E-mail makes Swami’s day

Basketball games can be intense and that same intensity can be felt at the scorers table. The table consists of usually an announcer, home team scorer, a scoreboard operator and a visiting team scorer. So how could this be an intense situation?

At Alpena High, the folks at the scorers table try their best to get along with the visitors and usually the nights are very enjoyable. But sometimes on the road, no one talks to you, people are less friendly and there’s less camaraderie.

The All-Knowing-One arrived for last Friday’s game when Sue Kirkwood said there was something he should read; it was a short e-mail. It came from Kathleen Ducharme from Elk Rapids, starting out with, “I am a statistician for the Elk Rapids boys team, and must complement your staff on how welcoming and fun they were to work with, more than anything the friendliness and fun we had while taking our jobs very seriously.” She went onto say, many times the relationship at the scoring table can be adversarial.

That is why Swami is glad to be a part of it: it’s very relaxing and enjoyable having everyone being down to earth and having a good time, including the opposing team.

ALPENA (10-0) at SAULT STE. MARIE (8-3) – (Boys)- The second time through the schedule can produce one of two outcomes. Having beaten a team once gives the opposition more motivation to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Since its loss to Alpena last month, Sault has a four game winning streak coming in. Not only have the Blue Devils increased their point production, they’ve shot well from three-point range and played good defense. In addition, they have used their bench efficiently with nine players and not miss a beat. Brendan Miller, Ryley Alaspa and Tristan Johnston have emerged as double digit scorers.

The Wildcats embark on yet another road trip after Tuesday’s game in Cadillac. Cadillac attempted to take Alpena out of its rhythm by slowing things down, but the Wildcats would not have any part of it, taking a 51-39 win.

Alpena can’t afford to look ahead and if they do, the ‘Cats could find themselves on the short end. The Blue Devils have the ability to string together 3-pointers that could tilt the game in their favor.

Swami Sez: Alpena 64, Sault Ste. Marie 52.

SAULT STE. MARIE (8-3) at ALPENA (3-6) – (Girls)- The Wildcats have been slowly turning the corner, but tonight’s game may halt their progress. When Alpena visited the Blue Devils, they were not ready for a tightly woven press and two guards that made the Wildcats pay for their inability to dent their defense.

Alpena lost Jenna Talbot in the first minute of this game and this did not help the Wildcats’ chances. They have taken that game as a learning experience and it has shown in play since, though they came up just short on Tuesday against Cadillac at home.

What Swami is still waiting for is the Wildcats to put together four complete quarters, instead of playing in spurts. The All-Knowing-One can not figure out how and why the Wildcats make the simple little mistakes, throwing a ball pass to an open player or the inability to score when it presents itself. The Wildcats will have to play consistent if they are to entertain any thoughts of pulling out the win.

Swami Sez: Sault Ste. Marie 60, Alpena 42.

PICKFORD (4-6) at ONAWAY (8-3) – (Boys)- Pickford has put together four wins in their last six games, but early in the season, they were easy prey. The Panthers use the three-point shot to their advantage and Derick Edington and Ian Firack have been the instrumental spark needed to work back toward the .500 mark.

Onaway started out strong at 5-0, before losing two in a row, then bounced back with two more victories. With the Cardinals, the run and gun offense works well when they’re on, but when they are a step slow, they tend shoot themselves in the foot with turnovers or silly fouls.

The main cog offensively has been Joe Sigsby averaging 20 points, with six rebounds and three assists per game. Pat Dunn also has turned double-double games as well. Swami has seen when the Cardinals start out strong, it tends to lead to win. A slow start and having to fight from behind has them not getting over the hump and turn the momentum in their favor.

Swami says the Panthers do have the same type of team as Joburg, as far as size, but he doesn’t believe they have the trapping speed to slow down Sigsby.

Swami Sez: Onaway 58, Pickford 46.

MIO (9-1) at POSEN (2-6) – (Boys)- In days gone by, this would have been the matchup for first place in the North Star League. Now only Mio can lay claim to that statement, being just a game out in the Big Dipper Division, while Posen is struggling just to stay in third place of the Little Dipper.

The Vikings as they have done all season long, dig themselves a hole in the first half, then attempt to take over the game late. Posen came up short in their latest game against Oscoda, as the Owls hit two treys down the stretch to seal the win.

The Thunderbolts had little trouble in disposing Hale earlier this week. Ben Lubitz turned another all-star performance, netting 30 points in the win.

Swami says no one in the North Star League has been able to come up with a defense to stop Lubitz. Until they do, it is lights out for the opposition. The rebounding edge will definitely go to the Vikings. This will only come into play if by some strange events, the Thunderbolts go completely cold. The All-Knowing-One doesn’t feel that is going to happen on this night. With three good outside shooters, plus Lubitz, he just cannot see that happening. Looks like another long night for the Vikings.

Swami Sez: Mio 68, Posen 48.