Jackson came out hot, was settled down by a good team and squandered several chances to win. That’s how I saw it. That’s how it was. What I liked most is the Polar Bears came out confident and hit Stow right in the mouth. Stow managed to steal some momentum at the end of the first quarter after Jackson missed a handful of putbacks. After securing a rebound the Bulldogs raced down the floor and hit a long jumper at the buzzer. They kept that rolling in the 2nd as they out scores Jackson 13-7. The momentum stayed with the Bulldogs as they came out of the locker room on fire, going up 29-20 before a 3 ended the Stow run. The Polar Bears came out in the last quarter a lot more inspired, scoring the first two buckets to get within 1. That was as close as it would get. Tonight the defense turned it up, they held a 10-0, state ranked team to 34 points. In the 4th quarter they got stop, after stop, after stop…just couldn’t find the basket on the other end.
A 5 point loss to this Stow team would without a doubt be a good showing. When you’re this close some missed opportunities have to be used constructively not as an irritation. Jackson is there, they just can’t seem to take that last step. That’s not a criticism either, it’s hard enough to get to that step, it’s even more difficult to actually make it when you’re playing the best of the best day in and day out.
Jackson is absolutely loaded on the perimeter with Grace, Litman, Angelo and Alkire sharing time with a few others. Alkire may be the best guard coming off the bench in all of Stark County. Duffy gives them an above average post presence, and flashed a bit of range tonight. If that’s something she can do consistently or develop for next year, look out! They are a really athletic team, which helps them in the Federal League, but need to find a way to be a bit more focused and composed. Landrie Grace led the Polar Bears with 11 points while Duffy threw in 9 with 10 boards.
…Now here’s what bothers me. You have a team that held Stow to 34 points and lost by 5, held Lake to 42 points and lost by 1, and earlier in the year held McKinley to 39 points and lost by 2. Any person in their right mind would look at this and think Jackson has something good going on. You’d never know that by sitting in the Jackson bleachers…
Now I know this happens everywhere, and it’s not just Jackson. I also know that this team is close and they are missing something, something is stopping them from making that breakthrough. I may be crazy…but what if that something is the parents support? Imagine what might happen if parents didn’t support ONLY their daughter? Consider what might happen to someone’s confidence if they didn’t hear parents in the stands crying, moaning, and making purposely noticeable comments from the stands about another players shot selection? I promise they hear it…I promise she hears it! If only the parents could take the positive, which were many, and not constantly dig on the negative, often times not even legitimate.
One comment I heard going out the door, sarcasm automatically understood, “Wow 29 points, real impressive for a varsity team.” Come on people! It’s girls basketball, it’s not all that uncommon. You also have to understand that often times to beat a better team you have to slow it down and try to dictate the tempo and not simply try to outscore them.
The real issue here is what these girls are hearing when they get home, you tell Little Suzy so many times she should be getting more shots and her performance is going to be selfish. You tell your daughter every day after a game the coach doesn’t know what he’s doing and she’s not going to buy in to the gameplan.
The Jackson Polar Bears are a really good team, and dispute a losing record they are playing well! That one thing they may he missing might not even be on the floor, it quite possibly could be the toxic feedback they’re getting from their parents…
You know what top shelf successful programs have in common? They have a total support system. Every parent supports every girl like they support their own, because they don’t mind who makes the shots or gets the credit. That takes pressure and anxiety off of all of them. It comes down to being selfish or not being selfish, when the success of the team is more important than that of any individual the parents will have a completely different view. As a result the children will get a different impression from their parents, ultimately making them better players and teammates…
Amen!!!! You hit it right on the nose!!! Perfectly stated. And Go Lady Bears!!!
Keep in mind, this is a High School level athletic program, and with that it should be all about school, and community growing the young hearts and minds of tomorrow. All school athletic programs should, by design uphold and build upon an academic and community theme. (The real team effort is displayed best from such actions). Pay to play sports programs are a vehicle outside the classroom that should be designed to further help these young athletes in their life learning and growing experiences. With emphasis on the goal of their future, and creating the nurturing growth needed beyond these H.S. years. These programs should be designed to afford all athletes the most positive experiences possible during this process in these young years of their lives. Aiding always, in the mental and physical well-being and maturity of these young academic and athletic minds. On a large scale, this is the only true pay off to anyone out there on the court and in the stands. Programs reflecting this type of commitment to students who are team players and are respectful to fellow team mates will help in placing productive people into our society. This in turn will produce a success to be enjoyed by all! This type of unselfish attitude, and support from parents, and community will speak volumes to these athletes, their fans and all surrounding communities will take note. These are the actions that will surely produce a winning record that will play on for a lifetime for all involved.