Lady Wolves host Houston

Friday night, January 21st, the Eagle River Lady Wolves hosted the Houston Hawks in a night that was very encouraging at start for the Lady Wolves, but ended with a sour taste. It started for many people with the change in the start time. Originally, the schedule had the C-Team girls facing Houston at 6 and Varsity at 7:30. I showed up, set up my strobes, went downstairs to make sure everything worked, and found out that C-Team was off playing Wasilla, and the Varsity game had been moved to 6:00. No problem for me, but a lot of fans who were coming to the Varsity game were not there at 6. It appeared that half of the ERHS band was there, and while the refs were there, they sure did sour the taste in Eagle Rivers mouth.

Senior Cassie Barsalou attempts a shot over the Houston defense Friday night at the Wolves Den

The game started with Eagle River actually scoring the first points, but the first quarter ended up going to Houston.  It was very clear from the start that the referee’s were not really excited about being there, and it was obviously clear that a ref with ties to Houston was on the floor.  I know of at least 6 hard fouls that he refused to call against Houston, and there were plenty of fouls that should have been called all game.  However, if a Eagle River player looked cross eyed at a Houston player his whistle would blow.

Eagle River guard Dana Panfil floats a shot baseline against Houston

And that was only the start.  With the rough play Houston was getting away with, the frustration of Eagle River was starting to show through.  But the Lady Wolves were doing a great job keeping the game close.  Dana Panfil and Samantha Coy were doing their best to keep the ball going in the hoop, and Senior Cassie Barsalou and Junior Meg Byman were keeping the tough D going.  It was looking like the Lady Wolves were going to fight to the end and it was getting so close the minutes left that the boys varsity team came out of the weight room to cheer on the ladies.

Sam Coy gets a hoop and harm, taken with a manual focus 55mm Mamiya m42 lens.

Then it all fell apart for the Wolves.  Panfil made a great defensive move to steal the ball.  Yes, there was contact between Panfil and a Houston player, but it was a clean steal, and it looked like Panfil was going to cut the Houston lead to 4, but right after getting her hand on the ball, the Houston player threw her body at Panfil, and the whistle blew.  Everyone in the gym cheering for Eagle River fully expected the call to go Eagle River’s way and send Panfil to the line.  But no….that ref made sure his Houston team would come out on top and called a foul on Panfil.  Then it fell apart.  Elbows being thrown, a double technical foul, refs telling the Eagle River boys team to be quiet (they were actually cheering the girls on, trying to be the emotional push for the girls who were so close to the first home win of the season), and that was it….game over.  Houston wins.  Eagle River and Houston appeared to be well matched.  A good ref crew could have kept the game under control, and it would have ended up being a great game win or loose, but when you have a Houston ref not calling anything for Eagle River, another ref who acted like she had no idea what to call when she blew her whistle, and a third ref to busy telling the cheering Eagle River boys team to be quiet, well, ASAA should bench these officials for the rest of the season….or put them on C-Team only duty.  They should not have been a Varsity crew at all.

But on another topic, I was happy about one thing.  Earlier in the week I received a old Mamiya-Sekor 1000tl 35mm film camera.  The camera was given to me, and I shot a role of film  during the game to test it out…see what I could get with it, and my strobes.  I have yet to develop the film, but I happened to have a M42-to-Canon EOS adapter that allows me to mount old screw mount lenses to my Canon DSLR’s.  So, for part of the 3rd and 4th quarter, I threw the 55mm 1.6 lens that came with the Mamiya onto my Canon 7D camera.  When I looked at the images taken with this lens, I was amazed.  For a 40 year old lens, the images were tack sharp.  A little hard to tell if the image is in focus, but it really took me back to my photography beginnings, shooting film and manual focus lenses….very fun, and a pleasant surprise.  If the camera turns out to be good, I may end up picking up some more old M42 mount lenses….

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