by Bill Turner
High school tournament action begins next week as district tournaments kick off on Monday. (Private school teams have one more week of regular season play.) For district regular-season champions, they already have their ticket punched to regional tournament play. For some others, it’s now or never on the road to Richmond, while a few have grabbed regional berths despite losing records. Here’s a look at our local district layout:
Western Valley District: Patrick Henry takes the top spot, with William Fleming tied for second.
Blue Ridge District: Northside ends the regular season in second place, behind powerhouse Rockbridge County. Lord Botetourt and William Byrd, despite losing records, are in position for regional play.
River Ridge District: Hidden Valley still controls its own destiny, needing a win Thursday night over Salem to secure second behind Christiansburg. Cave Spring, with its win over Hidden Valley Tuesday night, locked up a regional spot in their division.
Three Rivers District: Glenvar finished in a tie for second, at 7-3, with Floyd County. Radford ran the Three Rivers table, going 10-0.
In the Wild Bill ‘Big-11’ Top 5, we have a little shuffle this week in the standings.
#1 Patrick Henry: PH wins the Western Valley with a 6-2 mark (18-4 overall) to remain in the top spot. No easy road left for the Patriots. With a regional spot in the bag after the Western Valley tournament, things get tougher in a hurry in the AAA ranks.
#2 William Fleming: The Colonels’ impressive 54-51 win over PH on the Woody Deans Court last Friday night returns Fleming to the #2 spot. Fleming will need a hot hand in the WVD tournament to advance in AAA play.
#3 Cave Spring: The Knights return to the Top-5 after their huge win over 19-2 Christiansburg last Friday that handed the Blue Demons their first district loss. The Knights followed that up with a 58-48 win over Hidden Valley Tuesday, sewing up a regional berth.
#4 Hidden Valley: The Titans still control their own destiny. A win Thursday over Salem locks up second in the River Ridge. A loss, and things get dicey for Hidden Valley.
#5 Northside: The Vikings fall three spots after coming up short in a 75-30 loss to Blue Ridge frontrunner Rockbridge County Friday night.
The unusual game of the week clearly goes to the James River win over Highland last Friday in picturesque Monterey, Va. Mike Goad’s James River Knights pride themselves on defense, so it was no surprise when JR held Highland to five points in the second quarter.
For James River, that quarter must have been the defensive letdown of the contest. The Knights only allowed 2 points in the opening frame and only a single point in both the third and fourth quarters in rolling to the 55-9 win.
Now, to the always-entertaining mailbag, where several readers chimed in on last week’s remarkably successful Ouija-a-Win episode at Cave Spring.
Dear Wild Bill: I was in the stands at Cave Spring when you appeared with that outrageous hat and Ouija Board. I’ve got to admit, I was a skeptic at first. But, after seeing the results, I’ve jumped the fence. Are you going to be performing again anytime soon? (Jerry/Clearbrook)
Answer: Sorry, Jerry. The old Ouija will not pull any more basketball miracles this season. But, read on – you won’t have to buy a ticket for this next one.
Dear Mr. Ouija: I saw that absurd performance that supposedly pulled off a win for the team that was 0-19. Nothing but blatant showmanship; a total charade in the grandest form. But, while we’re on the subject, I’ve learned I’ve got an underground waterline problem between my house and the meter. It’s gonna cost me a bundle to dig it all up. Any chance you could bring your Ouija by and find the exact spot of the break? (Mable/Roanoke)
Answer: Sure, Mable, and yes….. I got your other eleven calls on this matter. I’ll swing by Friday afternoon to find your leak.
Dear Fashion Plate: I gotta have one of those hats you Ouija in. Is it the same style Johnny Carson used as Carnac the Magnificent? (Junior/Union Hall)
Answer: No, Junior, you’ve got the hat mixed up. It’s like the one Lawrence Welk’s accordion player wore.
Question: What were the forerunners to Preparation H? (From: Johnny Carson, as Carnac the Magnificent.)
Answer: A, B, C, D, E, F, G.
Finally, we leave you with a Wild Bill salute to Queen Elizabeth II, who, as one headline noted, ‘celebrated 60 years on the throne’ on Monday.
I’m a fan of the 85-year-old monarch because of her charisma and longevity.
So, we close with some not-so-well-known facts about her majesty.
A.) When she acceded (yea, that’s the right word) to the throne 60 years ago she was up in a tree (actually in a tree watching wildlife in Kenya when her father died).
B) Only the second British monarch to celebrate a Diamond Jubilee, and in much better shape than the first. Queen Victoria, who couldn’t get up the steps to celebrate hers, sat it out in her carriage.
As I’ve told you…. read this column and you’ll learn something new every week.
See you soon. In the meantime, Ouija to:[email protected]