Farewell hoops

Mar. 03, 2013 @ 07:02 AM

Well, it was fun while it lasted. High school basketball has come and gone for Rutherford County and I'm probably as upset about it as anyone.

At the beginning of the season I was a little hungover from football season, but it wasn't long before I caught hardwood fever.

Within the span of a week I was enamored with the personalities on all teams.

I witnessed several different coaches, all with unique personalities.

I came face-to-face with this Brad Levine character that I heard so much about and suddenly the quotes started flowing faster than I could scribble them down.

I watched a first-year head coach in Joe Jessen make a name for himself and his Chase Trojans by turning a small roster into a nightly threat to any team.

I found out the Thomas Jefferson assistant coach Brian Espinoza had a voice that carried just as well inside of a gym as it did on the soccer field.

I was turned into a girl's basketball fan by a Lady Hilltoppers team that featured an incredible starting five that amazed me on a nightly basis.

I watched East Rutherford's Rachel Camp have her way against any opponent and drop 30 points with ease.

I saw players like Chase's Shad Blanton and East's Roddric Ross put on shooting clinics with incredible performances from behind the arc.

I watched and undersized forward in Central's Rashaun Whitesides dominate under the basket and provide much-needed bite for the Hilltoppers.

Chase's Kaitlyn Smart made a double-double look like child's play.

East Rutherford's DeVonte Boykins did his best Adrian Peterson imitation and came back from an ACL tear to prove that he's still one of the top players in Rutherford County, knee brace or not.

R-S Central freshman phenom Te'Ja Twitty stormed onto the varsity squad and made it look like she was still playing against middle school girls.

I watched a Thomas Jefferson boys team that grew under new head coach Ken Hines, who wasn't afraid of the occasional technical foul...even on his birthday.

A pair of Watkins, Central Alyssia and East's T.J., sowed how much unrelenting pressure, intensity and defense could alter a ball game.

I saw two girl's, Smart and TJCA's Victoria Bennett eclipse 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds.

A pair of Cavaliers, Camp and Travis Waldroup-Rodriguez, continued their rewriting of county record books by surpassing 2,000 career points ... as juniors.

If 2012-13 was any indication of what I'm in store for next season, I'm already itching with anticipation. I wish that I could have had a few more games to cover, but I can't complain about the memories I have from from my first season.