Archive for Thursday, February 8, 2007

Column: Local teams struggle during week

February 8, 2007

Wow! What a wild new year it has been.

There have been highs and lows on every level of sports, all the way from Baldwin High School to the professional echelon of the National Football League.

It's difficult trying to figure out where to start when discussing the past five weeks. The world of sports is often full of peaks and valleys and 2007 is no exception.

Since the last six days of basketball have been awful, I will start with the bad news first. It started Friday night when the BHS boys' basketball team traveled to Eudora.

Although the Bulldogs and Cardinals aren't official rivals, the competition between the two schools has escalated in the last few years. That is partly because of Eudora improving its sports programs during the new millennium.

Eudora beat Baldwin in football in October, only fueling the Bulldogs' desire to beat the Cardinals. BHS took an 11-point lead with 5:20 left in the game Friday.

In less than three minutes, the game was tied and the Bulldogs didn't know what hit them. BHS junior Drew Berg drained a huge three-pointer with 27 seconds left, which looked like it might be his second game-winning shot of the year.

Instead, Eudora shot two layups and sank the second one to take a one-point lead. BHS senior Blake Wieden heaved a three-pointer as time expired, but it bounced off the front iron.

It was one of the most disappointing games I've ever watched, or so I thought. Then the University of Kansas Jayhawks topped BHS Saturday night.

I woke up early Saturday with the Baldwin loss still fresh in my mind. I soon forgot about it as I attended ESPN's College Gameday program at KU's historic Allen Fieldhouse.

My plan was to watch the game at a sports bar in downtown Lawrence, but that soon changed. I guess arriving at a place one hour before the game isn't nearly early enough. I think not finding a place to watch the game was a sign that bad things were ahead.

KU struggled at times during the game, but Texas A&M had a huge affect on the Jayhawks' performance. Kansas took an 11-point lead with 9:55 left, but would eventually fall to the Aggies.

It was so frustrating watching another 11-point lead blown. The KU game was dejvu from the BHS contest.

The bad luck kept flowing Monday night. The BHS girls' team traveled to Spring Hill in what looked to be a tough game, but one that Baldwin should win.

The shooting bug infected the Bulldogs. Shots were bouncing off the rim, rolling around the rim and off the backboard. But nothing was falling through the basket.

If the Bulldogs fell out of a boat Monday night, they wouldn't have hit water. It was that kind of night. One that I don't think will happen again, or at least I hope not.

Bad shooting nights happen to teams once in a while and Monday was the girls' turn. Hopefully, they have rid themselves of the shooting bug and will bounce back Friday.

Then the evil snowball kept rolling as I headed back to Spring Hill Tuesday. The BHS boys' game was all too similar to the girls' game, only the boys didn't shoot very many shots.

The Broncos were the more aggressive team and the game wasn't close after the first few minutes.

I was glad to leave Spring Hill knowing I won't return for a while. I watched four games of basketball in five nights and all of the teams I cheered for lost.

In the middle of the bad basketball games was a fun Super Bowl with a super winner.

I had no vested interest in the game Sunday night, but I was cheering for the Indianapolis Colts.

The game was exciting until the Colts intercepted a pass, scored a touchdown and expanded its lead to 12 points. At that moment, the fat lady had sung and it was all but over for the losing Chicago Bears.

I couldn't have been happier for Colts' quarterback Peyton Manning. He has been labeled as "the guy who couldn't win the big game." He proved that theory wrong as he battled rainy, sloppy conditions in Miami.

Of course, there are commercials and the halftime performance to talk about, but I will shy away from that. I liked the commercials, especially the "rock-paper-scissors one" and I didn't mind Prince's halftime show. I will leave it at that and let others judge on that irrelevant junk.

Well, this weekend could bring some more good or bad news from the sports world. BHS has home basketball games Friday and league wrestling Saturday in Louisburg.

Hopefully, this week winds up a bit better than the previous one. There's really only one way to go, though, and that's up.

Go Bulldogs.

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