As basketball has now become a certain year-round sport, one of the most common words that you will see associated with the sport in the summer months is “shootout.” Not to be confused with two gunslingers at the OK Corral, these shootouts involve a number of teams getting together for a full day of action on the hardwood.
On June 11, Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams Lady Devils played host to the 2014 North Adams Varsity Girls Shootout, where 11 girls squads from all over the area played three or four games each. The shootout used both the North Adams high school and elementary gymnasiums and besides the host Lady Devils included varsity teams from Fairfield, Hillsboro, Whiteoak, Eastern Brown, Felicity, Greenfield McClain, Ripley, West Union, Southeastern, and Symmes Valley.
The format was pretty much consistent with all of these affairs, two 18-minute halves with shooting fouls meaning one point and one shot. In order to give coaches some sense of last-minute situations, the clock is stopped in the final minute of each half and fouls are played as they are in the regular season.
As to how the local teams fared, the host Lady Devils opened their day with a win over Symmes Valley, then struggled in a loss to Greenfield McClain, before bouncing back to finish their day with wins over Ripley and West Union. The other county team to participate, the West Union Lady Dragons and head coach Jason Claytor, were playing with a very depleted roster, using mostly JV players, and the Lady Dragons dropped decisions to Fairfield, Southeastern, and host North Adams.
Both local coaches know that they are early in the process and the best thing about these shootouts is the ability to get a lot of girls on the court.
“Our day was OK,” said Coach Davis. “Our inexperience showed a little bit but I’m excited to see what the rest of the summer and the upcoming season holds for us. We did get a lot of good minutes today from our freshmen and sophomores.”
Coach Claytor knew he was playing with a short handed deck but still saw some positives.
“All in all I thought it was a productive day,” commented Claytor. ” “We were extremely short-handed due to vacations and work schedules and only had three true returning varsity players available and one of those had to leave us early.
“This summer we are working on some defensive adjustments and I thought that for the most part we played well on the defensive end today. Offensively we struggled at times but that I expected considering how short-handed we were.”
“I thought our freshmen played well considering this was their first taste of high school basketball as they kind of got thrown into the fire of varsity competition,” added Claytor. “When we get to full strength, I think we will be fine. The girls are playing hard and that is the most important thing. We definitely got a little better today.”
The previous day, North Adams played host to a morning-afternoon JV Girls Shootout and the Lady Devils had a very successful day, winning four straight, 42-27 over Felicity, 25-20 over Ripley, 28-14 over Peebles, and 31-17 over Hillsboro.