Thursday, March 14, 2013

The Wild Ride of Weston Basketball

I couldn't find a better picture.  Seriously.
I've shown way too many times why sports can be so great.

Oh I get it. It's always horrifically flawed. What sports has become, at time, is so frustrating. No need to run through the list.

Yet if you've been following the tale of coach Mike Hvizdo and the Weston boys basketball team, then you know that we're seeing something remarkable.

The Trojans have had quite a season, make no mistake. They finished the regular season at 10-10, which is good enough to make it into the Connecticut Class M state tournament*.

* Yes, at .500, they're a playoff team. Basically, if you win 40% of your games, you're in. That's right. It's not uncommon for an 8-12 team to be in the playoffs.

The story is fine right there. But now let's let the screenwriters have at it. As the team is heading towards the end of the regular season, go ahead and have the coach resign. Or be forced out. Make the reason be a movie that he made 10 years ago. Just a short movie, maybe nine minutes, but the topic is a threesome. Not exactly wholesome stuff, but not illegal either.

Write in some villains. A team parent, and an affluent and influential one at that. Make him the one that alerted school officials to the film. Make the school board look clueless. Yeah, they're comic relief.

Now bring on the people! BRING OUR COACH BACK! Chaos and drama spike! Then...have the school board change their mind as the townspeople cheer!

Now, strike up the band. We need dramatic music! Maybe John Williams, or maybe Jerry Goldsmith (he did Hoosiers). The team heads to the playoffs as the 23rd seed. They open against 10th seeded University* on the road and darned if they don't beat them, 54-53. The seventh seeded team (Windham) gets knocked off by Tolland (who is 26th).

* Seeding in Connecticut is based solely on record, with various tiebreakers. Strength of conference, schedule, etc, matter very little in this case.

The Trojans meet Tolland in the second round at home, and there's no drama here. They win, easily, 74-50. Onto the quarterfinals where number two Kaynor Tech is waiting. Playing on the road in Waterbury, the Trojans do it again. They win 62-54.

This can't be happening. The Weston Trojans – the very ones who were just 10-10 when the playoffs started, with the quote-unquote controversial coach, are now heading to the state semifinals. Sixth ranked Enfield is the opponent, to be played on a neutral court. The winner plays in the state championship, at Mohegan Sun Arena, no less*.

* I like that Connecticut makes their hoops tourney finish big time. They tried it with football at Rentschler Field, and have abandoned it. Those games are heading to Arute Field at Central Connecticut State. Whatever.

That HAS to make you think of this scene...


So, come on.  It can't be. Can it?

The Weston Trojans will play tomorrow night for the state championship. The number five team in Class M, Valley Regional, awaits. The Warriors are 22-2.

David, meet Goliath. Jets-Colts. Giants-Pats (Super Bowl 42 version). Maybe the best comparison is Villanova-Georgetown, 1985.

If that doesn't draw your attention, then I don't know what to say.

It's a great story. Up until now, it's been all real. The final chapter will be written tomorrow night.

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