More than basketball showed up at the Mountain Shadows Gym as Tomales defeated the Technology High School boys team 69 to 48. Determination never left the room as both sides played a solid physical game and sound judgment and ideal leadership led the teams up and down the court.
Tomales coach John Burke and Technology coach Stan Cramer faced similar tasks as each is working to rebuild new teams. When asked what to look for in his offense and defense, Coach Burke hinted that he would employ both inside and outside offense as well as some zone and man-to-man defense. Everything was evident as the game progressed.
Cramer, a veteran coach well known in the community, works with a young team that has only one senior and deals with making adjustments throughout each game. In this game, two key players went down with injuries. Sam Morrow, who had scored seven points in the first quarter, rolled his ankle at the beginning of the second quarter of a very tight game as the Titans trailed by only one point. After Morrow went out of the game, Tomales posted twelve unanswered points and were leading at half time 36 to 23.
The Titans came back with a strong third quarter as they put up thirteen points to Tomales’ sixteen. Three-point shooter Matt O’Brien collided with an opponent while driving for an inside shot leaving the Titans without his services.
However, Center Will Duncan took up the slack as he picked up eighteen points, snagged rebounds and blocked shots. Leading by example, Duncan’s persistence and determination infected teammates as the Titans played a tough physical game from beginning to end.
Cramer, when asked after the game what adjustments would he make based on what happened said, matter of fact, “I have to re-think who’s going to play what for Monday night’s game as I have lost two players.” No matter what, he will be served by fortitude, determination, and desire displayed by members of his team. Look for others to step up as Will Duncan did in this game.
Just a side note about leadership and modeling and teaching, I asked Cramer if he was the father of four former Rancho Cotate athletes and scholars, and if he was, what was his secret for raising such fine children. His terse response, to the point, might save the school district millions in teacher training consults and the purchase of the latest educational programs: “Simple, I emphasized athletics and academics.”
More modeling in the gym this night as Principal Dawn Mawhinney sat right where a principal should be on a Friday night, in the center of the bleachers cheering on her team. She wasn’t there to be seen or to patronize parents and students but simply to root for her school’s basketball team.
And while two coaches taught skills while building young teams, a veteran photographer, one of the Community Voice’s ace cameramen, Robert Grant, shared his knowledge of picture taking with Tech High’s own camera person, student Hannah Menth between games, during the half, and after the game.
So much more goes on than just what happens between the hoops. Tech High students and parents cheered their team to the end. While the Titans lost the game, the players modeled courage and grittiness, the coaches displayed adaptability, the adults showed hope and support, and everyone had an opportunity to learn something important.