I just got home from a ballgame came straight in the house changed clothes to get comfortable and now I have climbed up on my soap box. Just so you know this has nothing to do with diet, weight loss, or exercise. I have to speak on behalf of a bunch of middle schoolers that will not be able to have a voice.
For starters I am a huge supporter of Riverside Christian Academy. We are the smallest smallest school in our county with PreK through 12 grade. Our county has 7 other middle schools in the area, none of which will play us in sports during regular season. I DO NOT know why the other schools in our county will not play us in sports. On any good season there may be 1-2 teams that will schedule us during regular season. For the most part our teams travel out of county and state to fill a schedule. Right now I am speaking for middle school only, high school has its conference that it must play in, but middle school does not fall in that category.
However, the local Lions Club puts on a tournament every year for the middle schools in our county and they ask us to be a part of it. In my opinion, if our team is not going to be given a fair chance to play and win, WHY INVITE THEM AT ALL!!!!!!
Let me just tell you a little about our games during this tournament. On Saturday night we played a team that we were evenly matched with, probably a little better than, but none the less they were our first draw. When that game was over I just assumed we were on the bad side of a horrible referee or home cooked. But I really let that game go and thought...we will show them. In fact they showed us, that they had no desire to let us win in their tournament.
We played our second game of the tourney and won big.
Tonight however, I witnessed the most blatant form of fixing a game that I have ever seen in my life. This game started out pretty normal, evenly matched through the first half, even fouls called on both ins of the court, a couple of questionable calls but nothing major. During the second half of the game, the game stayed within about 6 points both teams having a lead at any point. The game came down to a nail biter at the end within 1 point in their favor with less than a minute on the clock.
When the second half started our guys entered the court 5 against 7. The referees, TSSAA referees, openly favored the other team (I think they had uniforms under their stripes.) Please let me provide a few of the many examples:
1. At one point during the game, the last few seconds, we were down by 1 point. They inbounded the ball and our player grabbed the other team member trying to draw the foul. He was holding the kid around the waist looking up at the ref trying to get the foul called so the clock would stop and the ref would not call the foul, he did however call a jump ball that gave the ball to the other team again.
2. During an inbounds play also with very little time left on the clock, they were again in possession. We held them to a 5 count, great defense boys, but the offside ref gave the other team a timeout, after the 5 second call had been made.
3. One of our boys was called for going over the line on an inbounds play....questionable!
4. At one point during the game, the ref blew his whistle but didn't have an actual call to make that would go in the other teams favor, so he just called a jump ball again. Ha Ha to him, the ball went to us that time. Just so you know, the ball was never tied up, so that was again questionable.
5. One of the refs, had 3-4 nephews on the other team... (not sure how many) and best I can tell they just nominated him the Mayor of Flintville.
That's just of few of the examples of how our boys were treated tonight. I also thought that maybe I was being a little sensitive about the game, but when I left the gym I had another person come out to talk to me and my sisters. He was not a fan of either team that had been playing. He asked had the whole game been called as badly as the last 4-5 minutes.
I would also like to say, that our guys didn't win the game, and that is not why I am so upset. Our boys weren't given a chance to win the game. Call after call was made against them to give the other team possession. We may or may not have won the tournament, may have not even won the game tonight (with real refs) but our boys deserved a chance to play this game.
I have so many questions after that game tonight. I want to know what TSSAA in Lincoln Co. will not allow our boy a chance to play a team without the refs becoming a factor. The refs are there to supervise and enforce rules, not determine the outcome. And that is exactly what they did tonight. AGAIN...WHY INVITE US TO PLAY IN YOUR TOURNAMENT IF WE ARE NOT GOING TO BE ALLOWED THE SAME COURTESY AS EVERY OTHER TEAM, THAT IS FAIR REFS WITH NO OTHER AGENDA? Our boys were there to play basketball, not to be some pawns in a county game of the Private vs. Public schools.
If I had been the coach of the other team I would refuse to accept that as a W in my book. I would have hung my head in shame after the game.
And while I'm on my soap box I will go ahead and continue to the parents that can never admit that their children make mistakes too. I had a parent come to me after the game and tell me that if we had some big boys down low we would have won that game. Well you know what, if we had made one of many of our missed three pointer, layups, and free throws, then the game wouldn't have even come down to the last second. But I guess its so easy to blame things on other peoples children. This is a team sport, one persons mistake is a team mistake. Whats that famous phrase "There's not I in Team."