Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted January 12, 2021 at 4:09 pm

Coin FlipG.psd

All ‘A’ off to a Big Blue start

The Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs picked up opening round wins Monday night in the 4th Region All ‘A’ Classic tournament, advancing to the semi-final rounds while ending Cumberland County’s hopes of advancing at the same time.

The victories for both Big Blue squads was the second time each had beaten their Cumberland County rivals in less than a week’s span, after the season opening match-ups there last Tuesday night.

Going forward, both squads will enter semifinal play, at Metcalfe County, going up against Monroe County, after they each picked up wins over Todd County Central Monday night.

In girls’ action, Clinton County will face the Lady Falcons Wednesday night at 6:00 p.m., while the Bulldogs will travel to Edmonton to take on the Falcons on Thursday night, also at 6:00 p.m.

Championships are Friday night, beginning with girls’ play at 6:00 p.m.

Of course the prize at stake is a trip to the All ‘A’ Classic state tournament, set again in Richmond for mid February.

Congrats Big Blue on the opening round wins.

Congrats to the newest member

Bulldog Chase Stines became the newest member of the elite 1,000 point club Monday night, picking up his needed 13th point late in the All ‘A’ Classic win against Cumberland County.

Finishing Monday night’s game with 1002 career points, Stines currently sits in 27th place on the all-time list.

Keifer Dalton is our all-time leader with 2,158, followed by the only other member of the 2,000 point club for boys’, Jackson Harlan with 2,128.

Being in the gym in COVID-19 times is strange, but the attempt at normalcy is appreciated

Getting the basketball season off and running last Tuesday night was a welcomed event, but I think everyone who was on hand at Cumberland County, and again in The Castle this past Friday night, will admit – it’s a little strange, to say the least.

Just a few of the things, for those of you who weren’t able to get inside the gym to watch, that were different and strange, at least from my seat.

No hand shaking between coaches and players before or after the game.

The coaches’/captains’ meeting with the referees at center court was less crowded with only the referees, head coaches and at best, one captain.

No handshaking with officials and those working the Official Table prior to the game.

Referees were sporting little masks on their whistles during the game.

No jump ball prior to the start of the contest, but instead, coaches and one referee gather to call a coin flip – Clinton County is 0-2 at home, by the way.

Two basketballs for each game. Periodically, the ball in use is swapped out and sanitized. Anytime a fan touches the game ball, such as if it is sent into the stands, the exchange to a clean basketball is made.

A new victory leader

Unless you completely skipped the front page this week, and came straight to this column (just kidding there), you know by now that there’s a new leader in the win column for Clinton County High School head basketball coaches.

It was a pleasure for me on Friday night to be able to announce to the small crowd that was allowed on hand for the Russell County game, that with the win over the Lakers, Coach Todd Messer had become the all-time leader in career coaching wins for Clinton County High.

Todd’s 274th career victory Friday night put him ahead of the 273 wins that the late Coach Lindle Castle earned during his two stretches in the head coach’s chair. Castle’s record had stood for more than four decades.

Todd’s not much to take credit for success, passing that honor along to his players most often, but he was humbled by the attention that his team, family, friends, Dawg fans and even the Lakers’ crowd was sending his way.

Congratulations are certainly in order for Coach Todd Messer on his most recent accomplishment, and I’m sure he is far from over adding to that total.

It’s been fun and a pleasure watching and reporting on his career here, and I’m looking forward to more to come.

Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog!

In the meantime – mask up,

so our seniors can get a season in!

Lady Bulldog head coach Ansley Nelson, right, and Lady Laker head coach Bret Blankenship watch as Official Chris Sweeney reveals a “tails” after flipping the coin to determine which team will have first possession. During the COVID-19 basketball atmosphere, the traditional jump ball at center court to begin the game has been substituted with a coin flip.