Thursday, a trip to Union City for a freshmen/JV girls doubleheader.
The first game would have the Union City freshman with coach Courtney Ruane who was chronicled in this area back late December. The opportunity to work one of her games as a coach was indeed exciting. Union City has a relatively new facility. The court is spacious, well lit and a pleasing surface. Just a pleasant place to work. As a bonus AD Dave Clauser always cordially takes care and even provides the officials with water.
Union City 9, Memorial 8
The score at the half. Union City jumped out to a 6-0 lead early. Memorial, a conference opponent about 2 miles to the North of UCHS, settled down, eliminating any ideas of a one sided win by the host five. "See what I mean," Courtney says as I inbound the ball to a player on the sideline. She is making reference to the learning stages her first year high school group is facing. Later I tell her that not having seen her team until today it is difficult to gauge progress. Regardless, you can see they set screens well and have a concept of setting up on the offensive end. Simply, Courtney is doing a good job with the kids every day in practice.
The second half sees a few lead changes and a one to two possession affair throughout. Neither team has full court pressured, which was a good decision on both coaches' count. Ahead by six with two minutes to go, Union City does press. Not a bad idea using the surprise element of the press and forcing Memorial to take more time to advance the ball against it. The hosts hang o.
Union City 24, Memorial 20
The final score is in the books. Get a chance to chat with Courtney briefly before getting ready for game two. We discuss her team and the game before I mention she was just great to work for. Not a word said to us. Maybe it was the SA article, I joked. Actually, she explained that she teaches her kids to use the same philosophy as she: 'Put on blinders, do not be concerned with the officials and concentrate on execution and doing your job." Might be a novel idea for a lot of NBA players.
In the JV game Memorial opens an early 12-3 lead. The visiting Tigers surrender the momentum. Union city closes to 14-9 at intermission. Working the doubleheader with a very good partner in Dennis Nuber. We went to the same officiating class years ago and have enjoyed working together for quite some time.
The second half sees Union City get out and push the ball to their advantage. Memorial, on their end, has lost any trace of momentum and offense. They cannot find the range, from anywhere.
Third quarter, Dennis was at the table going over something during a dead ball. No big deal and no intervention on my part as I was with the players lined up for a three throw. In an instant, technical foul, on the Memorial coach. Next time out I asked Dennis what she did, he said she simply expressed disapproval with his ruling by showing a gesture right in front of her team's bench. Those silent T's will haunt you.
Actually the technical midway third quarter had no bearing on the outcome. Memorial, after the strong start, could not score while Union City played a markedly improved second half. The final:
26-19 Union City
After a twelve point opening quarter, Memorial scored seven the last three quarters combined. That isn't going to get it done. Technical or no technical.