Cape girls’ basketball teams’ combined 134-4 score over Milford is alarming

December 21, 2018

Task force talk - No trash talk, no tough talk and no character-building seminars. Someone up the dual highway to Milford needs to figure out how the Buccaneers’ JV and varsity girls’ basketball teams lost at Cape by a combined score of 134-4. Cape would form a task force, as they did in 1992, when sports got bad across the board. The Cape girls played hard but did not try to run up the score. Cape’s two teams are not 130 points better than another two teams on any given night, and they are not trying to believe that. I describe teams that look athletic inside the lines but get throttled on the scoreboard as mysteriously bad. I just don’t comprehend what is going on. The Milford coaches handled the adversity with care. I never heard anything negative coming from their bench. The players on the court were the same way, supportive of one another from what I could see. Altogether, they were lost in the same bad dream. A Milford timeout that was called when they were losing 42-0 had all the makings of a comedy routine. “All right, we’re going box and five, just forget the box part.” Sports are analyzed six ways from Sunday inside the Cape arena, and one basic tenet is followed: “It’s a top-to-bottom effort, and you have to shout it loud and proud.” Winning is important and it’s contagious. And in the words of Grandmom Rose, who is old-school harsh, “if you’re getting beaten like a drum, join the band.” That was a cheap rim shot. She’s still recovering from getting dunked on when girls’ basketball was six-on-six.

Beat down memory lane - Brandi Reed Woods, wife of Cape coach Pat and young mother of four, talked to me between the JV and varsity games versus Milford. Brandi said: “I remember a game we lost by 50, and coach didn’t let us touch a ball for three days.” “That’s funny,” I said. “After all, that ball can get you beat by 50, and, all character-building aside, that can never be sold on the corner as a good thing.” Brandi, being Brandi, said, “It was good, though. It gave me more time to watch Pat play.” Back at the ’90s Slam Dunk, the Cape boys got throttled by Pleasantville out of New Jersey by 50 points. And Dale Dunning got thunder-dunked on, a rim-rattler; the slam-bam man brought the house, the Boardwalk, Grotto’s and the Jolly Trolley. Dale endured hallway commentary for a month. It was all good because he had a great smile and just went with it.

Torture to tech fall - A wrestling match at Cape versus Smyrna before the 15-point tech fall was in place. A state champ-caliber wrestler was going for the school record in takedowns. Cat and mouse in the house. The cat is cruel. The mouse is hapless. The Cape dad was a bit of a self-important sort of chap who not many people liked. He was matside filming, had the tripod with swivel mount, the whole shebang. And it was just so wrong. If I were coaching either kid in that situation, I would not let that continue; although once, years ago, trailing 27-0, Cape’s John Miller caught his careless persecutor and pinned him. It’s still the greatest reverse of misfortune I never witnessed.

Team dinners - There were no team dinners that rotated the roster when I was in high school. What is this, some progressive hipster party? Seriously, privilege needs no apologies. If you’re a varsity player with a kitchen that can seat 30 comfortably, how can there be a downside to that? I once had a student say to me: “Fredman, I live in a trailer with half-siblings and step-siblings; my mom drinks too much and there are so many shared dads that I can’t figure it all out. And you may notice I’m wearing a brown McDonald’s shirt with a collar because I have to work the register right after school. And I’m top bunk in a bedroom that looks like a Goodwill barrel. Am I just the biggest, most gigantic loser you have on your class list?” “I don’t know about that, but you should be a writer and storyteller, because you are the best on my class list at doing that.” I think I’ll go get a double cheeseburger.

Snippets - Cheerleaders sing, “There’s no competition like the real competition,” and honestly I never knew what that meant, and still don’t. I like wrestling cheers, “Ball and chain, bring the pain, don’t get rankled, pick that ankle. And if you lose, don’t pitch a fit, just shake that hand, and go on now, git!”