Raindrops, or snowflakes, keep fallin’ on by head

Shots in the Darke

546

How’s everybody handling the cold? Not anything at all like the Blizzard of ‘78 is it for all of
you who were around to climb the drifts, feel the freeze, and suffer without electricity for a few days! Cheer up, baseball’s spring training is only six weeks away, the Masters Golf
Tournament is less than 12 weeks away, and there’s a Red Robin (and I don’t mean the
restaurant chain) out there somewhere!!

Going along with those thoughts, here’s a true-false statement for you to ponder—raindrops can freeze into snowflakes. Answer later as you think through that poser!

I attended the first three of six girls basketball games played Monday in the inaugural
Prosperity Promotions Lady Tiger Classic at Versailles High School and was really impressed
with the production. With junior varsity games being played in the middle school gym prior to that schools varsity game in the main gym, fans had a chance to see both of their squads in action. Well-run, well-attended, and well-conceived it should become an annual must-see for all fans of girls high school basketball.

The opening game saw the Lady Blackhawks of Mississinawa Valley dispose of Indian Lake
by a 70-35 margin—the ‘Hawks are a fun bunch to watch, with a nuisance full-court press and a 2-3 zone with trapping tendencies to go along with great guard play and an inside presence both offensively and defensively. Junior Taylee Woodbury poured in 29 points to pace a multipronged effort and earn MVP of the game honors. This is a team you won’t want to play in the early rounds of next month’s D-IV state tournament.

The second game featured a young Russia team taking on Liberty-Benton from the Findlay
area in a closely fought contest, the Lady Raiders falling just short to the invaders from the
north by a score of 44-39. The Lady Eagles’ 6’1” senior Lauren Gerken, a Bowling Green
Falcon recruit, tallied 27 points but it was teammate Addi Crow’s offensive efforts in the last ten minutes of play that made the difference. Watch out for Russia in the next few years as former Greenville boys coach Mike Bashore has a talented stable of underclassmen on hand.

Game three was a chance to see the Lady Patriots of Tri-Village tangle with Willard’s Lady
Flashes from Huron County, west of Akron and north of Mansfield. T-V was missing senior
Bella Black and it showed early in the game as the team struggled against a 2-7 opponent.
With seven minutes to go in regulation the Patriots went on a 20-6 run to wrap up a 48-34
victory as defensive pressure finally wore down Willard and the T-V shots started to drop. 6’2” sophomore Kynnedi Hager was voted game MVP as much for her defensive presence as for her offensive threat. Coach Brad Gray’s group is coming together as the second half of the season progresses and Black hopefully returns from a reported broken finger.

Quick, who is leading the Big Ten’s mens basketball standings after the season’s first few
weeks?

 How about a recap of the NFL’s Wild Card weekend?

—Texans over the Browns. Joe Flacco’s story comes to a grinding halt while QB CJ Stroud’s
bid for Rookie of the Year continues to solidify with an impressive performance. Sorry Browns fans, the quest for a first ever Super Bowl trip continues!

—Packers embarrass the Cowboys. A young group of Cheeseheads completely dominated
“America’s Team” in Dallas, causing Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apoplexy and/or extreme
indigestion, gulping like a fish out of water. Only four playoff wins since 2000!

—Lions win first playoff game in 32 years, causing tears of joy in Michigan and tears of anguish for Rams enthusiasts. Jared Goff gets revenge on the team that traded him as Dan Campbell continues to make a case for Coach of the Year although Houston’s DeMeco Ryan is a prohibitive favorite.

—Dolphins can’t handle the wind chill of -27 degrees in losing to the Chiefs in Kansas City. Of course the ‘Fins couldn’t handle most opponents with winning records over the course of the season either!

—The Bills jumped off to a quick 21-0 lead over the Steelers, then withstood a Black and Gold comeback to move on to host the Chiefs next weekend. We’ll finally be able to see if Patrick Mahomes can win a road playoff game as every post-season game he’s played has been at Arrowhead Stadium. The bigger question is whether Taylor Swift will be able to attend the game in Buffalo!

—The Bucs topple the Eagles. Baker Mayfield leads Tampa to victory over a semi-comatose
Philly team, losers of six of their last seven games. Have you ever seen a professional team
miss so many tackles?

Raindrops can’t become snowflakes but snowflakes can become raindrops! And
Wisconsin leads the Big Ten with a 5-0 mark with Purdue and Indiana tied for second at 4-2. Here’s something else to ponder—Ohio State has lost twelve straight road games, causing Coach Chris Holtmann’s collar to feel a little tight nowadays! Stay warm and hydrated!!