Around the Hardwoods with Wild Bill

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by Bill Turner

District races are set for the home stretch and everyone is hoping to position themselves for the opportunity to advance past the district tournaments and on to the regionals. Here’s a look at what’s going down for our area teams.

Patrick Henry still leads in the Western Valley, but the Patriots opened the door to contenders when they lost at home to GW Danville last week. Things don’t get any easier for PH, as they have to travel to talented Franklin County Friday night.  At 0-5, William Fleming will need a quick turnaround and a lot of help to advance.

Alleghany took care of business with their win over Northside Tuesday night, and the Mountaineers look to be on cruise control to win the Blue Ridge. Northside and William Byrd will now look for a favorable seed in the district tournament.

The River Ridge is still up for grabs as Hidden Valley and Christiansburg remain undefeated in the district at 5-0. The Blue Demons visit Hidden Valley Friday night for the first of two games between the leaders. This one will give a good idea how good Christiansburg really is after the Blue Demons opened with 14 straight wins. Cave Spring and Salem are battling to hopefully claim the third seed.

On the girl’s side, PH and Fleming are sitting in the third and fourth position in the Western Valley. Lord Botetourt is looking for separation from the rest of the Blue Ridge as the Lady Cavaliers look to be the team to beat. In the River Ridge, Hidden Valley is still chasing Pulaski County for the top spot, with Salem and Cave Spring seemingly destined for the 3 and 4 spots. The Glenvar girls have slipped in the Three Rivers and now trail Radford and Floyd County.

In the unusual games of the week we turn first to the Radford boys for our top pick, as a normal high school game usually lasts 32 minutes. But, last Saturday the Bobcats endured 64 minutes of playing time without a single overtime. Radford played Blacksburg in a tournament game at Floyd in the afternoon, then traveled down Rt. 221 to tangle with Cave Spring that night. The Bobcats won both, and hopefully the team managers got some overtime benefits after washing two sets of uniforms.

And, how about those Roanoke College cagers, who trailed at Bridgewater by 6 points with 11 seconds left in the game. Salem High product Melvin Felix hit a three pointer and, after a steal, Corey Poindexter tossed one in from near midcourt at the buzzer to force overtime. The stunner clearly shook Bridgewater as the Maroons won by 10 in OT.

Now, to the infamous mailbag, where a die-hard Hokie came running to the Great One for some advice. The letter came unsigned, which usually means it gets ignored. But, a second glance got my attention and required me to dust off my Columbo trench coat to ID the perpetrator.

The writer started off by calling me a  comedian, obviously trying to get under my skin. But actually, I found that flattering. In 1974, I had the opportunity to talk to Rodney Dangerfield and he’s one of the zaniest guys I’ve ever seen; so I’ll accept the comedian moniker.

Next, the poor ‘ol Hokie took an 180-degree turn and agreed that Tech football scheduling, which he called ‘hooey,’ needs revamping. Then, he pointed the blame for all this at, well, I’ll just call him Madam X. He pointed out that Madam always had an excuse for avoiding quality opponents who wouldn’t work toward ‘mutual advantage’. I’ve seen the term ‘mutual advantage’ in personal ads, but never in football.  Finally, the writer folded his tent and asked me, of all people, “what should we do”? Hint-play my Maroons!!

I wanted to help the guy, so I looked for clues. For starters, he had a propensity for using parenthesis around numbers. He said he was a season ticket holder (4)–I wasn’t sure if that meant he’s had tickets for four years or he has four seats. Next, he indicated he was a Tech grad (67)–does that mean, I asked myself, he’s 67 years old, graduated in 1967 or took 67 years to graduate? Finally, he said he was a Golden Hokie, which means he has money and a couple VT yard ornaments.

My Columbo instincts worked and I figured the guy out, so I’ll ID him in a sinister way only he will know. I used to use Mannix for my detective rationale until Mannix kept leaving his office and driving down the Pacific Coast Highway, where some thug was always trying to force him off an 100-foot cliff into the ocean. If Mannix was so smart you’d think he would take a back road after this scene repeated itself seventeen times.

Well, Mr. VT grad, if I’ve got you pegged, how about sending me some support money for that black cat I took off your hands. Oh, and say hi to Carolyn for me-she’s a sweetheart.

My assistant coaches have asked me to hold off before revealing my defensive trick play. So, check back next week when I’ll draw it up in a photo.

Meanwhile, send your inquiries to: [email protected]