Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Pink Whistle: December 20, 2016

By Ray Floriani (@rfloriani)

WEST NEW YORK, NJ - If anything, you learn nothing is perfect in officiating.

Case in point today: Our scheduled JV girls’ game at Memorial High School is at 4:30. We get to the gym and the athletic director informs us that the Arbiter, our online assignment coordinator, was wrong. The game is at 6 p.m. My partner could not stay due to another commitment. I was able to and relaxed watching the varsity game before my assignment.
Lincoln has a strong varsity and won this one easy, 43-8. Talent-wise, Lincoln had it all over Memorial and I was impressed with the way their coach, Tom Best, did what he could to keep the score down as much as possible. More on that later.
Assignor Pat Devaney was very effective in getting me a partner. I had never worked with this official, Brian, before; but Pat said he does a lot of men’s leagues (no easy assignment) and did a very good job.

(JV) Lincoln 43, Memorial 24
Pregame at the scorer’s table, one scorer said ‘pink’ in reference to the whistle. I said the officiating association provides them and showed her the breast cancer awareness insignia. She gave a thumbs-up.

Lincoln gets out to an early lead. Both teams are zoning, staying in half court defensive alignments. On several occasions, Lincoln gets the ball to the high post, who hits a cutter going back door. Despite being in a zone, Memorial has no answer for that simple, yet effective, play. Early in the game, I call traveling on a Lincoln guard who establishes her pivot foot and moves it. She looks over at Coach Best, who is watching. He tells her that you cannot drag the pivot foot. Good to have support from the head coach. Lincoln leads 23-12 at the half.

In the second half, Memorial cans a few threes, getting the deficit to six points in the third quarter. It proves to be fool’s gold, though, as the Tigers continue to bomb from three and the percentages catch up with them. On the defensive side, Memorial has barely an answer for the Lions; who have a good post presence, plus four on the perimeter who can dribble penetrate, even against the zone.

Lincoln wraps up a 43-24 victory. Ironically, I have had both their games. I jokingly promise the Lincoln JV coach she will not see me for a while. Memorial’s AD says thank you for staying. A slight inconvenience, but no other games to work that night, plus it gave an opportunity to watch the varsity teams play and get added perspective.

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