I had the opportunity last night to witness history. The Tipton boys basketball team won a sectional for the first time since 2001. They not only won the title but they did so at game that I can only describe as absolutely amazing. Tipton versus Oak Hill on a cold rainy night that was miserable for everyone except the Blue Devil faithful.
The game started at 730, living in town but not living there long enough to understand the gravity of the game I arrived at 710. Not a great move. I think I parked farther away from the school than I live. After a long walk through the rain and cold wind I arrived, dropped my five bucks and proceeded to find a seat in the very small feeling gym. As you can see, the place was packed. Both teams were bringing all their fans with them.
The game started off great, the Tipton star, Elston was on fire at the on set. Both teams were truly playing their hearts out on that floor though and the game remained very close. It was like watching a tennis match, back and forth all through the first half. In fact the lead for either team never surpassed about 5. The refs were calling a lot of fouls, most of which were legit but it did create some interesting language to be used in the stands, it also made the coaches use their bench pretty early and really made it exciting to me.
I sat on the visitors side, balcony, across from the home cheer block (student section). Basically I sat with all the late comers and Oak Hill grandparents.
High school basketball didn’t seem this exciting when I was in school. My school didn’t really have a great team most of the time but even so, this was electrifying. The crowd was so loud during time outs and bad calls that you couldn’t hear the horns or what the refs were calling. At half time no one left their seats. I’m not sure if that’s because no one wanted to lose their seats in the packed house or because one side didn’t want to show weakness for a bathroom break or a water/popcorn run.
The second half was even closer, never more than a point or two difference. Even the stars of each team couldn’t seem to break out and run up the score. This was going to have to be a team effort. As the clock wound down though, fatigue was setting in, at least on the court anyway, the fans were still loud as ever, if not more so.
In the end both teams played a great game, OHHS shouldn’t feel bad about the loss, they played with everything they had and Tipton just had a bit left at the end.
I was excited to be a part of the game, no matter how small my part was. It’s starting to feel more and more like home.