January 15, 2006 UPDATE: It's broke. Late in the 4th quarter of Parchment's Friday the 13th battle with Kalamazoo Christian Alex was scrambling for a loose ball in front of the KC faithful and went to the floor landing awkwardly on his right hand. He finished the game but the next morning his hand was swollen so he iced it for 24 hours then went to emergency for an X-ray which came back positive, or should I say negative. Bottom line: Alex broke a bone in his shooting hand and his senior season of basketball is officially over. Needless to say I don't think I've ever seen Alex as depressed as he is right now as he knows he has let the team, the school, and the community down.
Article from mlive.com:
Kalamazoo Christian's boys' basketball team went inside for its offense and outside for its defense and left Parchment's gym Friday night all alone in first place in the Kalamazoo Valley Association. The Comets, with a three- to four-inch height advantage at every position, took advantage of the inside mismatches, shot a crisp 52.8 percent from the floor and made off with a 48-42 victory over Parchment before a crowd that packed the Panther gym by shortly after 6 p.m.
The victory gives Christian, now 7-1 overall, a 4-0 record and sole possession of first place in the KVA. Christian entered the game ranked No. 4 in the Class C state poll and Parchment was No. 9 in Class B. And both were ranked No. 1 in their classes in the Gazette's area ratings. A combination of Christian's inside game and a 3-2 zone that kept extending, almost to the cafeteria, where some of the overflow crowd was viewing the game on TV, were keys to victory.
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``We didn't have an inside game and Christian forced us outside and we were 6-of-23 shooting (3-pointers),'' Parchment coach Larry Bailey said after his Panthers (7-1, 2-1) had lost for the first time this season. ``We're a better shooting team than that. But give credit to their defense. Jerry (Mastenbrook, Christian's coach) told me before the game he hates to play zone, and then they played zone the whole game.'' ``We used a 3-2 because we didn't want to let their shooters open,'' Mastenbrook said. ``I thought we got a good hand up most of the time.''
Christian jumped off to a 12-4 first-quarter lead, but Parchment rattled off 11 straight points and led briefly before Bryan DeKoekkoek's two free throws gave the Comets a 19-18 halftime lead. Unsung Brad Walvort, who didn't attempt a shot in the first half, nestled a triple into the net, scored a layup and added a putback for seven of Christian's first nine second-half points. Parchment never got any closer than four points the rest of the evening.
Another unsung Comet, 6-foot-6 forward Josh Veenstra, posted up inside and scored three layups to open the fourth. ``It was the Kyle (Mastenbrook) to Veenie show,'' Jerry Mastenbrook said. Kyle Mastenbrook and Walvort were on the passing end of many of the inside layups. ``We have the height and the guys got the ball inside to us,'' said Veenstra, who also had five rebounds and swatted away three shots.
Ryan Zwier, Christian's 6-6 swingman, scored seven of his game-high 13 points in the fourth quarter, including a big triple from the corner with under three minutes remaining. ``That was the dagger,'' Bailey said. Alex Wolf led Parchment with 11 hard-earned points and P.J. Withrow and Denver Baker came off the bench and each connected for a pair of triples. ``They were more consistent and worked the ball into the post,'' Wolf said. ``If you're a small team and you're not shooting well, you're not going to beat a bigger team.''
Wolf, who was still hampered by an ankle sprain suffered in pregame warmups Tuesday night, added: ``It was sore, but how can you think about an ankle injury in this kind of atmosphere?'' ``They had a lot of quickness and we had a lot of height,'' Mastenbrook said. ``But like I told the kids, that was a good win, but that win doesn't win the KVA. There are a lot of games left.''
Player Pts #11 #13 #15 7* #21 6** #23 #25 11* #31 #33 #35 6 #41 8** #43 2 #45 2 * = 3-pointer
Coach T comments: Friday the 13th! It had all the markings of being the most magical night in the history of Parchment basketball. #1 versus #1. Mutiple TV stations were there. The press was there. Radio was there. The band ROCKIN the house ALL night long. The student section was AMAZING with a capital "A" with their signs and their screaming and their cheering and their sweet back turning and their "D", "Fence". The cheerleaders gave it their all as did the mightly flag waving Panther mascot! It was the first time in the history of the school that they had to shut and lock the doors because "our house" was filled beyond capacity (hey community, now do you believe that we need a new gym?). It was the first time Parchment has had a #1 ranking since 1985. All we needed was a P-town victory to put a stamp on the greatest night in P-town basketball history. So what happened? Well plain and simple, they made there shots and we didn't. They played good position defense for 32 minutes and we played defense in spurts. They controlled the tempo of the game and we didn't. We never got the transition game going. We never got any easy buckets. We didn't break their zone down with an inside-out game. Basically KC came in and showed us who the better team was. Can't argue about it. If you want to argue I have one word for you. Scoreboard. I also have one question for the players. What are you going to do about it? In this game we were a live by the 3, die by the 3 team and we were mortally wounded by the 3 and then finished off by poor defense against KC hero, Josh Veenstra. Good defense can make up for poor shooting any day. If any of you wants to do some extra shooting during off hours (5:30 AM or 9 PM) just give me a call and I'll be happy to rebound for you. And I'll extend the same offer if any of you wants to work on your defense because believe me the Gazette was dead on when they gave the game ball to Josh Veenstra for his 3 basically uncontested layups early in the 4th quarter that iced the game for KC. Like I said after the last game. Shooting comes and goes but you should always be able to rely on your D. Basketball is not life, but there are plenty of life lessons that can be learned from basketball. Friday the 13th was a night for life lessons.
A Championís Creed...
Comments about anything?Thomas R. Wolf, Jr. <firstname.lastname@example.org>