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.
COMMENTARY — Six games in three days. When I was a teenager in Indiana, that was nothing. Now that I am a 50-year old in the Huntsman World Senior Games, well let’s just say that it has been awful hard getting up in the morning.
So, day three. We were seeded third out of four. We played the physical team we played on the first day. And we played without Townie, who pulled a hamstring yesterday and Bryce, who attended his son’s collegiate cross country meet in Cedar City.
There were two officials in bracket play, but unfortunately we had two newbies who did not quite know the 3-on-3 rules. But they learned quickly with both teams vocally expressing their dissatisfaction for the mistakes. They called the game tight, though, so I did not get beat up as much as the previous game. In the first half, Jeff—our best player — pulled his hamstring. He was done. That left us with three.
In the second half, no one around me. My right tricep cramped up. That has never happened to me before. If I had not been alone in the corner, I would have thought somebody had given me a sharp punch. The officials gracefully gave me an injury timeout, even though the other team had rebounded the ball. A cramp in my right tricep?!? I have gotten plenty of cramps over the years, but they have been restricted to my calf areas.
Jeff actually came back and limped around while I rubbed out the cramp with every senior athlete’s best friend — “IcyHot.” You would think that a cramp in my shooting arm would prevent me from shooting. You would be wrong. I still shot the ball. And I still missed a majority of them. That was the theme of our team’s participation this year. We just did not make shots. Throw in a lack of defense and no blocking out — Otherwise, we played every bit as well as the other teams.
So we lost the first game. We went to the bronze medal game while the victors went to the gold medal game (which they ended up winning). In the bronze medal game, we played the team that only beat us by five in pool play. Again, we were missing Jeff and Townie, but Bryce was back from his son’s cross country meet. Jeff probably scored half of our points in our first game against them. And we just could not make those points up. We lost by 18, but only because the other team graciously played little defense in the last two minutes. I think we outscored them 8-2.
So every game we played we lost. Thank goodness for that forfeit. I can still claim that we were fourth out of five teams. Not last place. Wasn’t the goal coming in, but I will take it.
So now I am at home getting no pity from my wife, applying some Ben Gay to my right tricep. I will definitely be sitting in the soft pews tomorrow in church, trying to rest in between the occasional elbow from her. Next week — 5-on-5 full court. I originally was just going to administrate and officiate. But a team asked me to play with them. That is still up in the air. But even with the soreness, it is hard to stay off the court.
Stay tuned for more diary entries. If I am not playing next week, I will talk more about the viewpoint as an administrator and official. Many of the 3-on-3 teams are playing next week, but there are also many new teams participating. I am looking forward to meeting more people from all over.
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