Girls' Basketball - A Concern or Not?
Learning never stops and even your dedicated scribe added to his knowledge after reading the lowest scoring high school basketball game was, apparently, in the United States. Yes, and reported to be back on Feb. 1, 1997 in the town of Roxboro, N.C.
A boys' team won by a final score of 2-0. The only points came right after the tip-off and, apparently, the heating system in the school wasn't working on a chilly night, which seems to be some excuse for the final score. Hmm.
What is also interesting is that it was around this time last year when a regularly scheduled York Region high school senior girls' basketball game ended, 32-0. That's right, no points. St. Joan of Arc from Maple beat Stephen Lewis of Richmond Hill. The Principal of the losing team didn't like the fact that I wrote a story about her school team failing to score a point in the 32-minute game. I explained the game occurred, the players may have been learning, but a game is a game and there is no arguing with the outcome. Try talking with some senior administrators.
This year, the same school that couldn't score a year ago, certainly can now. How about a 5-1 record - the best among the 28 school teams in the York Region Tier Two league? But Stephen Lewis and its same female Principal, for whatever reason, have not called me to talk about the turn-around, the success, the athletes and lots more. Guess she's busy.
While it seems that basketball is prospering at Stephen Lewis, the general state of the girls' game in the Greater Toronto Area is not looking very healthy. Maybe I have it all wrong and teams have just been playing some outstanding defence. Glancing through the results of high school senior games in various leagues, and even checking out various games this year, the scores have been low and sometimes embarrassing. I know, they're trying.
In Mississauga, a Peel Region game had Heart Lake beating Central Peel 40-9 while Westview defeated York Mills 50-8 in a Toronto game. There are many more like this - scores in single digits - but schools tend to keep things mum and draw little public attention. Shh, even though those scores still occur.
Could it be that girls' are lacking the skills and interest in basketball or maybe the number of qualified coaches has diminished? And, I am told, many teenage girls are also dealing with part time jobs, other sports, community work, club basketball only and, yes, even focusing on school work?
For the record, only two schools in the Greater Toronto Area (and that includes many schools) have won a provincial gold medal. Eastern Commerce and Albert Campbell, and they each won twice. That's it since the these finals have been held, and even with OFSAA watering down the game to four levels.
I enjoy watching the game. Played a bit back when I was in school but maybe Basketball Ontario might need to start coming up with some creative ways to promote the sport in schools. They say that's the job for OFSAA and this provincial school sport group also needs to get more visible and vocal emphasizing the need for participation and more certified coaches. One more possible suggestion, there's also a pro team in town, that many people believe should consider focussing more community promotion time to the girls' game - while it's still around.