A Week in Review

24 05 2010

It’s been a while since I posted; I’ve been super busy between school ending, moving into a new house, and the spring sports season at KECI.  But here’s some of what I’ve been up to:

WEDNESDAY:

I traveled up to Polson to cover the Missoula Mavericks taking on the Mission Mariners in a non-conference legion baseball matchup.  Needless to say the game went to the Mavericks, who 10-runned Mission 14-4 in the contest and improved to 21-1 on the season.  Having played legion baseball myself, I was surprised Missoula’s AA was even playing Mission at this point in the season, since Mission is in the A conference and thus extremely outmatched by Missoula’s AA.  Brody Miller was 4-6 from the plate for the Mavs with a double, a home run and 5 RBIs in the game.

THURSDAY:

I quickly covered a couple of early round B-C girls state tennis matches here in Missoula.  Being my third time shooting tennis, I’m starting to get comfortable with it (just in time for tennis season to be over of course).  The trick isn’t the difficulty of shooting the action since obviously the game takes place in a fairly small confinement.  The trick is staying aware of who is playing who, which matches are the most important, and keeping track of what the games and sets are at.  By now I’m a lot more confident with those aspects of covering the sport, hence it’s a rather easy/relaxing activity to shoot on a nice sunny day.  However Thursday was not so nice… I only got about 30 minutes of footage before the courts were cleared for a rain delay.

At this point Kayla and I headed to Sentinel High School to catch the 3rd game of a playoff series between Sentinel and Hellgate; the winner of which punched their ticket to the state tournament.  After losing the first game 5-4, the Spartan bats awakend in the second game as they mercy ruled the Knights 18-1 in 5 innings.  It was more Sentinel dominance when I got to third game, as they’d need only 6 innings to take down Hellgate 11-1.  The win gets the Spartan softball squad to the state tournament for the first time since 2005.  Jamie Jo Kallis had a heck of series on the day for Sentinel, she went 9-11 from the plate with 6 RBIs, 4 of which were the result of her grand slam in the second game.

FRIDAY:

Friday I took a trip all the way up to Thompson Falls to cover the semifnals of the Western B-C Divsional softball tournament, the winners of which would clinch state softball tournament positions.  I was there for the entire first game between the Loyola Breakers and Mission Bulldogs; Loyola is the most prominent class B softball team we cover (in terms of viewership, geography). Although Loyola won the regular season conference title, they were playing without their star catcher and power hitter Alex Hughes, who was not yet medically cleared to play after receiving a concussion at a tournament in Butte the week before.  The game was a tight 2-1 contest throught the first four innings but then Loyola pulled away in the final three innings, winning by a final of 7-3 and securing their state tournament berth.

I could only stay for the first three innings of the next semifinal between the Florence Falcons and the hometown Thompson Falls Lady Bluehawks but I saw enough.  Lady Bluehawks pitching ace Kyla Molzhon is the most dominant western montana picther I’ve seen this year, she struck out six Falcons through just the first three innings… her squad needed just a lone run in the fifth to beat Florence 1-0 in the game.

SATURDAY:

I covered three championship matches at the class B-C state tennis tournament.  The boys singles championship match was the only one I covered that went three sets.  Spencer Ahlborn of St. Ignatius defeated Bridger Mahlum from Bigfork 2-6, 6-3, 6-2.  The politness between the two really threw me for a loop, especially when a state title is on the line.  They complimented each other every game for impressive serves and returns.  It was nonetheless refreshing, and in no way deterred from the competitiveness of the match.  Ahlborn was very athletic playing close to the net and charged it every opportunity he had, which made it fitting that his match point came off of a dominant overhead smash at the net.  This was Ahlborn’s third victory over Mahlum in four meetings.

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‘Tis the Season

27 02 2010

February 26, 2010

Well today was a feast of high school basketball… and a good amount of driving.  I covered four games at the Class A Divisional tournament in Hamilton.  I got to the station at about noon to pick up a camera and head out to catch the second half of the 12:30 semifinal game.  However, when I got to the station I saw that we were completely out of cameras (I problem that’s been occurring more and more).

At first I tried coordinating a camera switch with Kevin, who was already shooting a court story in Hamilton, but as he was running low on batteries, I elected to just wait 15 minutes for Christian to get back with his.  Sure enough I didn’t have to wait long for his return and I snatched his small camera (an annoyance for shooting sports… on the bright side keeping a steady shot with small cameras has been strengthening my left tricep) and headed out.

I got to the gym at halftime of the boys semifinal game between the Dillon Beavers and the Hamilton Broncs.  Unfortunately for the hometown Broncs, they had no chance at victory against the superior Dillon squad.  Hamilton shot a dismal 18% from the field, as it seemed they were trying to score five points every possession they had the ball.  Needless to say they were unsuccessful in their hurried efforts and turned the ball over 21 times in the contest.  Embarrassingly enough, the mercy rule clock (where the clock runs continuously if one team is ahead by 40 or more points) had to be kicked into action during the final minute of play.  In fact, a Broncs player couldn’t even get his second free throw off in time when the buzzer sounded to spell a 64-23 Beavers win.

Following that game, I stayed for the first quarter and change of a semifinal matchup in the girls bracket between the Anaconda Lady Copperheads  and Frenchtown.  Anaconda looked head and shoulders above the Lady Broncs right out of the gate as they jumped out to a 35-9 lead before halftime could pause the massacre.  I had to leave at that point to head back to the station and make my edits for the 6:00, but Anaconda went on to handle Frenchtown by a final of 64-38.

Three and a half hours, two highlight sequences, and 94 miles later:  I walk back into Dale Berry court for more Hamilton-hosted basketball.  This time I get to cover an entire game as I’m in time for tip-off of the semifinal between the Stevensville Yellowjackets and the Corvallis Blue Devils.  This game was one of the highest intensity contests I’ve ever covered as it was clear that the two teams were not fond of each other.  Considering the geographical separation of just 14 miles, it was easy to understand the rivalry vibe these teams were emitting on the hardwood.  Both teams love to run up and down the court and certain segments of the game felt more like a hockey game.  And, like many rivalry games, the intensity and nerves caused for general ineptness in offensive execution.  The teams went into the locker rooms tied at 21 for halftime.  However, Corvallis had a stroke of offensive efficiency in the third quarter where they outscored the Yellowjackets 14-6 to take control of the game.  The Blue Devils went on to win the game 47-37.  That outcome pits the Blue Devils (14-5) against Dillon (16-3) for the divisional championship tomorrow night.

The nightcap contest for my hoops-frenzied day was a girls semifinal matchup between Stevensville and Dillon.  Both teams struggled to score in the contest as the game remained in single digits until the second quarter.  I had to leave before halftime to get back to Missoula and make edits for the 10:00 news, but Stevensville ended up with the low-scoring victory 36-30 over Dillon.  That puts the Lady Jackets (11-9) into the Championship game vs. Anaconda (15-4) tomorrow night.

12 hours after arriving to the station… I went home.  Gotta love the high school basketball playoff time of year!