Amistad Basketball – Con”CUSS”ed

After a 5 Game Winning Streak, the Amistad Varsity hit a rough patch this past week due to late season illnesses and Two Starters suffering concussions in back to back to games. In Friday’s loss to Stratford, Amistad was forced to play a man down, as one of the top 5 leading scorers in the area, Chris Gibbs, was dealt the flu. Nevertheless, the Amistad Squad competed fiercely from the getgo and played very aggressive, solid man to man defense. But without Chris Gibbs to start, and losing another starter by the finish – we didn’t have enough in the tank to put the ball in the basket as much as we needed to win.
I could live with the loss, though, as we always tell our players – “You can have a bad offensive night… But you can’t have a bad defensive night!’
However, there was a pretty serious issue to deal with during and after the Stratford game: the amount of contact that was allowed throughout the game led to at least 10 no calls on block/situations – where neither call was made, not a whistle was blown, and our Starting Point Guard, Meech Barfield, suffered a concussion while taking a charge.
I have played, coached, refereed, and have been around basketball my whole life. Concussions are rare. As are technical fouls on Amistad’s Head Coach. But as the game went on, players knew that blocks and charges weren’t going to be called – so the amount of contact just became exceedingly dangerous. After another egregious “No Call” – it was probably my tone, though it could have been my choice of words, that magically found a way to get the refs to somehow blow their whistles. Either way, I couldn’t witness the amount of contact that was being allowed by the Board 9 Officials without doing something to protect my players.
It was my first Technical Foul of the season, and I deserved it, but if anyone had seen the tape of the game, it would be a great example for future referees to watch how a game should NOT be called at the high school level. I even went as far as to call the Head of Board 9 officials the day after the game in order to report the issue of safety being a concern for my players. Never have I had to do that after a game.
In an unrelated, but coincidental incident, Chris Gibbs was also sidelined after suffering a concussion in our following game vs. Gilbert. So we’ll see how Amistad responds from the loss. Next Game is Friday at Morgan of Clinton, followed by our last regular season game next Wed. at Goodwin Tech.
With 2 Starters down and 2 regular season games to go, The Amistad Program is actually looking forward to closing out the regular season and getting some much needed rest prior to the State Tournament beginning in Early March.

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