"You'll never get ahead if you don't take care of what you have." - Doris Waddell, RIP

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn

A historic building on our U of M-Morris campus - morris mn
The multi-ethnic building was the original home of the music department at UMM. (B.W. photo)

Monday, January 11, 2016

Is this the kind of basketball we want to see?

Tigers 37, 'Waska 36
Boy, I don't know about this kind of basketball. The MACA boys scored 17 points in the first half and 20 in the second. Amazingly, this was good enough for victory. I wasn't there but I imagine the game wasn't exhilarating to watch. I'd prefer a more up-tempo approach even if it meant we'd risk losing.
But it was a win, which is surely a nice consolation prize even if the game wasn't riveting from a fan enjoyment perspective. The game was played on Thursday, Jan. 7. The site: Minnewaska. MACA achieved its ninth win with a 37-36 score vs. the Lakers of Minnewaska Area.
The Willmar newspaper is no longer reporting team stats. I also noticed during volleyball that the paper cut out the "made/attempts" numbers in stat categories, just going with the most basic stat numbers. I wonder if that newspaper has had to negotiate with coaches to establish a system more comfortable for them. I wonder if coaches are reporting a feeling of burden and stress in having to call in so much game information.
Coaches are not contractually obligated to do this. It's more than a routine task at the end of a long day for them. Stats are often the focus for contention. Parents sometimes challenge them. What about stats for the opposing team? What about getting all the names spelled correctly for the opposing team? Are coaches even required to compile data on the opposing team?
No coach wants to be reprimanded in connection with an activity that they are not even contractually obligated to perform.
But, hasn't this always been the case? Circumstances are different today because parents and fans have such an easy channel with which to air gripes. In the old days you'd have to "pick up the phone," a task which many people wouldn't want to bother with. But email is completely different. You can click on "send" and it's so easy and routine. "Hey, Suzy had four assists, not two." Then the ball is in the coach's court or athletic director's court. It's not unusual to hear of parents keeping their own stats.
Here's another issue that coaches must weigh: Might the press coverage have the effect of making players "play for stats," putting aside team objectives to a degree? After all, the Willmar paper still has a wide circulation, although I'm surprised it has retained as much vitality as it has. Why does Willmar have a daily newspaper but Alexandria has only twice-a-week? Morris is a pathetic once a week, and in the fall we have this bizarre situation: The Saturday Willmar paper on the newsstands, having coverage of the Friday night Tiger football game, but the Saturday Morris paper, arriving at the same approximate time, does not.
Last spring the Willmar paper started shaming coaches who weren't calling in after games. This was a signal to me that some stress was growing, that maybe all was not rosy between the coaches and that paper. I think negotiations were started to alleviate some of the burden on coaches, like removing some stat obligations. Is that enough? I'm not sure.
Young coaches who habitually go online to get info for their daily lives might increasingly question the obligation imposed by an old "dead tree" newspaper. I have long suggested that the teams should just do what colleges do, and create reliable websites with all the info you need. "Maxpreps" has templates available for all teams. In online reporting you can correct any mistakes that happen. The coaches are in control. Wouldn't they like that? Surely public relations is important to them. Change can come haltingly.
The scoring list for MACA vs. the Lakers is pretty ho-hum with low totals. Eric Staebler, normally the leader, is quite down the list with six points. It was Sean Amundson leading the Tigers with eleven points, then we have Jacob Zosel with ten. Lukus Manska and Camden Arndt each scored four points, and Robert Rohloff had two. C'mon guys (or c'mon coach Torgerson), turn on the jets and play a more exciting style of game. Roll the dice. You're good enough.
Zosel had both of the team's 3-point makes.
The 'Waska stats are no more exciting to report. We have Austin Ver Steeg topping the list with 13 points. Matt McIver scored eleven, then we get into single digits: Jake Peters (6), Greg Helander (4) and Matt Gruber (2). Ver Steeg and Peters each made two 3-pointers. The top Laker rebounders were Ver Steeg (7), Gruber (6) and Peters (6). Ver Steeg was tops in assists with three and in steals with three, so surely his play won compliments.
The Tigers led 17-16 at halftime.
Girls: Tigers 71, BOLD 41
The MACA girls played at home on the same night that the boys edged 'Waska. The scoring pace was considerably faster in the girls game (yea). Coach Dale Henrich's squad put in 71 points and buried the visiting BOLD Warriors by 30 points.
We raced to a 38-18 lead by halftime. In the second half our scoring advantage was by 33 to 23. The 71-41 win was our fourth of the season.
Ashley Solvie was in the groove with her offensive play, putting in 19 points. Becca Holland was a force on 'O' with her 15 points. Correy Hickman and Jenna Howden each scored eight. Riley Decker scored seven points, then we have Nicole Solvie (6), Moira McNally (6) and Liz Dietz (2).
Holland had a dead-on eye from three-point range, making five of those long-rangers! Hickman and Decker each made one '3'. It was Nicole Solvie leading in rebounds with six. Hickman collected five rebounds, then we have three Tigers with four each: Karly Fehr, Ashley Solvie and McNally. Hickman dished out seven assists while Dietz had five. Hickman had five steals and Decker had four.
BOLD's Makenna Steffel scored 14 points. Emily Gass made a three-pointer for the Warriors.
- Brian Williams - morris mn minnesota - bwilly73@yahoo.com

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