Turnovers … by Alan B. Gibson

Posted March 23, 2021 at 11:02 am

March Madness continues,

but without our Lady Dawgs and Dawgs

It’s always a hard one to write when the time comes to finally put the basketball stat sheet holder back into the filing cabinet where it will sit until sometime this fall (hopefully we’re back to a normal starting date by then) for the start of the 2021-22 basketball season.

While March Madness continues with high school hoops, it will do so from here on out for the rest of this season without our Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs.

Clinton County’s seasons have ended – in the 16th District opening round for our Lady Dawgs, in the 4th Region opening round for our Bulldogs.

While ending a season is never something we look forward too, there are always things that need to be pointed out, reminded about and enjoyed before we close the book on what was a very strange season that will forever contain an asterisk (*), or at least be referred to as the 2020 – 2021 season.

Our Lady Bulldogs were on the floor for 20 games, our Bulldogs for 25 games.

When we first halted the start of this campaign due to the COVID-19 pandemic, had no games in 2020 and finally got started in 2021, I honestly didn’t think either team would be able to get in 10 – 15 games, much less 20 and 25.

While other programs in the area were going through COVID shutdowns all around us, our Lady Dawgs ran into one brief shutdown in the middle of the season, while our Bulldogs didn’t have to stop at all due to COVID on our part.

That is to the credit of our student athletes, our coaching staffs and our administration, who all went the extra mile to make sure the protocols surrounding the COVID-19 outbreak were strictly adhered to, and they did an outstanding job.

Because of their efforts, what looked in December like it might be a non-season, was nearly a full slate of games, and it was our student athletes who were the benefactors of those efforts.

Congrats to all for that.

As for the season itself, both programs had more highs than lows.

Although starting the season after January forced both squads to abort our annual holiday tournament plans, the Bulldogs were able to host an abbreviated Robbie Davis Memorial event in late January.

The All “A” Classic was held with regional games, then as if the COVID-19 situation wasn’t bad enough, the state tournament was canceled due to a winter storm. After the efforts of the schools involved to rework the format, the state level All “A” was “reborn” and our Bulldogs turned plenty of heads across the state when they eliminated not one (Owensboro Catholic), but two (Murray High School) top rated teams in the opening rounds on our own floor.

On to Richmond and the state tournament and once again, Clinton County’s Bulldogs earned the notice of the entire state by dispatching Evangel Christian in the semi-final game while giving top rated St. Henry all they wanted in the championship contest.

Bringing home the runner-up title earned the Bulldogs a hero’s welcome from the fan base here in Clinton County, and deservedly so.

Although our Lady Dawgs saw their season come to an end quicker than they had hoped, second year head coach Ansley Nelson and her crew coached their team to a very respectable winning mark on the year, ending the season with a 12-8 overall record.

The Bulldogs picked up a 16th District victory in the opening round last week, then ran into one of the hottest shooting opponents I’ve ever witnessed in Metcalfe County in the title game.

Still, a trip to the 4th Region tourney is another feather in their hats and another jewel in the crown for the Todd Messer led staff ,who are charged with making certain that our Dawgs are given the tools they need to make their best showing every time they put the blue and white uniform on.

Trophies, titles and record aside, our Lady Dawgs and Bulldogs accomplished feats that were much more important than all of that.

Every single time they walked into a gymnasium – ours or an opponents – and every single time we left the floor after the final buzzer – they did so with class, so much so that their fans stood and cheered every time, and their hometown fan base bragged to the world that they were “our team.”

You wore the uniform proudly, and with class, and you played as a team should have played, with each other in mind, and that’s a lesson you will lean on for the rest of your lives. Thank you coaches for teaching that lesson.

Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog, and although ending a season is always a hard thing to do – this one was tougher than most, but in the end, more rewarding than many.

From my spot courtside – Lady Bulldogs and Bulldogs – thanks for a great run!

It’s finally roundball tournament time…

Don’t call me until mid April!