Musings on music, sports, life in general from Quincy, Illinois.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

QHS QND girls

Last night was the QHS-QND girls game at Blue Devil Gym and it unfolded according to script. Notre Dame is really really REALLY good, unbeaten and a threat to make a deep Class 3A tournament run. QHS is having a tough year, 1-19 says it all.

QND 69, QHS 37.

There was a decent crowd on a cold night. Girls basketball will never match the boys around here, and that's just the way it is. Once the game started there wasn't much energy because the outcome was never in doubt.

Still, it was nice to see people in the stands during a girls game. And if QHS was having a good season there'd be a lot more interest.

Notre Dame has it all, a powerful inside presence in Natalie Siebers and Karlee Gengenbacher, great guard play from Renita Bunting, and the last piece to the puzzle, former Blue Devil Chloe Barnes.

Coach Eric Orne has done a nice job with this crew, too. Eric could have been a jerk about this game. After all, QHS beat QND in the last two regional tournaments, broke his heart last year especially. But he knew what was going on last night. His team got a big lead and he played everybody a lot, and that's a big thrill for girls who don't get a lot of court time.

What are you going to do, tell a Notre Dame girl to not play hard in the QND-QHS game? Ridiculous.

This year and next, should they avoid the dreaded injury bug, the Raiders have chances to do something very special. They are representing Quincy and I wish them all the luck in the world. They play in an extremely tough regional (Springfield High is at QHS Saturday, 12:30 p.m. if you want to see for yourself). But with a few breaks, they could be playing for a state title.

There are two things Quincy High supporters can do. They can give up and blame the coach and get mad at the world. Or they can realize no matter how bad it gets, it's just a game. A stupid game where you try to throw a small round object through a hoop with a net.

Emily Hart said it best in The Herald-Whig earlier this week.

"It's just a game and there are other things that I do, but I love to play basketball," she said. "As long as I can remember, I've been playing basketball. ... I do have fun, a lot of fun. I love our team and the people on there.

"I love to play. So it's always fun for me."

Fitting final words to this post.


UMRBlog said...

I agree with most of that. The game should be fun and the bond of team is one the greatest things a young person can experience.

But there are 100 fourth graders every year who can love the game. A feeder system that doesn't further that love and talent will lead to inconsistent varsity teams. I'm blaming no one but I don't think we have that now. A lot of things go into it: consistency of system, stability of coaches, involvement of lower level coaches at the varsity level (game films, handout materials, ANYTHING to bond), diversity, parents properly involved but not overinvested, varsity coach's quiet presence at lower level games.

On the boys' side, who could have imagined a feeder system @ Liberty, for God's sake? Paul Kreke Started one and much of it survived well after he was gone (sadly, he's all the way gone now).

On the performance side, nobody should have to go through a year like the QHS girls are going through. I hope the fun Emily refers to balances it out.

Still you avoid years like this by having a reliable and stable program 4-12. It doesn't take away the fun. Just puts it in context.

I couldn't be there last night. I had an appointment with a snow drift in another state but I heard the geist in the gym was all good. That's a credit to everybody. As you say, it was a game played by young people. That's kind of the idea.

Rocky Cola said...

It all worked out last night in the stands.
The QND kids corner shows a lot of emotion and support, but I can see how it can be annoying to some.
The QND coach knows someday, the other Quincy team will have a really, really strong team as well and that it made sense to play it that way.

I have only been involved in one "feeder program" for two years as my good friend/chaplain/ex-neighbor/Cardinal fan pursuaded my daughter and I to get interested in the sport. It has been fun.

Everything comes in cycles and talent in the Quiz Bowl or Basketball will rotate from school to school from year to year.
And as many wise men have said in the past, you can learn just as much about yourself being on a struggling team than possibly a winning team. You always get something out of it. It just does not feel like it or it is hard to identify while you go through it.