After seeing more than my fair share of "basketball" and hospitality rooms in the last few days, I'm glad that Christmas tournament basketball is officially over and so is my waistline. Outside of the Delta New Year's Tournament which takes place this week, tournament basketball is finished for a while until districts roll back around.
You may be wondering why I used a set of parentheses in my opener. If you were at the Show Me Center for any of the first three days of the tournament, you would fully understand. If you weren't, then you didn't really miss much basketball, you missed a lot of turnovers, falling on the floor and an occasional blowout, and by occasional, I mean literally every other game.
Granted, there were a few games here and there that featured pretty decent action, but until the third day of the tourney there wasn't much to write about or get worked up over. Finally, on Wednesday night Scott Central and Cape Central battled it out for the crown. Public opinion worked itself out on the floor as the Braves repeated as champs, as much expected.
In the tournament, I heard and saw a lot. There is always the whining fan, screaming about calls and what-not, how lil Johnny got cheated and how so-and-so traveled every time down the floor. I called it awful "basketball." There are the parentheses again.
There was the occasional, "I've been here the whole tournament" fan. I felt pretty sorry for them, to have nothing better to do literally ALL day long but watch 'basketball.' Now I know that some people just go to the whole tournament every year since it's a tradition, and well, my heart goes out to you wherever you are. I saw probably 50 percent of the games and that was plenty.
The one thing I saw more of than anything, was the hospitality room. Reading this, you'd probably figure I weighed a handful of bills, but I'm not even pushing 200, I just can't stray from the blame food. If there's a trail of scent coming from double doors, and an empty seat, you can bet I'll land there before the night is over, and probably between every game.
I will say, the tournament at the SMC had excellent food and was run to perfection. Fans enjoyed themselves, whether or not the action was spectacular, and there were some really good games. I could've just done without the handful of uglies, but those are the breaks.
The new year brings about a lot of promise in the sports' world. The rumor is still flying about the Scott Central vs. Sikeston game coming back to life, so we'll have to see if that ends up on the calendar once again. The SMC is still selling game T-shirts from last year's classic and the buzz is definitely in the air.
As for the rest of high school basketball, well, it's going to be interesting to see what transforms from a few local teams. Sikeston definitely has potential with their lineup, and hopefully with a few more practices under their belt from this extended layoff we'll see what they really have to offer us on the court.
I'm just going to call it right now, the Braves will claim a second straight title in Class 1. If you haven't watched these guys in action, do so. It's worth the three bucks or whatever it costs to get in at SCC.
Charleston showed impressive shooting ability in the Southeast Missourian tourney last week and they are coming together nicely as a team, and they're extremely young. So, it'll be a fun ride for those guys as their high school careers roll along.
Last but not least, the NMCC Eagles are still piecing together their own puzzle. With Dontre Jenkins out recently with injury, the Eagles have had to rely on a few guys to carry the load. Personally, I think when their senior guard comes back to the floor, NMCC will be better off and quite a bit deeper on the bench than they would've realized without his injury.
The year is now upon us, enjoy it. See you at the gym, the "basketball" gym that is.