Friday, February 18, 2011

A Referee Steals the Headlines

Playing the last of 5 consecutive road games, Ball Fever took the court against the North Ballers on Wednesday night.  The two teams were closely-matched on paper, but Ball Fever took advantage of the fact that the Ballers were reportedly missing their best three players.  It was quite the lopsided affair that was unfortunately overshadowed by some atrocious officiating.

The first half was particularly sluggish, as a slew of missed calls had both teams frustrated and kept both teams from finding any sort of rhythm.  Ball Fever's zone also wreaked havoc on North's offense, forcing them to shoot trey after trey.  In fact, North did not miss a 2-point shot until there were fewer than 3 minutes left in the first half; unfortunately for them, they had only taken 2 before that, and had missed all 10 three-pointers they had attempted. As a result, they had only scored 4 points at halftime, a lowly sum even compared to Ball Fever's very modest 13.

The second half was a much different story for Ball Fever.  They shrugged off the shoddy refereeing, found their competitiveness, and picked up the tempo.  Players found their teammates consistently, as they assisted on 10 of their 13 second half field goals.  One especially nice play came midway through the period, as LexDak grabbed a rebound and threw a full court pass to Evan Egri, who finished with a mid-air lay-up.  They also continued to pound the glass, doubling up the Ballers in rebounds for the game.  And they simply made shots, hitting 13 of their 27 field goal attempts in the second half.

The Ballers, meanwhile, continued their first-half struggles.  Although they made 3 shots from long distance, they wound up shooting 27 for the game, compared to just 13 from inside the arc.  It was an all-night struggle for them to find holes in the zone inside the 3-point line.

All in all, it was a good performance for Ball Fever.  They won 41-15 and had in many ways their best game.  Danny Lotion got off the snide, hitting his first field goal of the season, and even Yu chipped in with a free-throw line jumper.  Unfortunately, the story of the game had to be the officiating.  The referee was disinterested and lazy, and messed up just about every call.  She did not even allow the teams to play a full 40 minutes, as Twin #1's watch proved.  The players could have tolerated bad judgment, if it had not been due to an utter lack of effort, and the players could have lived with that lack of effort if it had not been so overt.  But neither of these were true; the referee made no attempt to conceal her laziness, and even purposefully cut the game short.

Ball Fever doesn't play again until Thursday, February 24th, when they take on their arch-rival, Tip Drill.  Hopefully Buzz B hasn't decapitated any of the players with a Frisbee, as she almost did immediately following their last game, and hopefully the basketball game itself will be back in the spotlight.


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