If you’ve been around prep sports as long as I have – 30 years and counting – you’re bound to see odd things once in a while.
Until Tuesday, though, a basketball shoe had never been thrown at me. In this case it wasn’t intentional, but it got my attention.
I had just settled in to cover the Gonzaga Prep-Central Valley girls basketball game. Actually, I was a tad tardy, just barely arriving at CV as players were being introduced.
I had two hot dogs in tow, the product of a life lived on the go. I barely got the mustard spread on one of the tube steaks when I saw G-Prep guard Laura Stockton go for a steal. As she pivoted, she ran out of one of her shoes.
Since she wasn’t hurt, officials allowed play to continue since CV was in transition. Stockton, obviously frustrated, picked up her loose sneaker and flung it toward the sideline, thinking it would land somewhere near the Bullpups’ bench.
Sitting courtside next to G-Prep’s bench, I just happened to look up to see her shoe coming at me. It skimmed the top of my hot dog, landing near the bleacher behind me.
When Stockton emerged from the locker room after the halftime intermission, I told her what happened. She didn’t follow the flight of her sneaker.
Embarrassed, she apologized.
After the game, when she walked out of the locker room, I told her jokingly she owed me a postgame interview. Before she left, I advised her to check her shoe when she got home to see if there were any traces of mustard.
Nonplussed, I finished my hot dog.
In today’s journalism world, my boss wants me to be more interactive with our readers. But this is a bit ridiculous.
• Last Friday, I took the opportunity to watch the CV and Coeur d’Alene boys. I picked these teams to win their respective leagues.
I came away impressed with both teams. CV built as much as a 20-point lead and the Vikings rallied within three before the Bears held them off.
CV didn’t return one starter, but coach Rick Sloan has the program, top to bottom, rolling.
CdA coach Kurt Lundblad left impressed.
“I have a ton of respect for Rick and his program,” Lundblad said. “It’s one of the premier programs in the Northwest.”
Michael Hannan, a 6-foot-1 senior guard, was a swing player with the varsity and junior varsity last year at CV. He led the Bears with 14 points and 11 rebounds.
This CV team is so deep – 10 to be exact – expect to see a different player step up each game.
“Our ceiling is high, but we’re not there yet,” Hannan said. “We just need to keep improving every day in practice. If we keep improving, we can get to a really high level.”
• Speaking of high levels, the G-Prep girls have seemingly picked up where they left off last year.
If you talk to Bullpups coach Mike Arte, he’ll tell you they have a lot of growing to do. I understand. Arte and his girls won’t settle for anything less than excellence.
I see growth already. This team can be scary good.
• I didn’t see the Northwest Christian girls beat CdA on Tuesday.
This isn’t the same CdA team that has dominated the 5A ranks in Idaho the last 10 years. But nevertheless, CdA coach Dale Poffenroth paid the Crusaders a nice compliment.
“Northwest Christian is probably the best team we’ve played so far,” Poffenroth told the CdA Press. “They played well and could play well together at any level.”
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