St. Ignatius Rollercoaster

15 02 2010

February 12, 2010

When I set out on my trek to St. Ignatius Thursday night, I had no idea how many twists would indeed be in store for me.

Before I even got to leave the station I was informed that I would have to be shooting with a small camera [a pain in the butt for shooting sporting events, compared to the bigger on-the-shoulder cameras] due to the death of one of our station’s only three large cameras… twist number one.

Luckily I managed to easily find the gymnasium which I had never been too before.  Unfortunately, I walked into it at a sharp 7:30 expecting the boys’ game vs. Plains to be getting underway… when in actuality I was witnessing the beginning of the fourth quarter of action in the girls game.  Slightly disappointed (twist number two) at the delay I would be facing until the game I needed started, I parked myself into the stands.

This delay meant I would not have time to cover the game in Frenchtown tonight, so as the girls game drew to an end so did I draw out my weapon of media… in hopes that some type of exciting finish to the contest would deem it worthy of taking the spot of the previously assigned Frenchtown game for the 10:00 news.

An exciting finish is exactly what I got.  As the final seconds of the clock ticked to an end, the Plains girls drove down the court with just enough time for one last desperation shot.  With approximately two seconds left on the clock, a girl dropped an 18-footer to knot the game up at 32 (a score you’d expect on the gridiron… not the hardwood).  This buzzer-beating shot was the single biggest game-changing moment I’d captured yet this season in high school sports (twist number three), albeit not on the grandest stage of action.

At this point I had to call my sports director Jake to inform him of the major delay.  However due to our station being the Olympic-hosting NBC affiliate, he informed me that the opening ceremonies would push our newscast back an extra hour… thus the delay really wasn’t unmanageable (twist number four).  To overtime they went.  Once again I waited to film until the final seconds.  This time, Mission’s post converted a lay-in to tie the game at 37 with just 10 seconds to go.  However, she butchered the free throw attempt in a dramatic air-ball fashion… to double overtime we go.

In the final seconds of now double OT, a Mission post-player knocked down two free throws to give her squad a two-point lead.  This time Plains was unable to get off a desperation shot, and Mission prevailed by the final of 42-40.

I stuck around long enough to get three highlight shots from the opening seconds of the boys game and then get back in the jeep to start the 45-minute journey back to the station.  Once back, I edited the two games into just two-shot highlight sequences.  [Unfortunately some nights’ casts are so loaded I can only get the essence of the game in with two shots.  Other nights with more media-deserving high school teams and games I can get up to four or five.  And when shooting Griz athletics I can be awarded a bountiful number of up to 10 highlights.]

Remember the thrilling buzzer-beater that sent the girls game into overtime?  Well, the tape had glitched at just that point and I couldn’t use the shot (twist number five).  I have Jake look at the tape with me and there’s nothing that can be done.  Literally the most dramatic moment I’d captured in my young career of high-school shooting… and it’s useless.  Jake gives me a sympathetic shake of the head.  The single second of all my night’s footage that I desired to have was the single second of all the night’s footage that the tape had destroyed… maybe it was karma… maybe I unknowingly upset the gods of technology.