On Jan. 13, Delaware Valley had its second basketball game in three days. This time it was Tunkhannock ready to challenge the local boys.
Unfortunately I couldn’t make the Junior Varsity game. The scoring table informed me the DV JV’s pulled out a 45-36 victory. Congratulations on a nice win.
Now on to the Varsity: It must be noted that DV is still short-manned. One of the missing players is the tallest player on the team. He sure could have helped out that night. Tunkhannock had 4 players on the court, and most of the time that looked 6’3” to 6’4” from where I was sitting. DV‘s tallest players were 6’0” to 6’1”.
But DV played hard and gave it everything they had. In the second half the game hovered at about 8 points to 13 points, separating the teams but the lead was in Tunkhannock’s favor. In the 4th period DV seemed to have found its tempo, led by Adin Oliver, who made several nice steals, several layups, an outside shot, and several rebounds as well as several blocked shots. It would not be enough, though. Tunkhannock used its height advantage and were shooting lights out. DV just couldn’t catch them.
This was exacerbated by the fact that with about 7 minutes left in the game Tunkhannock started to play very deliberately. Then with 5 minutes left, nursing a 9-point lead, they started holding the ball and eating up the clock.
The result was a Tunkhannock victory of 55-42. It was a bit closer than this, folks. When a team sits on a lead it winds up causing the other team to force shots and eventually miss those shots.
This is exactly what happened. This is not my favorite type of game to watch. It tells me the team sitting on a lead fears the potential of the other team. Yeah, everyone wants to win, but it is like a boxing match where one fighter is told by his corner that he has a big lead, so for the last round he just runs away from the other fighter. This is exactly why the pros have a 24-second shot clock, and college has a 35-second shot clock.
As long as the game is active it is more fun to watch. But this tactic often shortens the game to 3 periods as the 4th period becomes watching one team pass the ball around and hold on to a lead.
Oh well, this is high school basketball, and most teams do exactly the same thing. It is a tactic used often and almost always proves to be successful. So live with it we must.