All the Bright, Young Raiders in Their Green and Red

Kezario Whitmore (1) goes for a steal. (Monte Dutton photos)

Kezario Whitmore (1) goes for a steal. (Monte Dutton photos)

Monte Dutton

Monte Dutton

Clinton, South Carolina, Wednesday, February 10, 2016, 10:17 a.m.

The high school basketball merry-go-round took me to Greenville High School’s James A. “Slick” Moore Gymnasium, and it’s not often one looks up in rafters to discover the football team there won the state championship in 1917.

Ladarius Williams

Ladarius Williams

Into this bastion of history arrived the Laurens Raiders, seeking to nail down a 4A home playoff game for the first time in at least 15 years, according to head coach Ben Sinclair.

Toby Jackson

Toby Jackson

It wasn’t easy. Laurens (16-7, 10-3 region) trailed by four entering the fourth quarter.

The best moment was probably the last one. The last player at the end of the LDHS bench, Leonard Williams, found himself wide open, because it was the time of a game when the outcome is decided, and it’s not unusual for the winning team just to let the clock expire.

Chris Statom (right) scored 21 points.

Chris Statom (right) scored 21 points.

It’s unusual, however, for a kid who hasn’t scored all year — I’m not positive about that, but you get the point — to have the ball in his hand, a layup in front of him and time to do it.

Charlie Franks (34) kept Greenville in the game with five three-pointers and 23 points.

Charlie Franks (34) kept Greenville in the game with five three-pointers and 23 points.

He did. The final score was 73-61. The Raiders wearing green outscored the Red Raiders (8-13, 6-7) by 16 (26-10) in the fourth quarter, and now it’s on to the other “green,” Greenwood, for the final regular-season contest.

It’s a little confusing. The Raiders wearing green defeated Greenville, the Red Raiders, and next they play Greenwood, which wears black and goes by Eagles.

Not only that, but another outcome of Tuesday night was the Hillcrest Rams upsetting the Westside Rams, thus creating a small opening for the Raiders, Laurens variety, to ram the Rams, whether on the crest of a hill or the west side of Anderson.

Did you know that Kennedy’s secretary was named Lincoln? And that Lincoln’s was named Kennedy?

DSCF1947

The Red Raiders wore pink. It worked.

The Red Raiders wore pink. It worked.

Earlier, by the way, Greenville (23-1, 12-1) had slipped past the Raider girls (11-12, 5-8) by a margin of 83-38, stretching like saltwater taffy a halftime lead of 11 by scoring 55 second-half points. All 12 players on the GHS roster scored at least three points.

Enough about that. For additional details about both games, read my story at GoLaurens.com: http://www.golaurens.com/sports/item/22910-laurens-boys-pull-away-late-to-thwart-greenville-73-61

The late “Slick” Moore’s memorial gymnasium is 45.1 miles from my house. So that the folks back home could quench their thirst for details about the game, I used the reliable McDonald’s wi-fi to ship some photos and a short account of the games to the home office, which is somewhere accessible by email. Then I drove the remaining 42.1 miles or so home and rewrote the story to reward those who like such additional items as quotations.

Whitmore

Whitmore

Naturally, Region I being much like Hollywood, the final regular-season opponent, Greenwood, and Laurens, to borrow from Keith Jackson, “just do not like each other.”

So, obviously, “whoa, Nellie.” Many elbows were swung in anger when the teams met earlier this year in the otherwise friendly confines of the Raider gym.

I’ll drive over there, armed with my cheap and trusty camera and clipboard, and, with a little luck, get some barbecue on the way while, at the game, scraps will be avoided.

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

(Graphic courtesy of Meredith Pritchard; cover by Jennifer Skutelsky)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

(Jennifer Skutelsky cover design)

As you may have noticed, I use these blogs as a promotional tool for my novels. One, Crazy of Natural Causes, has been out since late July of 2015.

Another, Forgive Us Our Trespasses, will be out soon. I’m expecting to be given a release date soon. It’s a crime novel about corruption and patronage in a small town. The tale unfolds across two generations at the same time.

(Joe Font cover design)

(Joe Font cover design)

Crazy and Trespasses are my third and fourth novels. The Audacity of Dope was published in 2011, The Intangibles in 2013. I’m working on a fifth, Cowboys Come Home. Most of my books can be examined and purchased here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

(Melanie Ryon cover design)

My short fiction, reviews and essays can be found here: https://wellpilgrim.wordpress.com/

Follow me on Twitter @montedutton, @hmdutton (about writing) and @wastedpilgrim (more humor and opinion). I’m on Facebook at Monte.Dutton and Instagram at Tug50. Look for me by name at Google+. Whew. It’s too much.

About Monte

For 20 seasons, I mostly wrote about NASCAR. I'm still paying attention, but I'm spending more of my time these days writing novels and songs. I try to blog regularly on whatever happens to strike my fancy.
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