Sunday, February 03, 2008

Hapless 'hounds get pummelled

I visited Moxietown on Saturday, as I said I would.

Walking into the LHS gym (which I recently found out was built in 1952, for $140,000) always brings back many memories.

It was on this floor that I labored as a basketball player, one who was big on heart and short on jumping ability. This year's Greyhound squad seems destined to finish the season without a win. I continue to wonder why the town's high school basketball fortunes have fallen so far. I'm thinking part of this will be fodder for the book. In fact, spent a good part of the day working on the manuscript that will be Moxietown.

I had a chance to visit with people from my past. It's a rare visit back to LHS, particularly at a sporting event, when I don't run into people that played a part in who I am. Inevitably, these visits bring back recollections, some hidden and some brought back into clearer focus.

Saturday's Greyhounds' opponent was Winthrop High School. The Ramblers have been ranked #1 or #2 in Class C for most of the season. They have an athletic squad, anchored by Division I prospect Sam Leclerc. The hapless Greyhounds entered the game minus three of their top players, including their leading scorer, suspended for academic performance (or lack, thereof).

The undermanned Greyhounds were no match. With Lisbon's tallest player listed at 5'1o", the more athletic Ramblers pummelled them on the boards. Leclerc and 6'4" Tim Gingras, a state champion high jumper, were constantly able to jump over the backs of the smaller and less athletic Greyhounds, for easy putbacks.
Interestingly, Winthrop coach Dennis Dacus seemed to see the need to press the Greyhounds, for much of the first half and into the 3rd period, despite being up by some 30+ points. Better, he kept Leclerc in the game until 3:08 left in the game. At the time of his departure from the game, Winthrop was up 85-37. I know a number of Lisbon parents were less than impressed, as was the former Lisbon soccer coach, who I grew up with and played sports with two of his older brothers.

I understand that a coach walks a fine line between keeping his team sharp for the impending playoffs and not letting his better players lose their competitive edge. But how about calling off the assault early in the 3rd?

I wasn't particularly surprised. My dislike of Winthrop sports (not necessarily the town) runs deep and I still bristle, thinking back to some of the things that occurred from my basketball days, when we were in similar situations and the Winthrop coach at the time, a man I have never thought much of, regularly ran up the score on opponents. He also condoned taunting and catcalls, which carried over to baseball, where we handily thumped his teams. This man was a longtime coach in Winthrop and I'm sure is still in the area. Dacus seems to be cut from the same cloth, but then again, this was my first chance to see him in action. Obviously my first impression left me a bit nonplussed, eh?

I'll shut down my thoughts on this. I plan on seeing some playoff basketball. I may have the chance to file an additional report, at some point, on the Ramblers.


Anonymous said...

How is Moxie connected to Lisbon? My grandfather loved Moxie. I never got why? I've come to the Moxie festival two times. It's pretty neat and the parade is great. What day is the festival this year?

Jim said...

You'll have to wait until the release of "Moxietown," in July to understand the Moxie/Lisbon connection.

The festival is always the second w/e in July. The first events are Friday night, but the festival truly kicks off with the state's largest parade, on Saturday morning, which this year happens to be July 12.

Hope to see you downtown!