Yes, Chuck White did retire…

But in my opinion the Chuck White Rules (those unwritten rules that every team knew were out there but were not able to do anything about) still live on.  I have played, coached, refereed and photographed basketball most of my life, but when you have one team barely make incidental contact with the opposing team called for a foul, then why do you not call it both ways?  What will it take for the older officials out there to realize that West does not need to win every game?  I am all for any team, including West, going undefeated.  That is, as long as they earn the wins, not have them given to them.  When it is the 5 guys out on the floor vs 7 to 8 (5 plus the officials), how is that fair?  Only one official last night was getting it right, and he was the youngest of the bunch.  Did he make some bad calls? Sure, but all officials do.  But the other officials?  How can you justify calling one foul for every five committed right in front of you?  At least at the Chugiak game, the officials just let them play, but when you let one team play and penalize the other team, you are not being fair to these kids.

That being said, even if the refs would have let Eagle River play with out all the unnecessary foul calls, West would have still won.  The Wolves just did not seem to be on “their” game last night.  It took them a while to get going, and even after they did, they were plagued by bad passes at key moments.  And honestly, West did not look all that great.  That is really all I want to say about the game.  I was really hoping to walk away from a West game this season with the feeling that the Chuck White era was really over, but it sure did not feel like it.

On a individual player level, two things really stuck out to me.  One is the play of Kelechi Madubuko.  It started off with the jump ball at the beginning of the game.  I look out to half court, and here is Kelechi, waiting to jump against a kid a head taller than him.  I was kind of laughing to myself about it.  I expected Senior Nate Yaw to jump, but know, into the circle walks Kelechi, barely taller than the official.  Wow!  Did he ever get up.  He lost the tip, but look at the photo below.  Look how high he got!

Kelechi Madubuko tips off against West

Then, in the first half, when a West player went up for a shot next to the rim, Kelechi flew in and tried to block his shot.  While he got called for a foul, it looked like he could have jumped over the West player.  In all honesty, I have not seen a kid at Eagle River jump as high as Kelechi did for that block attempt since Dawane Taylor dunked from the corner all over Chugiak a couple years ago.

Kelechi Madubuko takes flight

So, I ask this question, and it is a question that Kelechi needs to answer;

Why are you not dunking?  You are right there.  I can honestly see a back door lob to you resulting in a thunderous two handed slam.  Or a tip dunk on a missed shot.  You are there!  Do it!

And Senior Nate Yaw, while not as good a performance as he had against Chugiak, he still looked good.  I could tell that Nate, as well as all the Wolves, were not clicking against West, Nate still showed some amazing feats.  It seemed like he was creating good looks at the basket where there were none visible.

Nate Yaw throws up a reverse lay up against West

There was even one play where Nate got off a shot after it looked like West was going to force him into a travel.  I heard someone behind me say they just could not believe he had that kind of body control.  Nate did what he could to keep the Wolves int he game, stealing the ball, tough defense, and he was not alone, Kyle Taylor had his Larry Legend three pointer going, until West started defending him deep.  Kelechi, and Dominic Young were doing work inside, and Brandon Viotto was doing what he could against the chaotic defense from West.

Nate Yaw splits the West defense for 2.

It also showed me something.  The fans need to come out to the games.  You know, fill the bleachers?  Every game.  Playing a home game is one thing.  Playing a home game with a full house is another thing.  Nothing like having a packed gym.  All of you Eagle River students, parents and faculty need to come out and support the Varsity boys team.  Not only them, but the girls team, wrestling, hockey, football, baseball, soccer, flag football.  If you show your support, become that 13th player on the basketball team, or the 12th player on the football team, make a difference.  The fans can help get a win by just showing up, cheering and supporting your team.  That being said, Bartlett comes into the Wolves Den tomorrow night.  Lets fill up that gym!

Share Button

Comments are closed.