Darren Cole is a sports writer for St. George News and is participating in the Huntsman World Senior Games for the first time. He is compiling this diary to document his experience.
I woke up this morning feeling like I needed at least double the dosage of shuteye for rehabilitative purposes. I am at that age that when I arise and take my first three or four steps, eight to ten knuckles in my lower body pop. Add the groans from the painful bruising I took yesterday and it was not a pretty sight.
A nice warm shower and some light stretching and I was ready to go. I showed up at the Washington City Community Center with really only one thought on my mind. I was sincerely hoping that we would have someone different officiating our games today.
I am happy to report that we not only had a different ref, but one that happened to call the game more evenly than yesterday. I am sad to report that, despite the improvement in officiating, the results of today’s games were the same. The first game was against a team from Washington state that won the tournament last year. We had the lead at halftime and even took a five-point lead at various points in the second half. But over the last five minutes of the game, they hit their 3-pointers. We missed ours. The final result was a five-point loss. BUT — I was a lot less battered. So there’s that. I guess.
Our second game was 45 minutes later. We had the same official. I was happy. We still lost. Again, we stayed competitive and even held the lead for awhile. But this time our opponents went on a run late in the first half and we never really threatened after that. We ended up losing by 11. But what’s worse is that Townie, our point guard and the person on our team most knowledgeable about the game, pulled his hamstring. That was a terrible loss.
So, tomorrow bracket play begins. We are seeded third out of four teams, which is baffling because our only win was against a team that did not show up. I am guessing that the fourth-place team did not have the luxury of having a forfeit win.
Townie is out. Bryce will miss the first game to attend his son’s first collegiate cross-country match. So we are down to four for the first game. And we are facing the team that battered and bruised us yesterday. I would love to avenge our earlier defeat, but realistically, I want to survive without any serious injuries.
We have adjusted to the pace of the game and did not get caught on the quick entry passes today. And if we hit our normal percentage of 3-pointers in the first game, we’ll probably escape with a win.
All in all, I have really enjoyed the experience thus far. In addition to playing today, I officiated two games. The teams came to me afterward and gave me the “good game” salute. That is not rare at these games. I know people mellow with age, but we have got some great ambassadors for the sport playing here this week. It has been great talking to them and getting to know them. I think the camaraderie that the games inspire is the best thing about participating.
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