Borning month? Look again!

Friday, February 27, 2004

Since you live a long way from the big city, do you get the feeling there's not much to do in the middle of winter, except the same-o, same-o kind of stuff?

Well, think again. For pure, unadulterated entertainment, there are very few things more thrilling than post season play between high school basketball teams.

It's all or nothing. Teams either win or they're done for the season.

With that kind of pressure, entire communities rise up in support of their teams. And so it was Thursday night at 8 p.m. (CST), when three climactic games were going on simultaneously in McCook, Kearney and Grant.

The fans who flocked to the games and those listening in on radio had a hard time keeping up with all the action. In McCook, the top-rated Class C-2 boys basketball team in the state, Cambridge, was engaged in a fast-paced battle with North Platte St. Patrick's for the right to advance to the district finals.

At the same time, the Dundy County boys team from Benkelman was locked in a nail-biting battle with Wauneta-Palisade in the D1-11 subdistrict at Grant, and McCook's girls were fighting to the finish against Lexington to stay alive in Class B girls play.

Switching back and forth between game coverage on KICX-FM and Coyote Country 105.3, avid fans were to learn that McCook escaped with a victory, 50-44, at the UN-K Coliseum in Kearney. It was quite a comeback, as the Bison ladies had trailed most of the game.

In Grant, the outcome was thrilling for the Broncos of Wauneta-Palisade, who won over Dundy County's Tigers in overtime, 54-52. What a difference those two points made. For the Broncos, it was ecstacy. For the Tigers, it was agony.

And therein lies the excitement of high school basketball tournament play. One basket ... one play ... can make so much difference, in many cases determining whether a team goes forward, or is eliminated.

Upon first looking at the score, 85-70, you might think that the talented Cambridge team had an easy time of it against St. Pat's. Not. After falling behind in the early going, the Irish came storming back to cut the margin to two. Then, after falling behind a second time, the Cambridge boys rallied again, getting within six before the Trojans had a late game surge to take the 15-point victory.

Anyone who attended the Cambridge-St. Pat's, McCook-Lexington or Dundy County-Wauneta-Palisade contests can tell you how thrilling, and deafening, the experience was for fans. One minute, the team's supporters were delirious with joy; the next they were reeling with disappointment.

Bored? It's time you got out of the house and attended a high school basketball game. The kids will provide you with every bit as much excitement as the college players or pros can. They proved that Thursday night, and they will keep on proving it as they go forward in the district and state playoffs.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: