Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, January 20, 2016, 10:09 a.m.
Tuesday took me by surprise. You see, I was holed up in the living room, writing the 24th chapter of my modern western, background provided by a succession of pirate movies on TCM, most of which starred Errol Flynn.
The plan was to work all day and cover the Laurens Raiders all night. I live a simple life.
Then I started getting emails, texts and social-media transmissions inquiring about my opinion of NASCAR’s latest rule changes.
I knew the Media Tour was going on. I knew it was the day of Brian France’s annual address regarding the State of Sport, held each year in front of both houses of Media Congress, the Senate of Broadcasters and the House of Writers. I didn’t know he was unveiling so many new bells and whistles that the role of fireworks displays at NASCAR is now going to be played by the actual races themselves.
Next up: Starting fields set by driver fly-overs in their own jets.
As you can tell, I’ve only studied it enough to crack jokes, and not very good ones, at that. So far, all the show has completed is the monologue. I’ll have more to say later, as is quite often the case.
It was a cold Raider gym which Greenville High School visited last night. It may have seemed familiar — Laurens being Raiders in green, Greenville being Red Raiders in spite of its ville being green — but those bright red uniforms — upon review, I think I would describe the shade as amaranth — made it seem like the gym was getting warmer while Greenville (17-1) was winning the girls’ game, 85-53. The game featured 132 shots, 81 of which failed to disturb the nets. As a direct result were there 97 rebounds, some of which occurred as a result of the 26 missed free throws. The two teams also combined for 70 turnovers, 48 of which were committed by the Raiders in green.
The game was played on a grand scale in terms of flawed numbers. In spite of them, it didn’t seem so bad for the home team. Greenville was overwhelming. The fast breaks were like cavalry charges. Resistance was futile.
Laurens was sort of in it for a half, down 33-20, but the 53 points Greenville scored in the second half were just … too much. Laurens (8-9) tried. Really hard. It was just … too much.
The Laurens boys were responsible for ignition of the second game, in which they scored the game’s first 12 points. They wound up winning, 63-50, but Greenville (8-10) never mounted a serious charge. Laurens (11-6) actually pulled away gradually after the Red Raiders got within five points at the end of the first period. The edge was six at half and seven after three quarters. LDHS (it stands for Laurens District 55 High School, the number not being deemed necessary, thank God, for the acronym) had to overcome serious foul trouble in the relentless, mainly pressing, game of both teams. Eight Laurens players scored, led by Toby Jackson with 17.
I like it when Toby Jackson scores 17. It’s much harder to spell that Kezario Whitmore added 14. Also, the easily spelled Wayne Brown led the Red Raiders with 14. Danyaus Williams-Byrd (Greenville), Dahkavi Duck (G) and Dantaevious Henry (Laurens) were among those who failed to score.
See? I can spell names when I have to. As long as the keeper of the scorebook can, too.
Here’s my account of the games at golaurens.com: http://www.golaurens.com/sports/item/22740-jackson-whitmore-lead-raiders-past-greenville
Take my novels. Please! Three of them – Crazy of Natural Causes, The Intangibles and The Audacity of Dope – are available so far. You can consider all three, as well as my non-fiction books on subjects like NASCAR and Americana music, here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1
My short stories, book reviews, and essays are here: https://wellpilgrim.wordpress.com/
Follow me on Twitter @montedutton. I’m a tad more irreverent @wastedpilgrim and a little more literary @hmdutton. I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50. Um, I think that’s it. Oh, yeah. Google+. I’m on there, too.