Wednesday, January 29, 2020
Page 854

The Zen of losing……..aw, screw it

There were some surprising losses yesterday, to be sure. But none surprised me more than Umpqua Community College‘s loss to Skagit Valley last night in the semifinals of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges championship. The number-one ranked Riverhawks were picked by many, including me, to take it all this year. They certainly had the record to prove it, as well as the top-scoring players.

But last night Skagit Valley began the game on a 20-2 run, and Umpqua fought hard but was never able to recover from that. The final score was 82-72.

When I got the text I was just leaving the Brea-Edison game, and I gasped loudly enough for people to turn around. It’s funny how even when you’re way past old enough to expect the unexpected, that sometimes you’re still surprised by the unexpected.

But I have to give it up to Umpqua because they set aside their extreme disappointment today, and at 3:37 p.m. they won their game against Clackamas, 81-68. The victory gives them the third-place trophy.

This is one of the keys to success in the game of basketball, is rebounding from heartbreaking losses. We’ve all seen our favorite team go on a losing skid after a key loss. When a team is able to get over a painful defeat quickly, they will be more successful in not only basketball, but life. It’s a sign of maturity. So I give Umpqua props. Third place isn’t first, but it isn’t sixth place, either, which is what they would have got today if they had lost.

Great season, ladies.

Lane and Skagit Valley play at 4:30 p.m. for the NWAACC crown.

About 1500 miles away last night, Texas high school sensation Brittney Griner and her team lost the 5A state championship to Mansfield Summit. Pictures 5 and 6 on this link tell the story:

http://www.statesman.com/news/mediahub/media/slideshow/index.jsp?tId=148641

Highlights, plus brief interview with Griner: http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid823425601?bclid=894333136&bctid=14397003001

Congrats to Mansfield Summit.

And earlier yesterday, in the SEC Tournament, Tennessee got blown out by Auburn in the semifinals.

Also yesterday, UCLA fell to Oregon State, 61-58. It’s been a horrible basketball weekend by my standards. In general, it’s not been the best of seasons overall.

Last week, my high school team didn’t make it to the City finals.

Have you had one of those years when all your favorite teams didn’t quite get there?

Argh.

Southern Section championships, March 7

Colony (white uniforms) and Canyon Springs during play.

Colony 76, Canyon Springs 59

I came in at the half, and Colony was up 35-34. But it didn’t take them long to begin breaking away. By the 5:27 mark in the third, they had pulled ahead 41-35, and they never looked back.

Canyon’s defense kept them within at least 10 until about five minutes to play, when Colony stepped on the gas. The main reasons why were senior forward Jazmyne White and senior forward/center Camille Buckley. The two made a nice tandem, switching off between outletter and scorer. White finished with 12 points and Buckley, 30. Junior guard Te’onna Campbell added 17.

Brea Olinda 62, Edison 40

Edison deserves kudos for playing with so much heart and intensity. In a smaller pond, they’d be a dominating basketball team. But in the end, they were no match for Brea, who has waves and waves of skilled players.

Brea’s Jonae Ervin is such a hustler. She finished with 12 points, and I’d love to see the rest of the stats. She was everywhere. Junior guard Kelsey Harris started going off in the fourth quarter. I counted four threes…..again, I’m looking forward to when the stats are put up on maxpreps. Sophomore Justine Hartman added 10.

Senior point guard Jonae Ervin lets another one fly, for the bucket. She finished with 12 points.

Coach Jeff Sink stands in front of Brea’s long, long bench.

Edison’s short bench.

After sending in his second complete set of reserves, Coach Jeff Sink chills in the last few moments of the game.

The game was a blowout, so normally-intense Brea Coach Jeff Sink didn’t need to yell so much. There was no Diet Coke on the scorer’s table for him, no frantic gesturing; just a few yells and a couple intense timeouts. Heck, his wife could have even come to this game.

I like the “crazy” Sink better.

I was sitting next to a teacher who knows three of the Edison players. He answered my question from last time I was at Mater Dei – he said he was told the cameras in the ceiling are used by coaches to diagram their shots. If that’s true, wow. To have those kinds of resources at your disposal……..

The cameras in the ceiling at Mater Dei. I feel better knowing they’re probably for shot diagramming than some freaky Big Brother security thing.

But wait a minute……if the ceiling cameras are for shot diagramming, what are these cameras for?

I don’t know if the security at this game was from Mater Dei, or from the CIF, but they acted like asses. To cap it off, after the game was over, they were trying to herd people out of the gym. The woman in charge of the section I was sitting in was being unecessarily rude about it, using sarcastic and mocking comments to attempt to get people to move (As a high school teacher I can tell you, this is not the way to get people to start walking).

In my younger years I would have said something to her, but last night I just gave her my most withering teacher look. She did a double-take and then looked away before looking at me again. Then she shut up. I swear to god.

(Future) celebrity sightings: Mater Dei super sophomore guard Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

On an unrelated note, here is a great video of Friday’s Cajon-Poly game, courtesy of a reader:

http://www.pe.com/video/sports-index.html?nvid=339454

Eyewitness account: Cajon def. Poly

My secret homey from the OC was at the game last night, and had this recap:

The line score was
Cajon 16 – 14 – 9 – 13 =52
LBP 11 – 8 – 8 – 17 = 44

Clarendon had 28 points.

Burnside had a lot of blocks and was able to out-rebound most of the Poly players all night.

Clarendon did have a couple of flops, but nothing like the MD game. She also took her time at the foul line late in the game, so that the Poly fans started a 1-10 count to make the refs call a delay on her.

I thought the refs could have called a lot more blocks on Poly when they were guarding Clarendon but they let the flow of the game go on if the bump wasnt affecting the flow of the game.

Poly had no real outside shooting game last night and that had to be due to the loss of Kelli Thompson/UNLV. She is coming back from a wrist injury and tried some shots, including an air ball that was way off target.

Strange site and something I thought might be ilegal was that (former Jackrabbit) Jasmine Dixon (Rutgers-next year UCLA) was allowed to sit on the end of the Poly bench.

Both teams brought a big group of fans.

I have seen Clarendon play and win two SS CIF championships in two straight years. She has done this with Burnside and then three other girls that are nowhere near as talented as their teammates nor much of the championship competition they have faced. I dont know if K. Lewis of Mater Dei or Christiana Marinacci of Foothill could do the same job as Clarendon has done. To me she is the player of the year for the Southern Section.

Thanks, IM. Not sure if Mosqueda-Lewis could do the same job for MD right now, but she’s a sophomore. By the time she’s a senior, she’ll be all Clarendon is now and then some.

Game story link: http://www.presstelegram.com/preps/ci_11858149

City Section Championship: Chatsworth 60, Taft 49

On the strength of a fourth-quarter surge, the Chatsworth Chancellors beat league rivals Taft to win the City Section Championship last night, 60-49. After evenly trading baskets for three quarters, Chatsworth broke away in the fourth, lead by All-American Gennifer Brandon and junior guard Monica Jackson.

The 6-foot-3 Brandon not only made big plays under the hoop all night, but she dribbled the ball the full length of the court twice – once taking it to the rack herself and the second time, outletting to a teammate for the bucket. It was remniscent of the multi-skilled Candace Parker, who is 6-foot-4. Brandon, headed to Cal next year, finished with 22 points, 15 rebounds, two blocks and a steal.

Jackson, with 15 points and five rebounds, seemed to be in the right places at the right times, all the time. But it was her sometimes-dazzling moves that seemed to impress the crowd most. In the fourth quarter, she stole the ball and then spun around under the hoop, away from her defender, for the layup. Chatsworth fans were on their feet, and it was that bucket that put the Chancellors up 44-39 at the 5:34 mark, and began their run. Brandon, who had scored only six of her points in the first half, put in more than that in the fourth quarter; she seemed hungry for the win.

Taft, fighting valiantly behind their crew of good shooters, suddenly began to miss shots in the last period. Junior guard Rmanii Haynes lead her team with 10 points and 10 assists.

First quarter, 17-14 Taft
Second quarter, 26 all
Third quarter, 37-36 Chatsworth
Final, 60-49

Chatsworth won the title this year after losing in last year’s finals to Narbonne High School. Chancellors coach Michelle Chevalier had also lost to Narbonne in the same game in 2003, when she coached for Sylmar. And ironically, it was a game against Narbonne this season that kicked Chatsworth out of a slump, igniting them to a 17-4 season finish:

Nine games into the season, the Chancellors were just 5-4, riding a three-game losing streak at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix. Not exactly a running start.

It would only take one game to get back on a roll though, and in a weird twist of fate, that opponent was Narbonne, the team that had ruined Chatsworth’s season twice a year before.

On Dec. 22, the Chancellors defeated the Gauchos 49-34 – since then, they’ve gone 17-4.

Link: http://www.dailynews.com/preps/ci_11849042

Good pics of both teams on this link: http://www.dailynews.com/preps/ci_11858243

On the other side of the Los Angeles metro area……………..

Cajon did indeed beat Poly last night. Strangely, OCvarsity.com has no story on arguably the biggest game and upset of the Southern Section tournament so far. I am dying to know how it went down, who scored what and what went wrong for Poly. Tidbits on socalhoops indicate that both Darshae Burnside and Layshia Clarendon of Cajon were in foul trouble in the second half, but kept Poly down 8-10 points when one or the other was on the bench. OCvarsity.com better get off their cans and post a story about this upset of the defending state champions by basically two players.

Down the road at the Mater Dei-Beverly Hills game, MD sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis scored 41 points in her team’s 81-42 route. This isn’t the first time Mosqueda-Lewis has come close to outscoring an opponent on her own. It’s ridiculous.

Is there anyone to stop Mater Dei this year? I think not. This piece says MD is ranked third in the nation. If they’re third, who could be first and second? I’d like to see those teams.

Link: http://www.ocvarsity.com/articles/dei-mater-first-2327773-player-points

Tonight’s games at Mater Dei High School:

Colony vs. Canyon Springs, 6:30

Brea Olinda vs. Edison, 8:15

Big Friday

SEC Tournament

Surprises today include Tennessee’s big-heart victory over higher-ranked Florida, 71-67 in the quarterfinals of the SEC Tournament.

LSU’s 63-58 victory over Mississippi State is also an eye-opener because of how well the Tigers have done in the last part of the season. Many had given them up for dead, and here they are in the semi-finals. I give them props.

One scary moment was in the first half when LSU’s Later Eason was taken to the hospital after another player stepped on her neck. According to the SEC tourney website, Eason still had limb movement but was complaining of neck pain. That makes me feel a little less worried, but we need more news.

Link: http://www.secsports.com/index.php?s=&url_channel_id=4&url_article_id=12324&url_subchannel_id=&change_well_id=2

Perfect game?

What is Brittney Griner made of?

In tonight’s Texas 5A Conference semifinals, Griner lead her Nimitz team in defeating Pflugerville 74-47. Her stat line? 44 points, 18 rebounds, eight blocks, four assists, and 32 minutes of play (for the unexperienced, that means she never sat down once).

Box score: http://www.uil.utexas.edu/athletics/basketball/state/girls_boxscores/game12.htm

One attendee reported on the Tennessee message board that he’d never seen anything like it – or rather, anyone. See for yourself:

http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/highschool/03/07/0307pflugerville.html

This is a nice piece too, with pics: http://www.statesman.com/sports/content/sports/stories/highschool/03/06/0306golden.html

NWAACC second day results

Lane 68, Columbia Basin 59
Clackamas 63, Yakima Valley 57
Skagit Valley 69, Walla Walla 63
Umpqua 89, Lower Columbia 61

Tomorrow Lane plays Clackamas and Umpqua faces Skagit Valley in the semi-finals.

Southern Section playoffs

Reports are that Mater Dei was blowing out Beverly Hills 51-25 at halftime of the II-A division semifinals earlier tonight. I said I felt bad for the team that would face MD, and I feel doubly bad because one of the BH coaches is a friend of mine.

Finally, it’s being reported on socalhoops that Cajon defeated Long Beach Poly 52-44. If it’s true, I can’t say I’m surprised. When I saw Poly back in January, they had a lot of weaknesses. And short-handed Cajon has much heart.

Tournaments continue

SEC today:

Game Teams Time (CT)/TV Audio Stats

Game 5 #1 Auburn vs. #9 Ole Miss Noon / RSN SEC Audio Live!
Game 6 #2 Vanderbilt vs. #7 Georgia 2:30 / RSN SEC Audio Live!
Game 7 #4 Florida vs. #5 Tennessee 6:30 / RSN SEC Audio Live!
Game 8 #3 LSU vs. #6 Miss. State 9:00 / RSN SEC Audio Live!

NWAACC today:

Game 11 – Highline vs. Mt. Hood – 08:00 am
Game 9 – Whatcom vs. Centralia – 10:00 am
Game 10 – S. Puget Sound vs. Peninsula – 12:00 pm
Game 15 – Walla Walla vs. Skagit Valley – 02:00 pm
Game 13 – Lane vs. Columbia Basin – 04:00 pm
Game 14 – Yakima Valley vs. Clackamas – 06:00 pm
Game 16 – Umpqua vs. Lower Columbia – 08:00 pm
Game 12 – Bellevue vs. Treasure Valley – 10:00 pm

Last night, first-ranked Umpqua rolled over Bellevue CC 101-53. Reports were that the team played “awesome,” and I can see that from the box score:

http://www.nwaacc.org/basketball/boxes.php?sport=wbasketball&game=668

The Riverhawks score more in most games than a heck of a lot of D1 teams. Their average point total is 90. (!!)

This rollercoaster ride

Thank god department:

UCLA 70
Oregon 69

(I could only get the online ESPN continuous score update, and the Bruins were ahead by five with a minute to go, then were behind by 2 with six seconds to go…..can’t wait to see the write up on this!

Tennessee 68
Alabama 49

Disappointing department:

Stanford 70
Arizona 67

Clemson 81
Georgia Tech 69

Mississippi 65
Arkansas 60

And this especially, because I was watching and it was a great, tight game…

Mississippi State 49
South Carolina 39

Aw, I feel so bad for USC but Trakh’s gotta go department:

Oregon State 61
USC 58

Whoa, what’s up department:

Arizona State 63
California 41

California Southern Section department:

Monique was on hand tonight for the Foothill-Inglewood game at Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana. She and a few others I’ve heard from say the officiating was horrendous. Foothill won, 50-46.

Finally, on a lighter note, Magic Johnson visited with the Cal Bears before the game this past Sunday:

http://www.calbears.com/view.gal?id=43746

Tomorrow night is the City Section finals at USC’s Galen Center. Preview later.

It’s not too late to be upset

Tonight’s scores:

#21 Kansas State, 66
#16 Texas, 50

Miami, 45
#25 Bowling Green, 40

And the biggest shocker of the entire week:

Kansas, 69
#6 Baylor, 45

The only thing that would be more strange is if Arizona beat Stanford tomorrow night.

Let the championships begin

The ACC begins its tournament tomorrow, as Georgia Tech faces Clemson, North Carolina takes on Wake Forest, Boston College goes at Miami, and Virginia and Virginia Tech play.

Link: http://www.theacc.com/sports/w-baskbl/acc-w-baskbl-body.html

My favorite SEC also starts its tourney tomorrow in Little Rock, AK. It’s:

Arkansas vs. Ole Miss
Georgia vs. Kentucky
Tennessee vs. Alabama
Mississippi State vs. South Carolina

Link: http://secsports.com/index.php?s=&change_well_id=99770

Things get rolling in the Big Ten tomorrow with Wisconsin and Northwestern, Indiana and Michigan and Penn State and Illinois facing off.

Link: http://bigten.cstv.com/sports/w-baskbl/spec-rel/w-bracket-09.html

On Friday, the Big East Tournament begins with four games:

http://www.bigeast.org/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=92557&SPID=11229&DB_OEM_ID=19400&ATCLID=3679646

And up north, the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges begins their tournament tomorrow in Kennewick, WA. Top-ranked Umpqua CC plays Bellevue at 8 p.m. Here’s the schedule:

Game 5 – Walla Walla vs. Highline – 08:00 am
Game 1 – Lane vs. Whatcom – 10:00 am
Game 4 – Peninsula vs. Clackamas – 12:00 pm
Game 6 – Skagit Valley vs. Mt. Hood – 02:00 pm
Game 2 – Centralia vs. Columbia Basin – 04:00 pm
Game 3 – Yakima Valley vs. S. Puget Sound – 06:00 pm
Game 7 – Umpqua vs. Bellevue – 08:00 pm
Game 8 – Lower Columbia vs. Treasure Valley – 10:00 pm

And the bracket:

http://nwaacc.org/basketball/Tourneys/2009_NWAACC_WOMENS_BRACKET.pdf

The Big 12 and Pac-10 tournaments are next weekend.

Where are Jackie Stiles and Cheryl Burnett now?

Mechelle Voepel outdid herself on this one – a long story about how former Southwest Missouri State Coach Cheryl Burnett and player Jackie Stiles are doing life without basketball. It’s an informative but sad read, and includes some deep thoughts:

Do you think the anticipation of something is the sweetest part of life? That it’s a universal human regret that those euphoric periods can’t stay? That whatever we look forward to will come and go too fast, and the relentless ticking of the clock won’t allow us to savor any of it?

Link: http://sports.espn.go.com/ncw/columns/story?columnist=voepel_mechelle&id=3951620

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Pac-12 excitement

A lot of parity going on