Monday was my big chance. The chance to finally see the worst girls basketball team that I cover win a game. Over the last three years I’ve covered roughly ten of their games. None have even been close, if I recall correctly. They have one good player, some girls that try hard, and for the first time ever have a number of freshman and sophomores who play a lot who could be decent. They had even won six games this season. Of course, I didn’t cover any of those games; they were 0-4 when I showed up.
Maybe it was me, not them.
Anyway, Monday all that was going to change. I was assigned to their game against the state school for the deaf, who were 2-6. I wouldn’t have to struggle to come up with useful questions to ask a coach who just watched his team lose by 40!
Even better, their best player had an excellent shot of going over 1000 points for her career and breaking the school scoring record.
I was licking my journalistic chops as I drove down to the gym this evening.
But when I got there, something was weird. The JV game seemed to be going awfully late. There was just a minute left in the fourth quarter, but usually the JV game is over around 6:45. It was 7:20. Why were there varsity players on the court? And why was the varsity coach barking out plays?
I’ve heard, from other reporters, about schools moving up the tip-off time when they don’t have a JV game. But I had checked the schedule earlier in the day, and had exchanged messages with my editor in the afternoon, and never heard about an early tip.
My question was answered when the coach walked right over to me after the postgame handshakes ready to be interviewed.
Yes, they won. Yes, the girl broke 1000 points and the school scoring record. But I missed it all.
I was so flustered I didn’t ask the coach about the girl breaking the record at all. Fortunately I got some good stuff from her, copied the scoring from the scorebook, and was able to file a story that focused on her. Not as good as it should have been, but it’s printable.
Still, I feel cheated.