Time to catch up with L’s exploits on the hardwood.
Two Fridays ago we traveled to North Vernon, IN, about 90 minutes south, nearly all the way to Louisville. The varsity team was playing the #14 team in the state, which features a senior who signed with Michigan State earlier this month. She averaged 22 & 12 as a junior and is ranked in the top 60 in the country. We weren’t sure if she was the one good player down there, or just a sign of a good program, so had no idea what to expect from their JV squad.
It ended up being a super entertaining and fun game, at least as much as a JV game with dodgy offense and indifferent defense can be. It was tied after one quarter, we trailed by two at halftime, led by four at the end of three, and ended up losing by two. We had a six-point lead early in the fourth quarter and missed a couple chances to extend. Our best inside player only played the first quarter so she would be eligible for the entire varsity game, and her absence really hurt us on the boards.
L played pretty well. She scored nine points on 4–7 shooting, hitting two long jumpers. She had a rebound, three assists, two steals, and two turnovers. She played roughly 25 of the 28 minutes. She made a free throw with two seconds left to cut the margin to two, then intentionally missed the second but we couldn’t get the rebound to try to tie.
The funniest aspect of the night was how the PA announcer kept saying L’s name wrong. When he introduced the starting lineups, he said our last name in the way people have been mispronouncing it my whole life, but which makes no sense to me. There’s no U in our name, but people are always adding it.
Then, once L started hitting baskets, the announcer called her “Lisa.”
She heard him because she was shaking her head and laughing after one of her makes.
I thought about being That Dad and going down to correct the guy working the mic. But I figured if he was imagining letters in both her first and last names, he probably either wouldn’t remember my corrections or would be so flustered it would make things worse for the entire team.
Our varsity lost by 17 and it was never close. The Michigan State recruit scored 17 and had over 10 rebounds. She is a nice player. The real issue was letting a sophomore score 23. I guess it is more than a one-girl program. You let two kids combine for 40 points in a high school game and you’re probably going to lose.
The Tuesday before Thanksgiving we were at Warren Central for a boy-girl JV doubleheader. This is significant since L has a boyfriend these days, and he’s on the boy’s team, so the assumption was we’d watch her game then hang around to watch his.
Only wrinkle in that plan was the Warren girls smacked the Irish around pretty good. We were down 12 at the end of the first quarter, and down as many as 19 multiple times. We ended up losing by nine but it’s not like we went on some big run.
L had a truly rough night. She played 24 minutes and did not score, taking just two shots. She did have a lifetime-high six rebounds, but balanced that with seven turnovers. That was indicative of the entire team: any positives were outweighed by bigger negatives.
I thought she actually played fantastic defense. She just kept checking girls who could make varsity-level shots. One of her best defensive possessions of the game, in which she had a girl completely locked up on three different moves, ended with that girl hitting a step-back jumper from 18 feet. I had to remind her later sometimes you do everything right and the other girl just hits a great shot. You can’t let the result get you down.
The coaches were on the entire team pretty hard, and jumped on L specifically a few times. She’s never really had to deal with coaches like that, and it has been a tough transition. Tuesday it was a little overwhelming for her. I don’t think it helped that both of her sisters were in attendance and she put extra pressure on herself that night. There were some tears after the game. We hung around for a few minutes of the boys game, but she wanted to get the hell out of the gym pretty quickly. I don’t blame her.
Saturday was a super doubleheader, with both the boys and girls playing JV/varsity double-dips against a school that traveled from down near Louisville. The schedule had the girls varsity playing first in the main gym followed by boys varsity, while in the auxiliary gym the boys JV played first followed by the girls.
The girls varsity game was faaaaantasic, with the teams trading leads all night, a few crazy-curious calls by one specific ref, and a super exciting final minute. With the game tied, CHS went up on a basket by our senior center with about 20 seconds left. JHS came down and got a running layup to tie with about four seconds left. After a timeout, CHS inbounded to our best perimeter player, who fumbled the ball, took a couple dribbles to half court, and let it fly. Swish, ballgame.
— Lacey Nix (@LaceyNix) November 26, 2023
If you watch the video closely you might recognize a guy in a green shirt in the upper row who called the basket good before most of the folks.
This was our first time doing the reverse schedule thing, so we hustled up to the aux gym thinking the JV game might be about to start. Nope, everything was on hold and the warmup clock hadn’t even started yet. Made sense since the JV coaches were both on the varsity benches, along with several girls from both teams who were double-rostered. We’ll know better for next time.
JV got a relatively easy eight-point win. They were up by 12–19 almost the entire night and got sloppy in the final minutes of the game. L was solid. Her stats weren’t gaudy – she made one shot, hit one free throw, had one rebound, one assist, one steal, and two turnovers – but she was much more steady than she had been the previous Tuesday. She again played 24–25 minutes.
CHS swept the boys games, too, so it was a fun night all around and she was in a much better mood on that ride home.
The girls JV and varsity are both 2–3 on the season now.
Two games this week, and five over the next 12 days.
- Not sure if the rules are the same around the country, but in Indiana a player can five total quarters in one day. So if you play the entire JV game, you can only play one quarter in the varsity contest. That’s going to be a problem for this week, at least, as our varsity center is out with a concussion, which means our only decent JV player with size will be playing up until the senior returns. ↩