By EARL WATT
Leader & Times
When the playoffs begin, experience matters, and it was not unusual to see a rookie unable to keep pace with the game.
When the Saints hosted Cowley Saturday in the first round of the Region VI tournament, it was the rookie net on the east side of the gym that was as jittery as a freshmen at the prom.
The net it replaced didn’t have that much experience, either. It was a one-and-done, only lasting one season before it was snipped from the hoop.
But that net served well and is a piece of Seward County history since the Saints were able to trim the net down after winning their fourth consecutive Jayhawk West title.
I can’t recall that net ever getting wrapped around the rim, not once.
But the rookie net didn’t have a good night Saturday.
It received quite a work out in its first 20 minutes of the men’s game.
In its first official action with the Lady Saints, it seemed to hold up pretty well with the exception of a few deep threes from Fabiana Monte that caused the net to flip up on the rim.
Those are rookie mistakes anyone coach could understand.
But in the men’s game, the net appeared to want to be anywhere but on the rim.
Who could blame it?
The Saints dropped five slam dunks in the first half, rocking the net as it retreated, looking for more of the orange rim for protection.
Several times the game was halted so the net could be coaxed back down into its normal position.
Perhaps it wasn’t ready for the pace of the game. Seward scored 40 in the first half alone including three bombs from the outside to go along with the monster dunks.
The net had a much better second half, not having tobe pulled down once. Of course, Cowley was shooting then and only made 23 points, so it was light duty, anyway.
By next season, I am sure the net will show the confidence of its predecessor, and it, too, might become a historic relic after one season.
Now that it knows what to expect, I am sure it will live up to Seward standards.