Life around the wide world of sports; no Ws

Today is the cutoff date for the OVAC Girls Basketball Championships Feb. 6 at Ohio University-Eastern.

Except for Class 4A, the top four in each classification are set.

In Class 5A, it is Morgantown, Steubenville, Cambridge and Parkersburg South, with the final two percentage points apart.

It appears Big Red, which visits Harrison Central today, will host the No. 3 seed one week from tonight.

The Mohigans are the defending OVAC 5A champs and are No. 1 in Class AAA West Virginia.

That Huskies’ game tonight with Steubenville is a big one for coach Nick Yourkovich’s ladies.

They are the two-time defending Class 4A champs and are in a battle with Buckeye 8 foe Union Local and Oak Glen for the final two spots.

One team is going to be left out.

The Golden Bears are at rival Beaver Local tonight in a must-win to have a chance to get in.

The top two teams in 4A are Martins Ferry and Buckeye Local.

Top four in 3A are set and shouldn’t change with Fort Frye, Linsly, Barnesville and Magnolia.

The same in 2A with Bridgeport, River, Frontier and Wheeling Central.

Weirton Madonna sits in third in 1A and has a chance to sneak into second past Bishop Donahue with a win tonight over Morgantown Trinity Christian.

A chance.

St. John Central leads the class with Valley fourth.

The schedule for Feb 6 at OUE is: Class 5A: 10 a.m.; Class 1A: 12:30 p.m.; Class 2A: 3 p.m.; Class 3A: 5:30 p.m.; Class 4A: 8 p.m.

Congratulations to Peyton Manning for going back to the Super Bowl, his fourth appearance.

I hope the Denver Broncos win so people can get off Manning’s back about only winning one of them rings.

For some reason, our society is about “how many championships do you have?”

It’s rather unfair, really.

You want Dan Fouts, Warren Moon, Jim Kelly or Dan Marino leading your team or Trent Dilfer, Brad Johnson or Joe Flacco running your football team from the most important position?

I’m a big fan of watching Carolina Panthers players give footballs to kids after scoring touchdowns.

There’s no shortage of story lines for Super Bowl 50.

I can’t wait to see “Race,” the story of Jesse Owens.

Do not be surprised by the firing of David Blatt as head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers.

He did not own the locker room, and that’s big in professional sports.

I like Tyronn Lue’s comment after Saturday’s loss to Chicago. He said the Cavs were not in shape for the kind of basketball he wants to play.

It’s a simple message to his team.

It’s a good message, too. That team was far too pedestrian too often offensively under Blatt.

The Pike and Ben Davis high school girls basketball teams saw their seasons come to an end last week when a fight broke out with about five minutes left in the game.

It wasn’t just a scuffle.

Spectators came down from the stands to get involved.

The Indiana High School Athletic Association also put the teams on probation next season. Players must take a sportsmanship class and coaches are required to complete a behavior and role model class.

While the IHSAA took care of the team discipline, it is up to the respective schools to take care of individual punishment.

Pike’s best player is Tyana Robinson, who is heading to Florida Atlantic on a scholarship. Her season ended, along with two other seniors.

“My first reaction was to walk away from the whole thing,” Robinson told the Indianapolis Star. “I went toward our bench. I have a scholarship and knew that could be taken away. I tried to stay clear of the whole situation. I couldn’t believe what happened. It happened so fast it was hard for me to process it all.”

If there is anything fun about a winless season, it’s practice.

No parents. No adults. No nobody.

Just the team.

A safe haven, if you will.

It’s where coaches and players can let their hair down. Work hard and have lots of fun.

Believe it or not, a losing season can teach everyone involved with the program a big life lesson.

First, no one feels sorry for you.

Second, if you commit to a team, you finish with the team.

Every team faces some sort of adversity.

Teams without a win tend to face a little more.

You learn how to deal with emotions and, in general, life.

And, by the way, the last thing players want to hear is what they did wrong.

Sorry mom and dad, but that’s the job of a coach.

Talk to your child about the game ONLY IF they ask.

I watched the Toronto girls play last week and was impressed.

They lost … again.

But, that really is a small chapter to the story.

They played their tails off.

They played hard.

They got after it.

They never quit.

Kudos, young ladies.

Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy, Ricky Fowler, Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Dustin Johnson, to name a few.

Yeah, I think golf is in some really good hands.

The four majors:

The Masters at Augusta National: McIlroy.

The U.S. Open at Oakmont: Johnson.

The Open Championship at Royal Troon: Spieth.

PGA Championship at Baltusrol: Fowler.

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at mmathison@heraldstaronline.com, followed on Twitter at @MathisonMike and is on the radio weekday mornings from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. with Joey Klepack and from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Saturdays on WEIR-AM)


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