By Frank Workman
Frank Workman started attending high-school games in the late 1950s. The Lake Forest Park resident roots for Shorecrest when he’s not watching other schools play.
The state high-school basketball tournaments tip off around the state this week. The eight best boys and girls teams in each classification play for the chance to cut down the nets Saturday night and be called “State Champs” for the rest of their lives.
Boys are to be admired for their size, speed and strength. Most of them have springs for legs. Rosters are chock full of players who can rise up and drill a jump shot with a hand in their face, and every team has at least one guy who can emphatically slam dunk and bring the crowd to its feet.
Girls, on the other hand, play team basketball. They usually need a teammate to throw them a pass or set a screen to get an open look.
Perhaps the most dramatic play in the girls game, the moment that brings the crowd to its feet (and their hearts to their throats), comes when teammates have beautifully passed the ball to get it into the hands of their long-range specialist.
From the defense’s bench comes the cry of “shooter!”
The shot is released – it hangs in the air for what can seem an eternity – before it swishes through the net.
While the boys can play at dazzling speeds and above the rim, too much of the time their game deteriorates into individual play. The girls tend to display more teamwork and cohesion.
In fact, legendary coach John Wooden may have been describing girls basketball perfectly when he said: “The player who puts the ball in the basket has 10 hands.”
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