Saturday, March 7, 2015

It was pandemonium...

...last night at St. Ignatius -- twice! First, when the home team Wolfpack "won" the game, 64-61 (above), and second, when they really won the game a few minutes later, 65-64 (below).


It all happened very fast and was more than a little confusing (to me).

First of all, the Broncos of Kenwood overcame an eighteen-point deficit at the end of the third quarter to send the contest into overtime. The scrappy South Siders, who were behind since the end of the first quarter, tied the game with about two minutes remaining and again with twelve seconds left. The Kenwood crowd, which really "showed up" for the game, went nuts. Ignatius then had the last shot but regulation play ended in a 57-all tie. It was really exciting!

(I'm no basketball expert, but it seemed like the Broncos turned up the tempo in the fourth quarter and made Ignatius play their game. The momentum shifted -- dramatically -- as Ignatius struggled to regain its composure.)

Kenwood never managed to take the lead, however, and the game appeared to be over as the Wolfpack "prevailed," 64-61. The student section, all clad in green for St. Patrick's Day, stormed the court at Joseph J. Gentile (Class of '42) Gymnasium in a spontaneous display of euphoria. As I was feverishly tweeting the result, Final score: 64, Kenwood 61!, I was vaguely aware of the Public Address guy pleading with the students to clear the court. Yeah, right, I thought.

But then the most amazing thing happened: the kids actually returned to their seats! My first thought was, Boy, these Ignatius kids are really conditioned to respect authority! But then my second was, What the heck is going on here?

Apparently, the game wasn't over after all. Senior forward Brandon Snower (I think) approached the free-throw line and sunk one of two attempts with less than a second (?) remaining on the clock to make the score, 65-61. And then, after a quick inbound pass, one of the Broncos hit a three-pointer from way, way out to make the final -- final -- score, 65-64. What a game!

I felt happy for Ignatius but I'd be lying if I didn't admit I was secretly pulling for Kenwood at the end. I mean, come on, how can you not root for a team that mounted such an incredible comeback? Those kids showed a lot of heart!

But I was also looking forward to the big showdown against Whitney Young that I was sure would take place next Wednesday night at Morton East in Cicero. (I was quite pleased with myself for calling that a week ago.) It was only after I got home that I found out that the Dolphins were defeated by Morton at Whitney Young High School by an identical 65-64 score. I guess either game would have been a good choice!

Now the Wolfpack will take on the Mustangs in what could be another great contest. And I'll be there.

P. S. As I was walking into the game last night I noticed a number of shiny black SUVs parked outside St. Ignatius on Roosevelt Road. Was there some kind of funeral going on at Holy Family Church next door? But then, afterward, while walking out I noticed several big, beefy guys milling about. And, seconds later, out strolled the mayor himself, Rahm Emanuel. Why was Hizzoner at THIS game? Don't know. Oh, well, he saw a good one!

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