When it comes to games, loyal fans will find a way

Wednesday, March 5, 2003

This column may be the hardest I've ever written ---- and possibly the most mistake-filled.

As the keys click away on my computer, I'm listening to the Berryville basketball teams play in the consolation games at the regional tournament at Ozark. That's right. I had to stay in the office Monday to make this week's sports section and didn't travel to the games.

It's the first time in weeks I haven't been on the road. Things got a little complicated this basketball season with the Berryville and Green Forest teams in one league, the 1AAA, and the Eureka Springs Highlanders in another, the 1AA.

It began three weeks ago with the junior high district tournaments. Eureka Springs went to Elkins for that one, while Berryville and Green Forest traveled to Farmington for theirs.

UPDATE: The Lady Bobcats are leading 19-13 at halftime against Prairie Grove, ranked 10th in Class AAA, as the teams battle for the third-place seed for state. Fans are there and cheering.

Uh, where was I. Oh yeah. Then the senior high tournaments began, with the 1AAA hosted by Gentry, and Eureka Springs hosting the 1AA district.

"What a break!" I thought, as I live just two miles from the Eureka Springs gym. But it didn't matter. Teams are still playing at different sites, so you're out all night anyway at one or the other.

I tried to split my time and get some rest, but driving to Gentry two days in a row on Friday and Saturday night about did me in. Then the snow came on Sunday.

Thought that would be a break, but all the giant snowstorm and frigid weather did was shuffle the regional tournament schedules.

UPDATE: Lady Bobcat Christina McNeal just got a gash over her eye and is headed to the dressing room. Holy Cow! Where's Jay Bullock, the Bobcat athletic trainer?

Uh, let's see. Oh, the regional tournaments got bumped down one day due to the snow, so games didn't start on Wednesday. That meant I drove to Ozark to cover the Green Forest and Berryville games on Thursday, spent the night with my buddy, J.C., then came home about midnight Friday after the Bobcats won their game with West Fork.

UPDATE: Christina is back, all patched up.

Ummmm. So then, Alice and I got up Saturday and drove to Danville to see the Eureka Springs boys play Charleston at 5:30. We drove three hours, watched their game, then raced back to Ozark to see the Berryville boys face Subiaco, ranked No. 4 in Class AAA, at 8:30 p.m.

UPDATE: Travis Dozier, who announces the games on the radio, is getting excited, as are the fans in attendance. Sheena Spielberg hit a free throw with 11 seconds left and the Berryville girls lead, 29-28. Kristen Tester drives into the lane for Prairie Grove, puts the shot up . . . and it misses!

Somebody's got the rebound. It's Lady Bobcat Lindsey Moore, with two seconds left. IT'S OVER. BERRYVILLE WINS!

Ahem. Well, that was exciting. Anyway, I was wiped out Sunday with all the traveling, so slept most of the day. Now I'm here in the office, finishing this column, and planning a trip to Prescott, where the Berryville teams will be playing in the Class AAA State Tourney this week.

Prescott? Six long hours away, one way.

UPDATE: The Bobcat boys are leading Gentry and Josh Jackson just hit a three. Uh, gotta wrap this up. I've been confused enough for one day.

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