only surprise is they didn’t beat them by more.

On the opposite side of upset, four games in the Pac-10 tonight showed that things are still pretty much the same in that conference for now (although there are signs of changes to come). More on that tomorrow – it’s so past my bed time right now.

LA Times high school girl’s basketball rankings

Just hitting the message boards, though the rankings came out a couple days ago, before some games might have changed things:

Rk. Team (Rec., Div.)
: 1 Mater Dei (19-0, SS-Div. II-A)
: 2 Cajon (16-0, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 3 Brea Olinda (15-2, SS-Div. II-AA)
: 4 Long Beach Poly (14-2, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 5 Foothill (16-1, SS-Div. III-A)
: 6 Troy (14-1, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 7 Millikan (14-2, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 8 Santa Monica (12-3, SS-Div. I-A)
: 9 Summit (14-4, SS-Div. II-A)
: 10 Inglewood (4-13, SS-Div. III-A)
: 11 Pacific Hills (11-7, SS-Div. IV-A)
: 12 St. Paul (11-5, SS-Div. IV-A)
: 13 Bell-Jeff (18-1, SS-Div. IV-AA)
: 14 Chatsworth (11-6, City-Div. I)
: 15 Muir (11-3, SS-Div. III-A)
: 16 Etiwanda (11-6, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 17 Woodbridge (17-2, SS-Div. III-AA)
: 18 Orange Lutheran (15-0, SS-Div. IV-AA)
: 19 Vista del Lago (16-0, SS-Div. II-AA)
: 20 Colony (12-2, SS-Div. I-A)
: 21 Canyon Springs (11-6, SS-Div. I-A)
: 22 Santa Maria St. Joseph (15-1, SS-Div. V-AA)
: 23 Santa Margarita (9-7, SS-Div. III-AA)
: 24 Corona Santiago (13-6, SS-Div. I-AA)
: 25 Marlborough (11-8, SS-Div. III-AA)

Someone on did a computer ranking of the top 50. Not sure what their criteria was to come up with the numbers at the right, but the rankings look pretty right on:

1 Mater Dei (Santa Ana, CA) 55.5
2 Cajon (San Bernardino, CA) 52.7
3 Brea Olinda (Brea, CA) 52.2
4 Poly (Long Beach, CA) 46.8
5 Foothill (Santa Ana, CA) 45.5
6 Troy (Fullerton, CA) 40.7
7 Santa Monica (CA) 39.5
8 Summit (Fontana, CA) 38.1
9 Inglewood (CA) 38.1
10 Millikan (Long Beach, CA) 36.5
11 St. Paul (Santa Fe Springs, CA) 36.5
12 Etiwanda (CA) 36.3
13 Bellarmine-Jefferson (Burbank, CA) 36
14 Woodbridge (Irvine, CA) 35.8
15 Colony (Ontario, CA) 35.5
16 Vista del Lago (Moreno Valley, CA) 35
17 Muir (Pasadena, CA) 34.9
18 Pacific Hills (Los Angeles, CA) 34.9
19 Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley, CA) 34.8
20 Santiago (Corona, CA) 34.1
21 Lutheran (Orange, CA) 33.9
22 Santa Margarita (Rancho Santa Margarita, CA) 33.9
23 St. Joseph (Santa Maria, CA) 33.5
24 Marlborough (Los Angeles, CA) 33.2
25 Edison (Huntington Beach, CA) 33.2
26 Ayala (Chino Hills, CA) 33
27 Villa Park (CA) 33
28 Montclair Prep (Van Nuys, CA) 32.4
29 Harvard-Westlake (North Hollywood, CA) 31.6
30 Norco (CA) 31.4
31 Agoura (CA) 31.4
32 Perris (CA) 31
33 San Clemente (CA) 30.9
34 Buena (Ventura, CA) 30.6
35 Beverly Hills (CA) 30.6
36 Bishop Amat (La Puente, CA) 30.3
37 Mira Costa (Manhattan Beach, CA) 30
38 Ventura (CA) 30
39 St. Mary’s Academy (Inglewood, CA) 30
40 Thousand Oaks (CA) 29.9
41 Canyon (Canyon Country, CA) 29.9
42 Huntington Beach (CA) 29.6
43 Bishop Montgomery (Torrance, CA) 29.6
44 Rosary (Fullerton, CA) 29.3
45 Lynwood (CA) 29.2
46 Windward (Los Angeles, CA) 29
47 Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) 28.8
48 Chatsworth (CA) 28.7
49 Great Oak (Temecula, CA) 28.6
50 Newbury Park (CA) 28.5

I’m going to the Cajon @ Brea Olinda game Saturday, with my homey Monique. I guess I’ll need to see Mater Dei and Foothill sometime soon, to round out my top five viewing.

Pretty soon we’ll just have recruiters in the maternity ward

Giving in to the young-and-younger movement in college basketball recruiting, the NCAA has decreed that seventh-graders are now officially classified as prospects.



North Carolina State Coach Kay Yow hospitalized

It was bad enough that longtime “Wolfpack” Coach Kay Yow had to give up coaching for the remainder of the season because of her ongoing battle with breast cancer. Now Yow has been hospitalized.

Today, before her team left on a road trip, they stopped by to see her. “The hardest part was having to leave,” reported

(Sad) link:

New WNBA draft order

My homey pt is reporting on the Atlanta Dream blog that since trading Alison Bales to Phoenix the other day, this is the new draft order for April. Well, at least until someone else makes a deal:

The newest version of the WNBA Draft Order after the Bales-to-Phoenix trade.


1. Atlanta
2. Washington
3. Chicago
4. Minnesota
5. Phoenix
6. Indiana
7. Sacramento
8. New York
9. Washington (from Los Angeles)
10. Connecticut
11. Detroit
12. Seattle
13. Los Angeles (San Antonio to Atlanta, then Atlanta to Los Angeles)


14. San Antonio (from Atlanta)
15. Washington
16. Chicago
17. Connecticut (from Minnesota) *
18. Atlanta (from Phoenix)
19. Indiana
20. Sacramento
21. New York
22. Los Angeles
23. Minnesota (from Connecticut) *
24. Washington (from Detroit)
25. Atlanta (from Seattle)
26. San Antonio


27. Atlanta
28. Washington
29. Chicago
30. Minnesota
31. Phoenix
32. Indiana
33. Sacramento
34. Phoenix (from New York)
35. Los Angeles
36. Connecticut
37. Detroit
38. Seattle
39. San Antonio

* – Conditional. Connecticut has the right to swap second round picks with Minnesota; we can only assume that they will.

pt’s blog:

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