I have long preached about life lessons that athletics can present to our local athletes. The problem - there can be some ugly lessons as well.
I saw one last week and it stunk.
Running up the score is one of the worst things that a losing team can have happen. And when the opposing team takes full advantage of jacking up a player’s stats at the expense of the other team, it is nothing short of pathetic and embarrassing.
Whether it was a boys’ or girls’ basketball game is not as important, as is that it happened.
Up by 30 points in the fourth quarter the winning team still had starters in the game, including their best player who was having their way against the opponents.
The discussion amongst the coaching staff turned to how many points the player had, as well as how close the star was to a “triple-double.”
A pair of 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter put the player near 40 points and a 40-point lead for the team.
The real dagger came when they put the player back in with 1:40 left in the game, then ran an isolation play so they could get to the basket for an easy lay-up and the 40-point goal was attained.
It was a demoralizing event for the losing team. How is a coach supposed to build a program when teams come in and beat them by 40 points?
I don’t expect players to stop playing, but perhaps it could be players on the bench that rarely get a chance to play out there getting memorable playing time.
It also allows the team on the losing side to perhaps get a few more buckets and close out the game feeling better.
I have seen many games over the years when the star player remains in a lopsided game, but they are out there to facilitate the bench players that are finally get some time on the court.
That I can get behind and enjoy watching these players get all the players involved in the game. That’s not what happened here – the star player was in the game to pad their stats.
I can’t blame the player either as they are just following the coaches’ instructions. This falls entirely on the head coach.
I am all for winning games, but it must be done with class and not at the expense of demoralizing another team. I see some teams have systems in place when a game gets out of control and to those coaches’ I tip my hat.
Hopefully this is an isolated incident. I have known one of the assistant coaches for over 20 years and have a tremendous amount of respect for him.
I am hoping they realize what they did and change their methods before another team suffers.
Amador girls’ soccer
The Dons kept it rolling, getting two wins and a draw the week of January 24.
The week started with a 0-0 tie with Granada. The Amador defense was on point, holding Granada to just two shots.
Two days later Amador put the hurt on Livermore with a 7-0 win.
The midfield, anchored by Seniors Olivia Soble, Madeline Benson and Natalie O'Sullivan, controlled the game.
Scoring was shared among six players, including two freshmen - Maylen Montoya and Kaia Hoyman.
The week ended with a non-league. 4-1 win over Liberty.
The midfield again controlled the ball and the flow of play. Benson scored two, with Maylen Montoya and O'Sullivan scoring the other two.
Amador boys’ basketball
The Dons started the week dropping a pair of games to De La Salle and Granada, but ended it with a monumental upset of Dougherty Valley.
The Spartans doubled up the Dons, winning 48-24. It was a tough offensive game for Amador as Colton Cash led the scoring with five points, while five players added three each.
De La Salle used a size advantage to run out to a 34-12 lead at the half. The Dons made size adjustments at the half and held the Spartans to only 14 points over the final two quarters.
The next night Amador faced Granada and trailed only 26-25 at the half thanks to the big lineup.
In the second half the Matadors made the adjustments dominated the game, pulling out 70-40 win.
Kevin Gad lead all scorers with 21 and supported by Jonathan Mitchell (16) and Andrew McKeever (14) for Granada.
Amador was led by Foster Keast with 12 points and Wallace with 11.
The Dons went out and beat the first-place team – Dougherty Valley – on Sunday, Jan. 30, 51-44.
Tyler Cheng had 18 points with 4 three pointers in the second half for Amador. Colton Cash had 12 points, with eight in the second half.
Jesse Huang came off the bench in the first half scoring 8 in the first to keep Amador close and finished with 11 points.