Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Scoreless, Pointless

By Lauren Biggers
Men's Basketball vs. Loyola

Well, as the wise head coach put it after the game, that was one for the memory banks.

From the very first possession, it was clear that this wasn’t your average day at Belk Arena. Well, maybe not the first possession. That one was, after all, THE shot attempt and miss for the first period.

Loyola’s Isaac Reid grabs the rebound (REBOUND!) and dishes to Jamal Barney, who lays it in, and then... wait... HUH?

“HE’S GOT TWO GUYS ON HIM,” delights stats runner/associate head Wildcat football coach Brett Hayford. “THEY ARE PLAYING MAN TO MAN, AND HE’S GOT TWO GUYS.”

And it worked, briefly, as the Grey Hounds took a 9-4 lead behind four missed baskets and a whole lot of confusion.

But adjustments were made as the youngest McKillop ably took over the point and Will Archambault became the sixth man the ‘Cats needed, connecting with Andrew LOVEdale and scoring five straight points to lift the Wildcats ahead 11-9 and for good.

From there it was all Wildcats, who did a pretty good job answering the one-man-band question, and by the time the 18-0 run (18-0!) ended, the ‘Cats were up 22-9 and this one was good as done.

“They gotta come of it now,” D-Line coach Hayford is insisting. “Have to.”

But alas, Gary’s revenge continues, and in the corner, The Cheese Stands Alone. Well, sort of.

In Monday’s story, I promised a scene-stealer, and boy, did Patsos try, living up to my top billing and proving a writer’s dream.

When finished instructing (loudly) his players at the table on the defensive scheme (TRIANGLE!), he turns to interact with the crowd, explaining, “We’re not as smart as Davidson. We’re working on it.” ... Chatting with a ref about questionable elbows, “I just don’t want a fight. I’m in a peaceful mood.” ... To a player about to enter the game, “Try not to hit the backboard the next time you lob it.”

And so it went.

If you were there, you’re gonna wanna remember this one. “Put it in your memory bank” along with Gonzaga, Greensboro and Elon, but for the most opposite of reasons.

0-3, three fouls.

The rest of the band:
Lovedale: 8-for-14, 20 points, 10 boards.
The WL: 6-for-12 (all treys!), 18 points.
Bond, Aaron Bond: 4-for-5, 11 points, nine minutes.
Will Archambault: 5-for-9, 13 points, four assists.
SteVe: six points, six boards, six assists.

And afterwards, I turned over most of my post-game duties to assistant SID Matt Harris to attend press conferences. Standing in the classroom listening to the Band Leader, there’s a tap on the window, and there’s the Cheese, making faces while waiting his turn.

I’m sure there’s some disappointment — scorers like to score after all — but you wouldn’t know it. In the press conference there is laughter and joking, as he concedes to “not knowing what position” he was playing and having “the best view in Belk Arena tonight.”

And so it went, and in the greatest of dramatic twists, the one seeking the spotlight was upstaged by the one who can’t avoid it.

Without scoring a point.


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