Mother Nature can’t figure out what she wants to do. For the past few days, if you’ve looked through a window to see what’s going on outside, you would assume fall has taken over. It’s been cloudy most of the times, flat out dreary a few times, so you would think you would need to bundle up a bit when you set outside. Yet it’s still been close to 80 most days, and it looks like it’s going to be warmer than that for the next several days.
Not that I’m complaining. I’d be pleased as punch if I could wear shorts and t-shirts until Thanksgiving. However, I would also like to bust out the fall clothing. The jeans, the chinos, the flannels, the quarter-zips. You know what I’m talking about.
Game two of the CYO basketball season was last night. L’s team was playing St. I, a school that is always good and has beaten us pretty easily every time we’ve played them going back to third grade. We heard before the game that one of St. I’s best 7th graders would not be available, but knowing they have three really good 8th graders, we figured it wouldn’t matter much.
It might have helped us a little. At least at the beginning. We held them scoreless for the first four minutes and change of the game! Granted, we were without a basket, too. But being tied is better than getting crushed.
Sadly that changed quickly. St I scored, put on their press, and next thing you knew, we were down 12–0.
It never got much better – although we did win the third quarter 6–5 – and the final was 37–10. St. I not only had better players, but they all know how to play together. They would set up our defense and then get exactly what they wanted.
Meanwhile our girls were throwing lazy passes, never setting screens for each other, not running the right plays, dribbling into triple teams, and taking bad shots. The gap between the teams with players and the teams with athletes sure gets more obvious as the girls get older.
We were playing in a very small gym where the stands are directly behind the benches, so we were able to listen in on timeout huddles. To break the St. I press, our coaches drew up a very simple play that involved three quick passes and one cut. Our girls went out and ran it every single play for the next five possessions. It didn’t matter that St. I’s figured it out after the first play and adjusted their defense accordingly. Our girls blindly threw the passes that the coaches had told them to throw, without looking to see if that pass was covered and someone else was open.
It was super frustrating to watch and made me very glad I’m not coaching this year. The girls are all good girls. But none of them play enough basketball to not totally panic when faced with a better team that is messing up what they try to do.
L went scoreless, going something like 0–4 or 0–5 from the field. She had a couple decent looks in close that she missed. The rest were panic shots she threw up because she was trapped in the lane. She had one assist but approximately 37 turnovers. Ugly all around.
CYO now takes three weeks off for the various fall breaks around the Archdiocese. Stupid. L’s team does play in a mini-tournament this weekend but otherwise will have a few weeks to try to regroup and figure things out before they play their most winnable game of the year on October 26.
Hey, the Colts finally got their first win on Sunday! Since it was L’s birthday and we had some other things going on, I did not give the game my full attention. I believe I said it a few weeks ago and I have to restate it: I don’t like Carson Wentz, but that dude plays hard. You see why coaches and GM’s love his potential. He can make plays happen that only a handful of QB’s can pull off. But there’s always the downside with him that guys like Patrick Mahomes don’t also have, where he will account for an ugly turnover or three in his efforts to make a big play. Plus the inevitability of a major injury as a result of his scampering around.
The Colts still have tough games three of the next four weeks before the schedule lightens up a bit. That 0–3 hole is going to be tough to dig out of, even in the soft AFC South.
For those of you interested, CHS went down to Cincinnati and hammered a really good Ohio team last Friday. It was their best performance of the year. Their young quarterback had the best game of his career, throwing for 340+ yards, and he did it without his #1 receiver. Two more games in the regular season, both against fellow #1 teams from Indiana.
Finally, I was not super excited about last night’s AL Wild Card game between the Yankees and Red Sox. I even watched a short movie earlier in the evening. I did catch the last three and a half innings, though, and it warmed my heart to see the Yankees get bounced. A lot of things change over time, but my Yankee hatred remains strong after over 40 years.
I don’t think I watched a Royals game after mid-June. That terrible stretch that began about five weeks into the season killed any enthusiasm I had about devoting time to watching their young guys develop.
I’m bummed I missed most of Salvador Perez’s monster season. It has been shocking how he keeps getting better despite getting older. I hope he has another couple great years left in him so he can attach them to a season in which the Royals are contending.
Also a shame that Nicky Lopez’s out-of-nowhere great year was wasted on a season that the Royals were never in the race. You could have talked me into a great Salvy season last spring. But Nicky Lopez? No freaking way. Fingers crossed it was repeatable and not a fluke.
Now to get Bobby Witt Jr. to the bigs and hope the young arms progress. That’s enough to get me watching again next April.