Pitching with Pritch...State is great despite the quality
By Larry Pritchett
Past PCHS Activites Director
Another state basketball tournament is over and the tournament was a great one to watch. You don’t always know if the “quality” is the greatest ever, but the games were for the most part competitive and there were the great defensive efforts and the “buzzer beaters” at the end.
As a coach attending the games, you get to see three days of the best basketball clinic one could attend. I always thought that if you could go to a clinic and just pick up one or two things that might help you be successful, then the clinic was worth the time, money and effort it took to attend it.
The state tournament gives a coach the opportunity to watch and see really successful teams in action and see what has worked for them throughout the year. That would be worth the price of admission. You get to see just how the teams do what they do and why it made them successful.
One common thread among all the teams is that they have some talent. You get the occasional team that gets there through a series of upsets and then when they get to the state stage, they get beat like a rented mule. This year see Lincoln North Star.
When you get there via the “upset” road, you usually get one of the top seeded teams if not THE top seed. That team got there because of talent. With the other one, luck enters in—and usually talent then steps forward and starts the scoring barrage and luck runs out the door.
I liked the skills of the eventual state champion in Class A which was Omaha Central. I have a good friend who was the opposing coach so I was rooting for Omaha Bryan, and the two schools had split over season, but in the end the team with the most talent won.
One “blogger” commented that Central had so much speed that they actually went back in time during one half of play. They were quick, and they were good shooters. Those are two nice skills to have in basketball.
The most gut wrenching loss had to be in the finals where Giltner defeated Wauneta/Palisade. I know that you can get a shot off pretty quick from a throw in and that is what Giltner did.
They had a throw in from somewhere around the free throw line extended on their end of the court, the player got the ball, faked, dribbled once going a little bit away from the basket, turned and fired a buzzer beating three point state championship winning basket all in 1.6 seconds.
It’s good to be lucky every now and then and maybe get just a little break on when the clock gets switched on. Not saying it wasn’t done correctly but everything had to go just right for all that to happen and apparently it did.
There was a little controversy this year over not having more minorities on the officiating crews.
I know the people in charge of selecting officials and I think they try to get officials who do a good job and make good decisions.
I did tell them that I didn’t see too many over-65 ex-coaches, who never missed a call from the bench, working anywhere and we were probably a minority also.
They told me not to expect a call anytime soon for next year. It was noted, however, by some that the NSAA did a pretty good job in hiring some handicapped officials because many times you could hear from the crowd that they thought the officials were “sight challenged.”
Now we can turn our attention to the rest of the NCAA tournament.