Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, January 27, 2016, 9:44 a.m.
Basketball is like a box of chocolates. Or a bowl of cherries. Or a peck of pickled peppers.
I find myself frequently intrigued by the events of Clinton and Laurens District 55 high schools. Occasionally I travel to a nearby time, a Newberry, or in the case of Tuesday night, Simpsonville. Sometimes a trip to another place is also a trip back in time. I try to remember if I’ve been there before.
The big news in the present was, as it usually is, the boys’ game, because attendance for the girls’ game reaches its apogee when the crowd for the boys gets there in the fourth quarter, and at both of the local schools I see frequently, the boys are comparatively better.
Let the record note, however, that last night the Raider girls defeated, by 14 points, a team, Hillcrest, that had won the earlier meeting between the two schools by 28. Laurens went plus-42. A magical Hillcrest guard, Quin Byrd, scored 20 or more points in both games, which, otherwise, had nothing in common.
For some insane reason, last night when I was writing about the Laurens-Hillcrest games, I had the notes I took from the first ones. In the former game, the Raiders put up 58 shots and found the range on 11 of them. They committed 47 turnovers. Hillcrest connected on 27 of 64 field goals and committed 27 turnovers, which would have seemed like a lot had Laurens not committed 20 more.
Oddly enough, I thought Laurens might win. The first game was sort of bad on a grand scale. It was silent-movie comedy bad. So bad it occasionally seemed delightful. Farcically bad. Okay, you get the point. It was bad. I had even told Laurens’ coach, Yoneko Allen, that I thought her team might win the second game. Of course, I didn’t actually believe it. I was just ingratiating myself shamelessly to a coach who was having a rough night.
On Tuesday night, Laurens (9-10, 3-6 Region I-4A) won, 67-53. Hit seven three-pointers and outrebounded Hillcrest (7-12, 3-6) by seven. Laurens also outrebounded the Rams in the first game, but that was because so many missed shots were bouncing around.
The Raiders (13-6, 7-2) had a rat-a-tat-tat scoring balance behind Chris Statom, who had 18. From there, the scorebook looked like the Laurens offense had been firing a machine gun — 11, 9, 8, 8, 8 … — at the Rams (14-5, 6-3).
Laurens led even after a ragged first quarter and had another rough patch in the first four minutes of the third. Hillcrest occasionally got close but not close enough to raise the temperature in the gym.
The Raiders are playing hard. Sometimes their haste makes waste. Sometimes they get full of themselves. If the boys can pull off another road win, at Westside on Friday in Anderson, a region championship might be possible.
The girls ended a five-game losing streak. It requires such a losing streak to make what happened in Simpsonville — a 42-point swing over two games — possible. Watching them play — and taking notes on it — is a frantic pastime, but one never knows what one might see.
The editing process is complete, and I’ll let you know when Forgive Us Our Trespasses is available for download from Kindle Publishing. It’s a tale of crime and corruption, young and old, good and bad, cops and robbers, etc.
Meanwhile, Crazy of Natural Causes, set in Kentucky and concerning the reinvention of a football coach, was published late last summer, and, if you haven’t read it, I’d appreciate it if you’d give it a look here: http://www.amazon.com/Crazy-Natural-Causes-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00YI8SWUU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1436215069&sr=1-1&keywords=Crazy+of+Natural+Causes
My second novel, The Intangibles (2013), is about a high school football coach and his players trying to cope with rapid change in the 1960s South. http://www.amazon.com/The-Intangibles-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B00ISJ18Z6/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51JrJlU8vKL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR107%2C160_&refRID=0AD3V83MM7SDKFNKQ5YB
The first, The Audacity of Dope (2011), is about a pot-smoking folksinger who wants no part of being a national hero. The accidental hero learns how to be a real one. http://www.amazon.com/The-Audacity-Dope-Monte-Dutton-ebook/dp/B006GT2PRA/ref=pd_sim_351_2?ie=UTF8&dpID=51zCT-MrcFL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_UX300_PJku-sticker-v3%2CTopRight%2C0%2C-44_AC_UL160_SR105%2C160_&refRID=09V773T1A5GZXP96KS3Y
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.