Wanted to quickly address the near-brawl during last Friday night’s basketball game between Christopher High and North Monterey County. As I reported before, the benches cleared after a hard foul was committed on Christopher’s DJ Campos midway through the second quarter of a Cougars 67-25 win. (Read the story) Players from both teams began pushing and shoving one another and the situation was about to be sorted out when the benches emptied – an obvious no-no – and fans went wild, hooting and hollering. Luckily no punches were thrown – at least I didn’t see any – and the game continued fight-free the rest of the way.
I applaud the CHS administrators and the game’s officials, who immediately stepped in, allocated the proper ejections and maintained order in what really was a loud, chaotic and ugly situation. A lot of barking was coming from the stands, almost in an antagonizing, egging-on sort of manner. That nonsense could’ve easily escalated the situation to something way worse. I’ll be honest – it got pretty hostile. CHS principal John Perales showed a lot of patience and restraint and calmly dealt with the situation. The police were called to the campus, nothing, of course, materialized further.
Tempers flare during the heat of competition. Makes sense. There is a lot of emotion invloved. Pride, too. But leaving the bench with the intent on fighting is uncalled for. In the NBA, NCAA and so forth, it’s cause for suspension. There is certainly no room for it at the high school level. The ability to show self-control looks a lot more manly than hopping off the bench and puffing your chest.
It boils down to sportsmanship. CHS head coach Kaden Bahner spent extra time following Friday’s game reiterating that to his players. Definitely a learning experience for all involved.
• It has been said a few times since Sunday’s Super Bowl: The San Francisco 49ers would’ve won that game. The New York Giants limited Tom Brady and the New England Patriots offense. Eli Manning and his crew scored just enough points for a 21-17 win. Sound familiar? Ugh. The Niners were so close, and Sunday’s sort-of bore-fest (until the fourth quarter) validated that San Fran was and is a legitimate Super Bowl contender this season. And Tom Brady comparisons to Joe Montana need to stop. Super Bowl rings aside; Brady doesn’t have those late-game chops Montana had. A photo, based on the theme of the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World, was shared with me on Facebook. It’s Montana sporting his four championship rings with the caption: “I didn’t always got to the Super Bowl, but when I did, I won.”
• Playoff races are heating up at the local prep level, especially with girls basketball.
The CHS Cougars, for all intents and purposes, are playing for a league championship Wednesday night against Monte Vista Christian. As the only one-loss team, if the Cougars (16-5, 9-1 Monterey Bay League) win, all that would be left to do is defeat Watsonville in the regular-season finale Friday and the banner is theirs. MVC is 8-2 in the MBL and handed CHS its lone setback, 55-50 in overtime. Game time is set for 7 p.m. and it should be electric.
The GHS Mustangs have won three in a row after sinking to 1-5 in the Tri-County Athletic League and all-but-out of the playoff pursuit. However, the defending champions can even their league mark against first-place Notre Dame (6-3 TCAL) at home on Thursday night. That is the first of three contests versus the teams that sit ahead of the Mustangs in the standings. Each of them beat GHS during the first half of league play. GHS has some work to do, but after back-to-back wins against San Benito and North Salinas last week, momentum is building. And at the best time, too.
• Congratulations to Gilroy High’s Megan Nebesnick and Jennifer Garcia. The wrestlers earned berths to the CIF State Wrestling Championships after their performances over the weekend at the CCS championships. Nebesnick placed first at 189 pounds and Garcia third in a loaded 126-pound division.