As I write this, we’re down to one team still standing in the regional basketball playoffs. And since the Owl boys were to play on Wednesday night, it’s possible the only event still remaining is the state wrestling championship tournament this weekend in Upper Marlboro.
(If the Dundalk boys basketball team won on Wednesday, it will play on Friday in the regional finals. Win that game, and the winter season is extended into next week as the owls advance to the Class 3A state semifinals for the first time since ... 1971 (when I think you only had to win, maybe, one or two games to get that far.)
The winter season has had its highlights and lowlights, not least of which was a series of piddling little annoyance snowstorms instead of one big monster kahuna.
The Sparrows Point wrestling team, in what coach Mike Whisner called as rebuilding year at the start of the season, again won the Class 1A North regional dual meet team championship and again advanced to the dual-meet state championship match.
It also repeated as the Baltimore County tournament champion, quite an accomplishment for the second smallest school in the county.
It will be tough for the Pointers to match last season’s two individual state champs at the tournament this weekend, but every tournament has its surprises.
Dundalk’s boys made the county championship game for the first time, even if it did take a bureaucratic SNAFU by Milford Mill to get there (the Millers inadvertently played someone against Dundalk who had been ejected in the previous game, thus causing a forfeit to the Owls).
But Dundalk acquitted itself well against Woodlawn in the championship game, losing by eight points (while being outscored by nine points at the foul line). It was certainly more competitive than the girls county championship game, where Catonsville had something like a 33-6 lead on Pikesville in the first quarter and spent the rest of the game focusing on the defense of their Class 4A state title.
Sparrows Point’s boys basketball team broke a 38-game losing streak and finished with two wins while coming close in a few other games.
Patapsco’s boys ended the season with a 20-game losing streak. The Patriots expected to have a better season, but were victimized by some roster upheaval.
The Sparrows Point girls basketball team continued to demonstrate how the skills that make a school successful in soccer, field hockey, volleyball, softball and girls lacrosse just don’t translate well to the basketball court.
Dundalk girls’ basketball team is caught in a numbers game. The Owls started the season without a junior varsity and were down to seven plays on the varsity squad by the end of the season.
* * *
So a columnist in the Washington Post, while writing about the United States men’s curling team winning a gold medal at the Olympics, was quick to add that the team’s victory wasn’t as significant as the USA women’s hockey team winning the gold medal.
Which just makes sense. After all, it’s not like the men’s curling team hasn’t already won an Olympic gold medal, is considered one of the top two teams in the world, and has won seven of the past eight world championships.
Actually, it hasn’t. That’s the women’s ice hockey team.
The men’s curling team had never won a gold medal prior to this Olympics, is barely considered among the top five teams in the world, and hasn’t won a world championship since 1978.
So, why again is it more significant that the women’s ice hockey team finally didn’t falter against Canada in the Olympic gold medal game? As opposed to a squad that defied all expectations and stunned the world by taking the gold?
Frankly, it sounds like patronizing. One of the themes being pushed by the media during the Olympics is the success of the U.S. women (and deservedly so; they kick butt). But that doesn’t mean it takes away from what our women have accomplished just to give credit to where it’s due for a men’s team.
* * *
Evgenia Medvedeva got robbed of the gold medal in women’s figure skating. Forget all those technical points; Medvedeva’s performance just looked better than Alina Zagitova’s. But the judges, I think, got caught up in the “15-year-old out of nowhere” narrative.