Wednesday, February 27, 2008

FCIAC Hoops and Hockey Update

Greenwich lost in the FCIAC Boys basketball semifinal to Trinity Catholic last night, 79-49. There were times when it was a lot closer than that. Tevin Baskin (a name to watch) torched the Cards for 29 points. I interviewed him after the game and he seemed like he was fairly smart and savvy. The Crusaders will meet Harding for the championship on Friday night at 7:30. The Presidents looked great, whipping St. Joe's, 76-56.

Sadly, it just wasn't a great night of basketball in the gym at Fairifield Warde High School. Both games teased fans with mini-runs that never materialized. In the Harding-St. Joe's game, the Cadets cut the President's lead to two right before intermission, and had a chance to tie but missed a layup and a putback. The air went out of the room right there.

In the Greenwich-Trinity game (as heard on WGCH), the Cards whittled the Crusaders lead to nine, then Chris Valentine did a little hoop and harm to get it to six. On the radio, I could feel my own pent-up frustration ready to blow, as I erupted on the call. It was not to be as the Crusaders went crazy from there.

The Harding-Trinity game will be called by Matt Levine on his webiste, and I highly recommend you check it out. If it isn't me calling the game (which I wish it was), then I'm glad it's Matt, who will also host the call of the FCIAC ice hockey championship on Saturday night at 8:00.

Incidentally, the girls final is at 6:00. I called part of a girls championship in 2005 and had a blast. I think the bottom line is that there aren't too many games I would not broadcast!

Like me, Matt Levine is a guy who would love to make the big time but also knows the realities of life. He's the kind of guy who left town to try broadcasting in some far-off places and returned to his roots. A hard-worker and good guy (and former WGCH colleague), it's easy to root for him to do well in our cutthroat industry.

He also has a talk show on his home outlet of WSTC/WNLK, where he does sports in the morning (which makes him my rival...grrrrrr).

Onto hockey, where the Cardinals bowed out in the first round, losing to Trinity Catholic 3-1. Now I guess I must discuss what happened on and off the ice. Brian "Bubba" Milazzo had what can only be described as a meltdown. From Zach Lowe, in the Greenwich Time:
Police Saturday arrested the captain of the Greenwich High School hockey team after he got ejected, entered the stands in violation of league rules and got into a dispute with a Trinity Catholic High School parent, police and witnesses said...
The officials tossed Milazzo after he threw his helmet and smashed his stick over the boards in the penalty box, apparently in frustration over a second-period penalty...
Then it just got crazy:
Milazzo changed into street clothes and watched the game from the Greenwich High School side of the bleachers...Officers working crowd control approached Milazzo when a disturbance broke out in the bleachers, said Lt. Sean Cooney, a department spokesman. Milazzo was irate when officers arrived, and his parents were trying to hold him in his seat, Cooney said...
The officers asked Milazzo's parents to control him, but he repeatedly tried to escape their grasp as they escorted him from the building, Cooney said. Milazzo allegedly cursed at a police officer, Cooney said.
Oh good lord!

So Bubba, who by all accounts is the classic "good guy" just lost it, and lost it in a bad spot - a playoff game. With the ejection, Milazzo will now have to miss the Cardinals' first state playoff game - an automatic ejection. I'd like to think that the powers that be will simply slap him on the wrist at worst, with some kind of a probation.

Besides, my spies tell me that the article doesn't tell the full story, in which another player was involved. I'd like to get the on-ice officials take of the game, to get their perspective as to what went down before everything went off the track.

I hate when the game loses focus and becomes all about other things like this. And as the so-called "voice of the Cardinals", this is the kind of thing that I hate having to deal with. I have to report, but I also need to be fair - considering who who we're talking about. After all - these are high school athletes; they're not professionals.

Remember though, besides being fair, honest, impartial, blah blah blah, I also have to deal with these parents, students, athletes, coaches, and the overall community of Greenwich. So I think what I'm trying to say here is that it is a very slippery slops.


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