2013 High School Basketball – Pomona at Ralston Valley

So, instead of shooting the boys game between the Ralston Valley Mustangs and Pomona Panthers at Pomona High School, like I originally planned, I went over to Ralston Valley to shoot the same to schools girls teams on Saturday evening.  I really like the set up at Ralston Valley.  The upper bleachers/cheer room is a perfect location to mount my strobes and everyone at Ralston Valley are so nice and friendly.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther point guard brings the ball up the court in traffic in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther point guard brings the ball up the court in traffic in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

So, I got to RV and the JV game was going on, plenty of time for me to set my strobes up for the varsity game.  A staff member opened the upper area for me so I could set up my strobes, and I got to work.  I use two AB 800’s with either the Sports Reflectors or the Standard Reflectors pointed at mid court so the beams cross right at center court.  In this gym, if I shoot at full power, I could shoot at ISO 100, but that is just too much light, so I will power my strobes to 1/2 power.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player takes the ball past the Mustang defense in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player takes the ball past the Mustang defense in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

I had photographed the Pomona team earlier in the season, but I had not seen the Ralston Valley girls team yet this season.  Pomona had won that first game against Westminster, but it was not the greatest game.  And the way the Pomona boys have been playing, I did not expect a great performance from the Lady Panthers.  The question was, were the Ralston Valley girls a good team and were they going to play a good game?

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player brings the ball up the court in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player brings the ball up the court in the game against the Ralston Valley Mustangs at Ralston Valley High School.

My answer came quick as the Mustangs jumped out to a 16 to 7 first quarter lead.  RV looked really good, passing the ball, penetrating, shooting.  And their defense was tough.  It was going to be a long night for the Panthers.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley post player spins to the hoop in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley post player spins to the hoop in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

The second quarter was more of the same.  Ralston Valley kept up the scoring while holding Pomona to only 6 points to go into the half time break with a 30 to 13 lead.  I was really hoping that Pomona would come out in the third quarter with a little more aggressiveness and try to get back into this game.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player tries to block a shot by a Ralston Valley player in their game at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Pomona Panther player tries to block a shot by a Ralston Valley player in their game at Ralston Valley High School.

However, when the teams returned to the court for the start of the second half, Ralston Valley turned everything up a notch and Pomona looked lost.  In the third quarter, Ralston Valley held Pomona scoreless and tacked on 15 points to go into the final frame with a 45 to 13 lead.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley player sets to pass the ball in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley player sets to pass the ball in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

When I was in high school, 10 players made the varsity team.  2 spots were left open for JV players.  Typically, the two best JV players that week would come up for a game or two the following week.  It did not mean they would see any varsity action, but it was a great moral boost.  Some smaller schools I have been around may not be able to field a full varsity squad and will bring up JV players so they can put a team on the floor.  I noticed Ralston Valley had pulled a couple JV players up for this game, but they sat on the bench most of the night.  That is, until the 4th quarter.  The JV players came in, and while the quality of basketball RV had been playing went down a little, they were in no way at risk of letting Pomona get back into this game.  In the 4th quarter, Ralston Valley added another 10 points, and held Pomona to just 6 points, giving the Lady Mustangs a 55 to 19 win over the cross town Pomona Lady Panthers.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustang floats a shot up in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

January 5th, 2013: A Ralston Valley Mustang floats a shot up in the game against the Pomona Panthers at Ralston Valley High School.

Now, this next photo, I just wanted to share.  I absolutely love the quality of photos you get when strobing an event, and when you nail focus and open it up on your computer and it is razor sharp, it is just a great feeling.  Throw in a great exposure, and life is good.  As you can see in the photo bellow, the jersey is so sharp and detailed, you can see the texture in the material.

Example of sharpness

Example of sharpness

And in the shot bellow, which is a 100% crop (I rarely do 100% pixel peeping), you can see the detail with the sweat, the eyelashes and eyebrows, and also shows a great example of why strobing does not blind the players.  If you notice, the light is nice and even, and the only reason there are some hot spots is because the sweat on the the player is very reflective, but you notice that little white dot in the pupil, that is my strobe reflecting in her eyes.  That little dot is there for a fraction of a second, like close to 1/1000th of a second.  In fact, it is so fast, and not being pointed directly at the eyes of the player, and the player focused on the ball, or the action, most of the time, a player will not even realize the strobe went off.  I have actually walked over to a official prior to the game, with my remote in my hand, triggering the strobe once every 5 or 6 seconds, to ask them if they had a problem with me strobing the game.  I would explain strobing to them and they would ask me to demonstrate, and when I would tell them I had been triggering the strobe over and over again while talking to them they were in disbelief.

a 100% crop of the photo above

a 100% crop of the photo above

To view and purchase photos from this game, please visit my Maxpreps gallery.

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