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Charity games are a good idea

December 2, 2008

You have undoubtedly read the notices in the sports briefs that some of the local schools playing a benefit game-like scrimmage for charity.

The game which interests me the most is the United-Salem game scheduled for tonight at Salem High School. The scrimmage will be played just like a game, with the reserves tipping off at 6 p.m. The varsity game will follow. This is similar to what colleges do, only they call them exhibition or preseason games.

Each school is required to designate a charity for their share of the proceeds. Salem has chosen for their money to go to local food banks, while United opted to support Relay for Life. Both are good choices.

What I like about this type of game is that it gives both teams a chance to play in a front of a crowd with the officials calling infractions like they would in a game. United and Salem are natural rivals, so hopefully there will be big crowd.

It would have been nice if more of the area schools would have set up one of these games.

A couple of weeks ago, I saw East Liverpool and East Palestine in a tri-scrimmage with Indian Creek. East Palestine really impressed me. I don't know the names of their players, but their center definitely knows how to play with his back to the basket. Their point guard did a good job of distributing the ball to their outside shooters. The Bulldogs could be a contender in the Inter-Tri County League upper tier.

The Potters are looking to play up-tempo this year. I like that. The strength of their team will be their guards. If their big men can hold their own inside, East Liverpool could surprise some folks.


OK, I admit it. I'm a baseball and basketball junkie. It wouldn't bother me to watch either sport 363 days a year. I do take Christmas and Easter off from sports.

Two weeks ago, I received an e-mail from ESPN touting their "Feast Week" schedule, which included 39 games during the week of Thanksgiving. I started to think about how many games I could watch. After looking over the list, and checking it twice, I decided that 20 would probably be my maximum number. United's parent-teacher conferences cut into my Tuesday night schedule, but it did free me up for a Wednesday afternoon game.

When the final whistle sounded and the last basketball was put back in the rack, I had watched a total of 19 games.


Here is my take on the teams after watching them in action. Some teams, I saw more than once.

St. Joseph's vs. Texas at Maui: Texas had too much firepower. I'm not a fan of St. Joe's, so I was happy.

Indiana vs. Notre Dame at Maui: Notre Dame has an experienced team, while Indiana is reeling from the Kelvin Sampson fallout. This game wasn't even close.

Syracuse vs. Florida in the CBE Classic: Syracuse' Jim Boeheim didn't have too much to smile about (what else is new?), but his Orangemen were better than the Gators. I can't figure out why Jay Lucas left the Florida program.

Oakland at Kansas State: This was a forgettable game.

Alabama vs. St. Joe's at Mau: The Tide pounded the offensive boards.

Texas vs. Oregon at Maui: Texas just kept on scoring.

Purdue vs. Boston College at Madison Square Garden: Purdue is a team to be reckoned with in the Big Ten, while BC looks to be down.

Kanakasia Junior College vs. Washington (Mo.) Junior Varsity: I realized I was addicted when I was watching a JUCO game involving a team I had never heard of on the Internet.

Oklahoma vs. UAB: The Lopez brothers took the game to UAB, who folded down the stretch.

North Carolina vs. Notre Dame at Maui: The Tarheels are one of the country's best.

Tennessee vs. Siena at Disney: The Vols' press just gobbled up Siena.

Maryland vs. Michigan State at Disney: The Spartans couldn't keep up with Maryland's transition game.

Oklahoma State vs. Gonzaga at Disney: The Zags may be the most unselfish team in the country.

Duquesne at Duke: Duke just outmanned Duquesne who is one of the country's youngest teams.

Gonzaga vs. Maryland at Disney: Gonzaga had too may offensive weapons for the Terps.

Mississippi Valley State at Iowa State: This was a game between two bad ball clubs.

UNC Asheville at North Carolina: Just about everybody who dressed for Carolina scored. Ty Lawton may be the fastest point guard in America.

Connecticut vs. Oklahoma (women): It's easy to see why UConn is ranked No. 1 in the country. No. 4 Oklahoma is good, but not nearly as good as UConn.

Gonzaga vs. Tennessee at Disney: The weekend's finale. The Zags dominated most of the second half, but Tennessee fought back to make it close. These two will meet again in January in Knoxville.

That's it for now. The teams that I would like to see square off with each other would be North Carolina and Gonzaga. Who knows? We may see that game sometime in March.

I have to wrap this column up, as it's time to start gearing up for the Big Ten-ACC Challenge.



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