Basketball, chocolate chip, and rockabilly

Shots in the Darke


It’s always a great few weeks of high school basketball, both boys and girls, with the OHSAA tournament underway at various sites around the area. For fans of hoops almost every night of the week other than Sunday has games of interest as the competition gets  tougher as the winners advance in the brackets. Take this week for example:

Tuesday night girls action in D-III sees Versailles facing Waynesville in Covington while the
Tigers’ boys tangle with Arcanum in D-III play at Vandalia. Check for game times as one or the other will probably be reset to allow Versailles fans to see both games. Tuesday night will also see the Tri-Village boys and Springfield Northwestern meet at Northmont at 6:00 in a D-III contest.

Mississinawa’s boys start tourney play by taking on Cedarville in the first of two D-IV games at Piqua Tuesday at 6:00 to be followed by the Bradford Railroaders looking for a second tournament win facing the Eagles of Troy Christian at 7:30.
Wednesday night D-IV play continues at Piqua as Franklin-Monroe and Fort Loramie meet at 6:00 with Covington and Jackson Center set to go at 7:30. Meanwhile a huge rematch takes place in Versailles as the Tri-Village and Mississinawa Valley girls square off in D-IV competition at 7:30.

Finally, on Thursday in a boys D-III game to be played at Northmont, it’s Preble Shawnee tipping off with Valley View at 6:00. Sounds like action every night, get your GPS warmed up and ready to go; don’t forget that only tickets purchased on-line will be honored, no cash at the gate!

I had the chance to see three of the better boys teams in the area play in opening round games the past week. I found that Kettering Alter, Kettering Fairmont, and Centerville all  had several things in common besides obviously talented high school players. Each squad was disciplined and well coached with a sense of confidence and team enthusiasm. Just by watching them go through their warmup drills before the game you could tell that these were groups of young men who were going to be fun to watch play the game the way it was meant to be played. Plus, did I mention that there was a ton of talent on display?

Here’s an interesting item from the New York Times—Americans are losing their love of chocolate chip ice cream, with sales dropping 22 percent in volume from 2018 to 2022; vanilla ice cream sales also dipped over 6 percent. Volume sales of cookies-and-cream rose 72 percent over the same period. My personal preferences are pecan, raspberry chocolate chip, and our neighbors Susan and Rainee Reigle’s homemade vanilla recipe! What are yours?

Spring training games are underway both in Arizona and Florida as the “boys of summer” get ready for the long grind of a 162-game regular season schedule. Looks like former Cincinnati great Joey Votto has yet to find a team after not being offered another contract by the Reds. Meanwhile, what will the Reds do with an over abundance of infielders?

UConn, Houston, Purdue, and Arizona seem to be this week’s choices for the four number one seeds in the upcoming NCAA “March Madness” to be held in a few weeks. Quick, can you name last year’s Final Four participants?

Read a few interesting articles on the number of college football head coaches opting out of
contracts to take over lesser positions at other schools, for example Chip Kelly leaving UCLA to become THE’s offensive coordinator. What is one of the main reasons for the exodus besides the pressure of being the head honcho and dealing with alumni? How about the emergence of Name, Image, and Likeness and the difficulties of “selling” your program to high school stars and their parents, not to mention dealing with the various booster fundraising groups!

Besides national champion UConn, the rest of the ‘23 Final Four consisted of Miami (FL), Florida Atlantic, and San Diego State. Not many blue-bloods in that group were there!!

Finally, a great performance Saturday night at Greenville’s Memorial Hall as Lee Rocker of the Stray Cats and the All-Star Band brought Rockabilly music to Darke County. Rocker plays a mean upright bass and has performed with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Willie Nelson, John Fogerty, and Carl Perkins among others. He’s been consistently touring the world since 1980 and has a fanatically loyal following of rockers, rebels, and all types of music lovers.

While with the group the Stray Cats, the hit song “Rock the Town” was named one of the 500 most important songs in rock by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Let’s just say that the crowd left feeling a little younger and friskier than before the show!! Have a great week!