The good fan
Last updated 5/19/2023 at 9:24am
The basketball tournaments are over and we local fans should be happy that our teams played on for a while. Getting to playoff time is always fun. We get to brag about our team and watch them play in different venues against new opponents.
The Broncos had a great year and their late season rally and defensive prowess was something to be proud of. I know a lot of fans love to watch the up and down the court pressing and fast breaks but late in the season that isn’t easy to do unless the team has a lot of depth. Playing several games in a week will take its toll so the type of game a team plays will need to be modified or the team will run out of energy and their legs and lungs will suffer.
LRS had to find ways of winning late in the season. Defense and rebounding were the answer. Those two parts of the game should never go into a slump even when the shots aren’t falling and the mental wear and tear drives you nuts. Playing tough defense and blocking out for rebounds can win games. And if you don’t defend and rebound, well it will be a miserable night.
Every good shooter will go into a slump at some point in the season. That is when a coach hopes that others may pick up the slack but what if the whole team can’t seem to be able to score. I look back at the game the Broncos played in Cheney against Dayton-Waitsburg. For the first three quarters LRS struggled with just about every shot they took. Even the ones they made seemed to want to not go in. The game was close for three quarters because of great defense and rebounding. When a few shots and free throws dropped and the Bronco lead increased, D-W was forced to take shots that were not in their game plan and victory was secured by LRS.
What happens if your team doesn’t buy into the defense and rebounding aspect of the game? All I can say is defense and rebounding will win more games than offense. Good teams rely on defending and rebounding to get more possessions. Late in the season the Broncos did both very well and having the opportunity to play at the arena is a very special memory. Fifth in state is a good reward.
The other day I read the letters to the editor in the paper and one guy was blasting Gonzaga Head Coach Mark Few for failing as a coach and not getting the team into the Final Four and not having won a national championship yet. When I read stuff like this it really makes me wonder just how misinformed about competing at this level can be for some fans.
Was I disappointed that Gonzaga didn’t make it to the Final Four? Of course, but they also lost to the eventual champion that was playing well above any other team. The Bulldogs would have needed to play perfectly just two days after an emotional victory over UCLA.
After the kind of season that GU had I believe that an elite 8 spot was farther than most people thought they would finish. Again, the UConn Huskies played great defense and their rebounding put the Zags in a position to make every shot and that wasn’t in the cards for that night. So it’s back to the drawing board for GU as they may be losing up to 6 key players from this year’s squad.
EWU’s Steele Venters will be wearing Bulldog blue next year. The Big Sky Conference player of the year from Ellensburg put his name into the transfer portal and he received a call from Gonzaga. As an EWU alum I was disappointed that he was going to transfer but in his case I can certainly understand his reasoning. Since he was a preferred walk-on he had to earn his scholarship. My feeling is this; I would much rather have Venters play at Gonzaga than at some place I don’t really like. I will now be able to watch Venters play on a regular basis, since all of GU’s games are on TV.
Yes I consider myself a good fan since I try to see how a coach gets their team to compete at their highest level no matter how much talent their team has.
— Dale Anderson is a sports columnist from Ritzville. To contact him, email [email protected].