Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cavalier Nation Overcomes Strife

If you didn't make the trip to Brevard on Wednesday night, you missed the game of the season.  Not because the game play was the best the Lady Cavaliers have played all season but because their team hung together through thick and thin throughout the game.

When the girls from East Burke put the beat down on Newton-Conover a month or so ago, most people thought that was the game of the season.  To out match and power Newton was nothing that anyone expected.  But then again, this is the Lady Cavaliers whom seem to always show up to play no matter what obstacles they may be up against.

Skip forward a month to the 2nd round of the state playoffs.  The Lady Cavaliers faced what I deem as the most hostile environment at an away game as I have seen in many years.  The only venue that even comes close was a few years back when the Cavalier men's team traveled to East Mecklenburg in Charlotte.  This crowd from Brevard was very nasty from the start.  They even Booed the Cavalier Cheerleading squad and were proud of it.

Now with the stage set, the over zealous(jealous) fans in their seats, you would think after the game started it would have been between the 2 teams playing for the chance to play one more game.  But next you have to add one more variable, the referees!  I understand that in the playoffs, the ref's have to monitor teams and coaches they may not be familiar with but this night, it started off one sided and stayed that way throughout most of the game.  It was very apparent whom they thought should win the game.  Next comes the double technical foul, not against a player but against the East Burke Head Coach.  She had a valid point to make but the ref had no choice to throw the first technical at her but then he should have moved away knowing she was upset.  In 22 years of covering high school sports, I've never seen a double T on a coach.
Next steps up the assistant coaching staff whom I expect didn't think on the bus trip up the mountain that they would be thrown to the wolves in the 1st quarter!  Are we having fun yet?  The end of the 3rd quarter brought another East Burke coach being ejected so now we are down to one coach plus now the school principal has moved to the bench for moral support!
With all that was going on, the teams on the court continued to keep the coaches and Ref's out of their heads and maintained focus on the challenge at hand.  No one from the East Burke team fouled out, which hasn't happened too many times for the entire season.  They kept their composure and played their hearts out til the very end.

I'm not much for play by play and I am sure I forgot a few moments that would add to what I observed, but you get the main idea.  If you see a Lady Cavalier player in the next few days, pat them on the back and congratulate them on a well played game and for being much more mature than their age.  If you see Coach Katie Bollinger you may want to ask her if she ever considered taking a few games off during the season knowing that her assistant coaches led by Crystal Bartlett had the game(s) under control!