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ArchiveJANUARY 2020



Long ago when I was a freshman in college, if someone agreed with a statement they would often say “This is true.”  But nowadays I keep hearing “You are not wrong.”

I can't keep up with all these trendy changes to our language!  Whatever happened to “I concur”?  Or “True dat”?  Or “Yes indeedy”?



When I attended high school in Richwood, Ohio, our parquet basketball floor measured only 76 feet between the walls at either end.  That's eight feet less than a regulation high-school court.  After a basket, a red line temporarily shortened the layout to 70 feet so that an inbounding player would have room to stand.  His teammates, needing to cross the ten-second line, were required to bring the ball forward merely 31 feet — a 42-foot maneuver elsewhere.

As I wrote earlier, “our team got accustomed to the tiny backcourt.  When we had to go on the road and play on a full-size floor, it was tough to bring the ball all the way up across the midcourt line.  If the other team played a pressing defense, they could force the Tigers into a lot of backcourt turnovers.  Conversely, when Indian Lake High School visited our little gym, they ate it up.  They scored over a hundred points on us that night:  two quick passes and a shot, again and again.”

As soon as I graduated in 1965, my school was consolidated into the new North Union district.  Before long our Tigers (now the Wildcats) had a new building with a full-size gym.

Flash forward to the present day.  The North Union head coach, Brian Terrill, has a favorite sports movie:  Hoosiers.  In scenes filmed in 1985 at Hinkle Field House in Indianapolis (where I once worked a telecast for CBS), the fictional Hickory H.S. Huskers play for the state championship.

However, their small-town home court is represented by a tiny gym in Knightstown, Indiana.  Actual high school games were played there from 1921 to 1966, but the court is four feet shorter than Richwood's!  There's so little room on the sidelines that the team benches are located beneath the backboards.

Coach Terrill noted that the Hoosier Gym is available for rental and hosts 80 high school basketball games every year.  Yearning to coach there, he persuaded a nearby Union County rival to move their scheduled game into the next state.

Fairbanks High School opted to make the 150-mile bus trip on Saturday morning, December 28.  They played the game that afternoon and returned home the same evening.

But with classes not in session for the holidays, North Union decided to turn the adventure into a whole weekend.  They traveled Friday, stayed two nights, and returned on Sunday.

According to Tim Miller of the Marysville Journal-Tribune, “The Wildcats have become more of a defensive pressing squad than in previous campaigns under Terrill.  ‘We've been experimenting with different presses and seeing how they work against different breakers,’ he said.  ‘We've got the quickness and the depth to do that.’” 

Game photos by Sam Dillon, MJT

In the first half, Fairbanks (in white) had little trouble breaking the press.  But eventually North Union wore down the opposition.

“North Union's pressing defense began to cause a lot of problems for its southern county rival.  Fairbanks had trouble maintaining possession of the ball, and NU converted those miscues into transition baskets.”

Miller quoted Fairbanks coach Justin George:  “North Union played big and physical, especially during the second half, on a more compact floor.  That gave them the advantage with their press.”

North Union won 52-31, improving its record to 6-0.  Preston Crabtree and Zach Vernon combined for half of the Wildcats' scoring.


JAN. 5, 2015   GOOGLE ME

In the early days of Internet search engines, users vied to find a phrase that returned one and only one hit.

I’ve done it!  If you take the last two words of my post from New Year’s Day (enclosed in quotes to specify that the words have to appear consecutively) and Google that phrase, you get a single result.  I’m the only one in the world who’s ever put those words together!


JAN. 2, 2020    JANE A., JANE E., & ANOTHER A.

When the Little Women movie appeared recently, I was surprised to learn that it begins in New England during the Civil War.  It's based on a book which I had assumed was set in Olde England during an earlier social milieu.

But what did I know?  I'm a guy.  Never having read any 19th-century novels by female authors, not even Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (1818), I can't keep their fiction straight. 

I had confused these three:

Pride and Prejudice
Jane Austen (1813)

   Jane Eyre
   Charlotte Brontë (1847)

      Little Women
      Louisa May Alcott (1868)