Friday Night Lights. After watching the Terps play (live, tv or webcast) every 2.214 days, on average, for the last month, by this morning (with no game in 5 whole days!) the BasketCases were desperately in need of a basketball fix.
Fortunately, the high school scheduling Gods were smiling on us, as tonight the DC area's #4 team, the Edison Eagles, were hosting the area's #11 team, the T.C. Williams Titans, whose roster boasts one of the top-ranked prep players in the country, Tierra Ruffin-Pratt.
So, we headed out, fought rush hour traffic, and walked into the lobby of the gym (with the sweet sound of squeaking sneakers wafting toward us from the open door), but before gaining entrance, we bumped into . . . Rutgers Coach C. Vivian Stringer! We chatted briefly, and then continued our pilgrimage. No sooner had we stepped through the door of the gym when we practically tripped over Bill Lawson, father of Kara, and a veritable fixture on the girls basketball scene in the area. We said hello to Mr. Lawson, and then noticed that Bill was standing next to new Duke Coach Joanne P. (Bite Me!) McCallie. So we stopped again to exchange a few words with Coach P . . . and spoke with her again at halftime. (We are pleased to report that, unlike her husband, she doesn't bite!)
By this time, the gym was filling up, so Coach C-Viv and the BasketCases grabbed a few of the last prime seats in the bleachers and settled in to await the start of the game. Now, of course, we remembered the Titans' new coach was none other than the Mystics' first coach, Jim Lewis . . . but nevertheless seeing him again on the sidelines . . . well, let's just say it caused a bit of a brain infarction as we tried to block out all recollection of that 3-27 season. Of course, Jim was not the last of the BasketCases' coach-sightings. No, Virginia's Debbie Ryan was seated in the next section over, and we're pretty sure we spotted a couple of members of the Georgetown Hoyas coaching staff.
As for the game . . . the Titans pulled the upset, beating Edison 58-48. The game was closer for 3 quarters than the final score indicates, thanks in large part to (too) many missed free throws by TRP that allowed the Eagles to stay in the game. TRP did, however, put up 20 points, grab 14 rebounds, and notch 6 steals.
A standing room only crowd, a nationally-ranked young player, a couple of Hall of Fame coaches, a Mystics blast-from-the-past, the coach of Maryland's arch rival, an upset win by our local team . . . just your ordinary high school girls baskeball game under Friday night's gymnasium lights.
Cell Phone Photo Credit: DC BasketCases (and that will teach us not to go anywhere without a real camera!)