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North Sports Report - February 27, 2014

by Mark North, president of The Fans, Inc

The North Sports Report becomes a gym rat this time of year, watching tournament action night in and night out. Here’s a recap of some of the action:

Delay of Game: How Many Referees Does It Take to …?

During a girls’ district tournament game between Hume-Fogg and MLK at Maplewood, action stopped when the ball bounced high and came to rest on top of the backboard. A moment passed as everyone stared at the stuck ball and as I wondered if great leapers of yore David Thompson (N.C. State circa 1974) or Spencer Richardson (East High circa 1979) could save the day with a soaring rebound off the top of the glass. Finally, the referees called for another ball from the rack at the other end of the gym, stood in front of the free throw line, and threw the extra ball at the problem over and over with no success. The ball was still stuck on top of the backboard. The referee then moved behind the backboard and threw the extra ball up in an attempt to dislodge the game ball. Failure! The second ball joined the first and now we had two balls stuck atop the glass. Finally, PA announcer extraordinaire Scott Wallace retrieved the dust mop and the referee used it to poke both balls free from their glass perch, raining dust down from the mop. Hilarious!

Dominate and Advance: MLK’s Girls Win Region

The North Sports Report attended the Region 5-AA Girls Championship game at Maplewood and witnessed a dominant championship performance as the MLK Lady Royals earned their first Region title and will host the sub-state round on Saturday.

The MLK Royals are Region Champs - As the sign advises, they left it all on the court.

Sweet Wrap Around Pass: Overton’s Girls Advance and Win Region

The Overton Lady Bobcats won a decisive victory over Franklin for the Region Championship on Wednesday, but Monday’s Semifinal game against Brentwood had the play of the year. Trailing by a point with less than a minute remaining, an Overton player drove into the crowded lane from the right side, spun and whipped a Magic Johnsonesque pass through a crowd. As my memory replays the pass, I know there is no way it should make it through the crowd, and it’s thrown so hard there should be no way to catch if somehow it makes it to its intended target. But, that is exactly what happened… a miracle pass, terrific catch and a lay-in to win the game. Overton went on to win the Region championship and will host the sub-state round on Saturday.

The End Comes Suddenly

The region semi-final round is the most pressure-packed, exciting basketball of the season. The remaining teams are really good, a win guarantees them a shot at the state tournament, and a loss ends not only the season but the high school careers of the seniors. High drama, indeed. The final horn in the Region semifinals marks the end and has a ring of finality that echoes through the gym “like the disappearing dreams of yesterday.” –Kristofferson

East Nashville Boys Soaring Ever Higher

The East Nashville Eagles are cruising through the tournament season and now face undefeated Cheatham County for the Region championship. This could be the game of the year in Middle Tennessee. Tip-off is 7:00pm Thursday night at Maplewood. The Eagles have already earned a trip to the sub-state round and would host the sub-state with a victory tonight.

Hunters Lane Earns Way into Sub-state Round

The Hunters Lane Warriors turned hot at the right time with a crushing second half performance over Franklin. The Warriors scored in the final second of the first half to take a six point lead and then unleashed a furious second half to win by 20 points in a game that was not as close as the score might indicate. The Warriors play for the region championship Thursday night. Tip-off is 7:00pm at Glencliff.

Hall of Famers in the Crowd

The North Sports Report noticed Barbara Frazier, JoAnne Tribue, and Melvin Black at the Region tournaments this week. All three are members of the MNPS Sports Hall of Fame and have made more of an impact on Metro Schools and on Nashville than can be described here.

Trip Down Memory Lane: The Glencliff Alumni Room

The North Sports Report enjoyed following Glencliff graduate and MNPS athletic director Roosevelt Sanders through the new Glencliff Alumni Room this week. We found Mr. Sanders’ senior picture in a class composite, and he has not changed a bit…hee, hee, hee.

The Glencliff Alumni room includes mementos from a Clinic Bowl appearance

MNPS: The First Choice for Soaring High with Success