Life around the wide, wide world of sports

I think I have seen about a half-dozen adults thrown out of high school basketball games.

That’s about a dozen too many.

I’ve witnessed fan bases whine about the number of fouls being called.

Yes, the same fan bases who were complaining when it was 8-2 or 9-1 against their team, had no problem in the second half when it was 8-2 or 9-1 against the other team.

I tweeted last week that there were 7,000 refs in the gym and every one of them was mad.

I will say it again, referees will miss calls. They will blow calls.

Whether you like it or not, that’s the way it is.

Anyone see Russell Westbrook take five steps last week before dribbling the ball and it took until the fifth step for a NBA official to blow the whistle?

Just google “NBA travels that should have been called” and see what comes up.

It really is rather humorous.

And, those are guys making a lot more than the current high school rate to get calls right.

I was not a big fan of missed calls when I coached, but I was less of a fan when my kids missed layups, free throws or assignments.

One referee said, “I’ve been called everything tonight but a Christian.”

I just cannot fathom the place where adults get to be kicked out of games.

And, believe me, I thought another dozen or so should have been booted for what came out of their mouths.

Athletics, in general, is about imperfections.

It’s about capitalizing on mistakes by the other team and working hard not to let the other team capitalize on your mistakes.

It’s about playing as a team when teammates really do not like each other.

It’s about one player not being able to make a shot, but trusting that teammate to make a free throw when it counts.

It’s about knowing a referee just missed a really important call, but going forward and not focusing on that one moment.

It’s about riding the emotional wave from A to Z and back again during a game, much like the Ohio Valley can see all four seasons in a day.

Sports brings out the best — and worst — in people.

¯ Buckeye Local was left at the altar last month regarding a football coach.

Not the first time that has happened to a school and surely won’t be the last, but the Buckeye Local football program is at the top of the list of schools that did not need that decision.

The poor timing also meant it’s really hard to go back to the other finalists — regardless of how many — and say, “I know we didn’t pick you as our first choice, but, do you want the job?”

Yes, that happens often in the big leagues, but life is different in high school — especially for a team and a program like the Panthers.

We all know the recent history and we all know the experiment that was a complete mess.

That championship ring experiment did not help the program at all and more than likely hurt it on a scale longer than a year.

So, where does Buckeye Local go from here?

The last thing the Panthers need is a school board that has any inkling that it is OK to take their sweet time to figure this thing out.

Waiting is not an option.

Patience is not an option.

Hiring a coach in May is not an option.

I am sure options are available, but, let’s be honest, not a ton of coaches are beating down the door to be the head football coach for the Panthers.

This program does not need to behind another 8-ball, or an entire pool table full of them.

Having won two games since the start of the 2013 seasons means the person coming into the situation needs as much time as possible to put together a game plan, form a coaching staff, roll up their sleeves and begin the process.

You know when coaches say their teams played with urgency.

That’s the point where this process is.

This is an all-hands-on-deck thing throughout the school district.

Could the Buckeye Local administration still pull one off?

Absolutely.

And, here’s hoping they do.

¯ The cutoff for the OVAC girls’ basketball tournament is tonight.

The top four teams in each class are:

5A: Parkersburg South, Wheeling Park, Morgantown and Cambridge — (I expect them to stay in that order).

4A: Buckeye Local, Union Local, Harrison Central and St. Clairsville — (UL and HC may change places, but they will still play each other in the semifinals).

3A: Bellaire, Buckeye Trail, Fort Frye and Linsly — (Martins Ferry and Barnesville fifth and sixth with an outside chance to sneak into No. 4 spot).

2A: Wheeling Central, Steubenville Catholic Central, Shadyside, Clay-Battelle — (Top three will stay the same with Cameron having an outside shot in passing C-B).

1A: Frontier, Valley, Trinity Christian, Beallsville — (Will stay that way)

The semifinal match-ups and pool play match-ups will be announced in Tuesday’s editions.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. He can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com and followed on Twitter @HSDTsports)

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