Clinton, South Carolina, Saturday, February 17, 2018, 11:13 a.m.
Friday was a day of extremes. It was a day of the anticlimactic and the climactic, the decisive and the indecisive, and the relaxed and the nerve-wracking.
Let me explain. By coincidence, the girls’ basketball team of Laurens Academy, seeded No. 1 in SCISA (South Carolina Independent Schools Association) Class A, opened its playoffs at 3:30 p.m. at the Sumter County Civic Center. The boys’ team of Clinton High School, the second seed in SCHSL (South Carolina High School League) representing Region 3-3A, played at Camden, the first seed of Region 4-3A, at 7.
The Lady Crusaders were playing North Myrtle Beach Christian School, who are the Lady Stallions in spite of the absence of lady stallions in nature. NMBCS’s record was 10-9. I can only imagine the schools they beat. I imagine nicknames such as Lady Cowboys, Lady Bugs, and Lady Men.
Laurens Academy (28-1) led 21-2 at the end of a quarter, 37-9 at the end of two, and 49-9 at the end of three. Then, apparently after an edict from the Humane Society, the clock ran constantly in the final quarter, and Lady Crusaders head coach Jason Marlett emptied his bench, and the final score was 50-13.
Here’s the story, as straight as I could make it.
Then it was on to Camden for a whirlwind, a hurricane, and a tornado, all within the span of less than two hours.
Even though the Red Devils advanced all the way to the Upstate Finals in 2016-17, I enjoyed watching this year’s 16-8 team play more. In particular, I could watch Vilo Boyd play defense every night. He fouled out in Camden’s 65-61, overtime victory, and, along with his teammates, was emotionally spent afterwards. Most all of Eddie Romines’ players are expressive young men, and I suspect all those satirical stares don’t endear them to the referees. I love them for the raw humanity they exhibit on the floor.
Romines was correct afterwards when he said the officiating didn’t beat them, but the style of it made life difficult in the second half. The Bulldogs (16-7) came from behind several times with numerous trips to the foul line and a steady rain of three-pointers. A technical foul assessed Clinton’s Zay Hurley occurred at a critical point.
Here’s the story, crafted in a nearby McDonald’s, where the wi-fi was reliable.
On the way home, I listened to stupid country music because I wasn’t in the mood for anything profound. All the songs seemed crafted from some kind of assault on a rhyming dictionary.
‘Cause, you know, life is a heavy load / Just like a big old toad / Down yonder where the river flowed / Me and my baby, eatin’ apple pie a la mode / It’s amazing how much that gal’s growed / A man better beware the seeds he’s sowed / We could hear it when the rooster crowed / So I cranked up my truck and took to the road …
And so on …
If you become a patron of mine, you’re supporting writing like this as well as my NASCAR thoughts. If you’ve got a few bucks a month to spare, click here.
Another way I cobble out a living is with my books, a wide variety of which are available for sale here.
My next novel is up for consideration and nomination in the Amazon KindleScout program. Time is running out. I’d appreciate it if you’d read about it and nominate it for publication here.