Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted December 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm

Hammer's Needle.psd

One down, one to go

Last week’s Twin Lakes Holiday Classic is now in the books and it was certainly no disappointment as far as team quality goes.

Although it was somewhat disappointing that once again the championship trophy didn’t end up in the CCHS trophy case, it is never a given that the Dawgs are going to win their own event.

In fact, with the quality of talent that Coach Todd Messer and crew recruits to play in our tournament, it makes claiming that championship trophy a very prestigious win.

Christ Presbyterian Academy (CPA), out of Nashville, was certainly one of the nicest teams we’ve ever brought in to the Twin Lakes Tourney and the Lions played a heads up event all week long in winning the tournament.

It is some consolation, however, that our Dawgs were able to get past their own recent game problems on the final night of the Classic and play the kind of game those of us close to the program know they are capable of playing – and handing CPA its only loss of the week.

Not only was CPA a nice team to watch play, Elliot County was also one of the better teams we’ve had on our floor for the event.

Expect to see more out of Elliot as play continues in Kentucky. They are favored to win the All ‘A’ in their 16th Region as well as the KHSAA 16th Region and another trip to Rupp Arena and the Sweet 16 – which would be the third trip in four years for them.

Monterey and South Warren were good teams as well and put all of those on the floor daily for three straight days makes for a fantastic lineup of basketball.

If you didn’t take in at least part of it – blame yourself for missing some fantastic basketball.

As for the event itself, I talked to several members of the coaching staffs from each of the visiting schools, as well as a hand full of fans as they waited on various games to be played, and only good things were said about our school, the staff, the tournament itself and our community as a host.

Bottom line – it’s a great event for everyone – the visiting teams, the home team, and our county.

Now, the boys are off to Gatlinburg and it’s our Lady Dawgs turn to play the part of the host with the Best of the Lakes Holiday Classic this week.

Again, we invite teams from both Kentucky and Tennessee to our little part of the world for three days of basketball action.

Beginning on Thursday, December 27, we will throw up the rock in the Castle with seven teams on the slate for games in addition to our Lady Dawgs.

We will welcome North Laurel, Franklin-Simpson, Louisville Ballard, Wayne County, McCreary Central and Harlan from Kentucky as well as Livingston Academy from just down the road in Tennessee.

It should be another great week of quality basketball action.

Not to be outdone

While our Lady Dawgs were on the floor last week in the McCreary Central hosted Arby’s Holiday Classic, Coach Darrel Thompson, for the most part, was not in the gym.

Sitting out three games after being assessed a double-technical foul last week in Columbia, he had to leave the gym each time Clinton County hit the floor.

As I mentioned last week, I wasn’t on hand for the incident that led to Coach Thompson getting ejected, so I couldn’t comment directly to the case, other than to say everything I had heard was that the second technical was uncalled for.

So, it seemed somewhat ironic Saturday night when, as if to not want to be outdone by his counterpart, Bulldog Coach Todd Messer had to leave the gym after back to back technical fouls and now will have to sit out of Clinton County’s next three games – those being in the Pigeon Forge King of the Smokies Classic this week.

I did witness Saturday night’s technical foul debacle, and from where I sat, which by the way is the best seat in the house, the first technical might have been warranted. The second one – not really.

Most experienced referees would have simply walked away and that would have diffused the situation all the way around.

It was the least classiest thing I witnessed all week.

Nuff said.

A return to normalcy – and a new year

 When we get this Holiday Classic behind us at the end of the week, it’s time for a return to some regular scheduled games, the All ‘A’ tournament run, and finally, the run toward the end of regular season play and the post-season tournament stretch.

We’re still early in the campaign, but it’s going by faster than you think.

Come on out to the gym and get behind our Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs – those of us who are there are having a blast.

Happy New Year!

Official nonsense

Local basketball fans aren’t always privy to everything that goes on at the Official Table during home basketball games at Clinton County High School, and believe it or not, everything that happens there is not of a serious business nature.

That was the case last week during the Twin Lakes Holiday Classic on several occasions, including the one captured above.

Long-time referee Larry Hammer is famous in the 4th Region for putting an air needle into the game ball before every game, whether it needs to be deflated or not – it’s part of his pre-game routine that he refuses to change, and in fact, he carries two needles in his pocket to insure he can complete the task prior to the opening tip of every game.

Last week, CCHS Official Timer Michael Whittenburg gave Hammer an early Christmas gift, an air needle, bent into a 180 degree fashion that couldn’t be inserted into the basketball valve.

Hammer took the joke all in good nature, but CCHS Athletic Director Nick Irwin was overly curious as to how Hammer was going to use his new needle.