From My View For February 12
It was so nice to see the Hundred girls making their first appearance in the OVAC Class-1A girls basketball top-4 teams vying for a chance to play for the Title.
They were the fourth seed and had to play the #1 seed and defending OVAC Champions Beallsville. The Hundred girls have been improving year after year and I was so tickled for HHS Head Coach Steve Dakan. His goal for the season was to win enough games to get in the OVAC and let the chips fall where it may.
The Hundred girls were out-matched as Beallsville has a pair of players that have scored over 1,000-points in their career and one that is moving on in the college ranks after graduation. Beallsville was red-hot from the start and hit their first 10-shots, not including their first 6-free throws before missing a shot on a Mahalah Britton block. The Blue Devils shot the lights out while the Hornets were struggling from the floor with every shot contested.
However, they didn’t get down or their coaching staff and fan-base, as well as myself. I told some of the fans that were present how wonderful it was to see these girls play their hearts out and never giving up or getting down on a teammate that threw the ball away or missed an easy shot.
But, it was just as nice to see a great team play like there were 10 of them on the court, they were everywhere. They contested the Hornets shots, boxed out and moved the ball around till they got an open shot and didn’t care who took the shot. I was even more impressed on the Blue Devils coach, she could have pressed and pressed and played a man-to-man defense.
They could have blown the Hornets away, and made the game non-exciting, but she didn’t and I praise her and the Beallsville fans and student body, nothing but admiration.
I have played, referreed, coached and covered basketball games at Beallsville High School for 50-years, but haven’t been to their new home that they have been playing at for 4-years. The gymnasium was awesome, the crowd was awesome as they had a place in the stands for a Pep-Band from those who have graduated and came back to support their Blue Devils.
I also was impressed with the officiating too for the biggest part. It is well known that a good many referees have taken it easy on Hundred Girls in the past because their game hasn’t been the best, by traveling and fouling, and may have looked away at times. But, that has changed for the better. They have cleaned up the game and called fouls that were fouls and they called the traveling calls.
Because Hundred is not a patsy anymore, they are playing the game the way it should be played and the ones in stripes are doing the same.
Except for jump-balls, they still call jump-balls to soon as these girl basketball players are getting stronger and can rip the ball away in a heart-beat.
But I am sure they are trying.
And I was also excited to see the Magnolia boys back in the top of the OVAC -3A once again, as well as the Hundred boys for their first time. The Hornets even got a home game in their first appearance and will be hosting Madonna Saturday.
The Hundred fan base I will predict will have the Hornets Nest BUZZING Saturday afternoon when they play. They too haven’t been in a big game like this, but I know they will represent. I will be there and will cover the game. I will not predict the out-come, but I will predict they will play like there will be no tomorrow as this group of boys, maybe not as talented from top to bottom, but they will play as hard as they can and like the girls not get down on each other when someone might not have their best game.
Magnolia on the other hand has a sound team with the addition of Qwailei “Q” Turner to their line-up. The Big Blue hasn’t played their best 4-quarters yet, but this could be the one that will propel them for the rest of the regular season as well as post-season. They have a nice squad that can play with anybody, and I mean anybody. MHS Head Coach Dave Tallman and his staff is one of the best coaching staffs in the valley, and will have these boys ready to play. I will predict that they will get back to the championship where they have been most of the years that they have had this format.
I also want to acknowledge the Paden City girls in their achievements into playing for the HIT championship Saturday. Coaches Alan Miller and Jamie Natali have done magic once again with what they have at Paden City to work with. They have only 7-players and for many of their games they might of only had one on the bench to sub in or none. They have only 2-seniors, 1-junior and the rest are freshman. Like I said last year, they should be considered Coaches of the Year. These young girls are playing their best right now, and I hope they can bring home the championship. But, if they don’t I’m positive they will bring back the best sportsmanship trophy as they have one of the best in the area, bar none.