March 1, 2007
by Chris Feeney
Reality TV is all about makeovers, improvements and changes for the better. Fox Television should have had some video cameras on hand Friday evening in Memphis as the Scotland County varsity boys’ basketball team completed a made-for-TV turnaround.
Just two years after going 3-22, the Tigers capped off a perfect season in the Tri-Rivers Conference. Of course this final episode was chalked full of suspense that would have had any drama director nominating the stars for Grammy awards.
Travis Trueblood stole the show with his clutch performance in the final seconds. He had more than his fair share of time to think about just how much his free throws meant. He patiently waited as the Brookfield bench took its entire allotment of 30 seconds to enter a substitute for the player who had committed the infraction against Trueblood and fouled out.
After the first volley sank through the net, the Brookfield coach called time out, to let Trueblood head to the bench and sit in the pressure cooker for a little longer before taking his second attempt.
The comeback was completed as free throw #2 bottomed out for Trueblood.
But that was just the beginning. Sure all of this happened with just over two ticks left on the game clock. It proved to be too much time for Brookfield.
Bryce Blomme tossed his name into the hat for a best supporting actor nomination. The senior had nailed a huge three pointer late in the game to tie the contest. However it was much less noticed action that proved even more important. Many fans probably did not even notice Blomme’s heroics. As he guarded Brookfield’s inbounds passer, Blomme was able to just get his fingertips on the ball as it was passed towards half court.
Of course the average fan would have had trouble deciding if that was Bryce or if it was Grant. The twin brothers proved interchangeable in handling the team’s point guard duties while also providing a ultra disruptive presence on the defensive end.
This time it was Bryce who slowed the ball down enough for the show’s hero. Trueblood, slid in front of the pass. He made the theft, took two seconds of dribbles towards his basket and put in the biggest two-points of his young career bringing the home crowd to its feet as the Tigers won 41-39.
The Academy would have little trouble giving out awards to both Trueblood and Blomme for their performances. Voters should not overlook Cody Musgrove’s portrayal of Conference Most Valuable Player.
The junior forward scored 23 points before fouling out late in the game. He was dominating in all seven of the Tigers’ league wins, averaging 19.6 points and 10.0 rebounds.
Some of his best competition for the honor may come from his own teammate. Matt Wickert finally looked recovered from a serious ankle injury that cost him his football season. North Shelby would attest to his recovery as he scorched the Raiders for 31 points. He averaged 15.9 points and 8.4 rebounds in the seven conference games.
Best Director seems anti-climatic now. Who else could even be considered but SCR-I second-year leader Ryan Bergeson. He was an assistant on the 2004-05 Tigers that went 3-22. In two years he transformed that squad into the league’s best.
I’m not a voting member of the Academy, or otherwise I would have to give two thumbs up to the “Remaking of the Tigers.” Our hats are off to Bergeson, Musgrove, Wickert, the Blommes, Trueblood and the rest of the cast of Tigers for a well-played season.
This reporter is looking forward to a sequel in the district playoffs.