Every Monday during the high school basketball season, I take some time to examine the week that was for area teams.
Coming into the season, Duncan boys’ basketball coach Mikel Davison knew his team had some talent, but he also knew his squads inexperience would make things a bit unpredictable.
“It’s going to be a rollercoaster ride,” he has repeatedly said. “We’re going to have ups and downs. You just hope you are up when you get to the end of the season.”
Right now, though, the Demons appear to be at the point of the ride where your stomach is hovering up into your throat and a hidden camera just snapped a picture of the goofy look on your face.
The Demons have lost three straight, taking a heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to Ardmore before a pair of lopsided road losses to El Reno and Altus.
The key for Duncan, as Davison alluded to, is keeping its confidence.
On his radio show, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt likes to take inventory of teams by asking, “How good is your good?” In other words, when you are at your best, how tough are you to beat. The Demons showed in their first two wins (and at times in the loss to Ardmore), their good is pretty spectacular. As long as they can keep the wheels pointed in the right direction, they should get back on track pretty soon.
After an 0-3 start to the season, it looked like it was going to be a long year for the Comanche Indians, who were trying to replace the bulk of their scoring and rebounding from last season.
Four straight victories later, however, things are looking a lot brighter for the program. It’s still very, very early in the season, and the Indians could go anywhere from here, but there is something to be said for knowing the pain of a losing streak and having the confidence brought on by a winning streak this early in the year.
The real deal
Any questions about whether or not the Velma-Alma Comets could remain strong after graduating Corbin Byford have been washed away with a 7-1 start, playing schools from larger classes in all but one game and taking their only loss in overtime.
The Comets are showing signs of being a programming that will be a state contender in Class A year-in, year-out.
One of the few teams to hang with them this season is Marlow, which added some merit to its strong 4-2 start. After graduating their top scorer and losing two more expected starters I was expecting a rough start to the season for the Outlaws, but surprisingly, it has been quite to the contrary so far.
Bending unwritten rule
In the 58 years since the NBA incorporated the shot clock (27 years for NCAA men’s basketball), there haven’t been a whole lot of complaints about it. The shot clock seems generally accepted and genuinely liked.
High school basketball would certainly benefit from a shot clock as well. It would speed up play and force action. Due to the cost, manpower and issues with creating and implementing new rules, though, only a few states have adopted shot clocks. For the other states, like Oklahoma, there is more of an unwritten rule. An agreement between coaches not to stall and not to go to the four-corners offense until the game is almost over.
A few teams (some area teams included) have tested that gentleman’s agreement a bit, choosing to hold for the last shot despite there being more than a minute left on the clock.
I understand the reason for pulling the offense back to preserve a lead in a close game, but some things, like sportsmanship, shouldn’t be sacrificed for strategy.
Greg Crews is sports editor of The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.