Where was Mike when the lights went out? He was in the dark.
During one of the games in the Smith-Cotton McDonald’s Classic last week, the lights in the gym went out when a transformer in the area was struck by lightning. I was only one row off the floor but I wasn’t crazy about falling on the wood floor so I sat tight until the decision was made to move the last two games of the night to the Smith-Cotton Junior High School.
I like to call it, the Smith-Cotton gym. That is where I went to school and I will always call it Smith-Cotton. I don’t care much for the new school. It’s 4 ½ miles from my house and I’m a staunch conservative. I don’t like change. The old high school was just four blocks from my house.
Getting back to my original story, the game in progress when the lights went out was just 20 seconds from the end. The coaches of both teams decided to go ahead and finish it. The game ended 40-39 and at the free throw line. I would not want that to happen in the darkness.
After the trip across town to my alma mater, I had a sweep of nostalgia wash over me as I walked back in there. I felt like I was home again. I had not been in the old gym since they started playing in the new building. I looked around the building and had a flood of memories play like a roll of film in my head.
I could still see Kim Anderson standing in the high post, waiting for a pass so he could drive the lane for a layup. I could see Pete Fiene letting fly with his famous jumper from the left corner. He rarely missed that one. I could see David Sanders slamming the ball in the wrong basket against KC Northeast in 1985.
I could see Lady Tiger guards Lisa Carter and Sandi Sims running the fast break when they played for Coach Dave Backer, Barb Berry throwing an elbow to get a rebound, Judy Curd planting a Boonville player in the floor when she got out on a fast break. I could see Carla Coble tossing in a long perimeter jumper. We did not have a 3-point line back then. And how about Donease Smith, a two-time All Stater now working in the WNBA, was so strong she ran over people to get to the basket.
I have so many memories of players and things that happened at the old S-C gym, I could write a book about them.
I saw a couple of things happen in the S-C McDonald’s Classic that I haven’t seen in many years.
First, was the lights going out. I think that was the first time I had seen that happen since I was in college in a game at the Hearnes Center. That was a long delay.
Then before the KC East-KC Southwest game Saturday, East was slapped with a pre-game technical for dunking in pre-game warm up. I really questioned whether that call should have been made. I think the official had too much time on his hands and was doing a little showboating.
I can’t wait for this weekend’s S-C Lady Tigers’ McDonalds Classic.
S-C was 8-7 going into the tournament, but I had only seen them play once. I think they need more players to score than Elena Sharp, Jac Greer and Abby Knight. In order to beat good teams, they need more people involved in the scoring.
Former S-C Lady Tiger Coach Chris Parsons is having a great season at Palmyra. The Lady Panthers are 10-4 and have won two tournaments.
Too bad we could not have done more to keep him here.
I want to thank my friend Kay Sparks for all the help she has given me over the years. I would swear that Kay has had training in working with the blind. She says she hasn’t, but she does an excellent job with me.