McLean 50, Grady 47
It was the first round of playoffs for the division of the smallest schools in west Texas, and the games were taking place inside the Texas Dome on the campus of South Plains College in Levelland.
McLean High School (McLean, TX) faced Grady High School (combination of Lenorah, TX and Tarzan, TX) in the first round. Sean, being a local high school coach, had friends and connections somehow to Grady High School and so we sat on the Grady side to presumably cheer for them.
Before I knew which team was which, I looked out on the court as the two teams performed their warm-up drills and noticed the white team (McLean) only had eight players suited up. Good heavens, their lack of depth could really harm them later in the game because of lack of rest or foul trouble. Perhaps out of a propensity to cheer for the underdog or maybe out of pity that McLean is situated in the northern panhandle of Texas, I decided to cheer for them. ;) I had to be careful not to cheer vocally though, because I was sitting in the center of the loudest Grady supporters. I kept my mouth shut!
Others, particularly the woman sitting behind us, had a hard time staying quiet. She continually yelled - more like screeched - as she complained about the officiating. She traveled! ... That was a lame call! ... THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN A FOUL! ... blah, blah, blah, blah, blah! :(
I kept looking over at Glenda and Sean, with a look of "Will she ever shut up?" but they did not know what to do. In retrospect, I should have covertly gotten a picture of the bellowing woman with my digital camera. ;)
The game stayed close the entire way with only seven points being the largest gap between them. McLean's #00, a tall freshman, scored a few times in the post and I dare say she is destined to dominate even more in upcoming seasons. She will likely be "college scholarship material" if she works hard and stays out of trouble. Meanwhile, Grady's #34 had a strong and aggressive court presence and had a few impressive steals leading to scores. It was the most well-played girls' high school basketball game I had ever seen. As the fourth quarter neared the end, the game was exciting and close!
With one minute remaining, Grady was up 47-45 and McLean had possession. #5, on the perimeter, passed to #00 who was posted low. #00 was double-teamed and kicked it back out to #5 who hit a three-pointer to take the lead 48-47. The McLean side of the arena roared in cheers. That totally shut up the annoying woman behind us! :) After a failed offensive effort by Grady, #5 hit two free throws to seal the win by the score of 50-47. Way to go McLean!
It was great to be off the bicycle for the day, and I got a glimpse of the intensity of Texas high school sports. Weeks later, after I had cycled much farther into the southeastern states, Glenda pointed out McLean lost by over 20 points in the second round to the team that would go on to win the state championship