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MDCC produces game suitable for silver screen

February 13, 2011
  • Bob Parasiliti
Bob Parasiliti

I thought I died and went to Indiana on Tuesday night.

This isn’t so much a conversation about my final resting place. If I went in the wrong direction it would be like living in Gary, though.

This is more of a cinematic reference. It was the feeling I had while watching Heritage Academy face Broadfording Christian Academy in a battle for the Mason Dixon Christian Conference lead.

While watching the style and flavor of the game unfold, I felt like I was in Hickory High School, the subject of the classic basketball flick, Hoosiers.

Sure, this wasn’t set in the 1950s, nor was there wood on the bottom of the backboard, nor were the uniform shorts falling thigh high like in the 1986 movie.

Yet, just watching the battle, I couldn’t help but draw some parallels.

First it was a battle of two small schools with limited talent pools, just like Hickory did on its way to the improbable Indiana state championship.

There were no “star” quality players who are being courted for big college scholarships. That forced both the Eagles and Lions to play together with teamwork to get the job done.

In one instance, for an out-of-bounds play in the second half, Heritage coach Mike Kidd did an admirable impression of Gene Hackman in the role of coach Norman Dale and called what could have been a variation of the Swinging Gate play.

The Eagles lined up facing the basket with three players breaking in opposite directions to pull Broadfording’s man defense away. Standing in the middle, near the foul line, was Troy Cosner, who got the inbounds pass for an open, uncontested layup like Hickory hotshot Jimmy Chitwood.

It gave Heritage a 36-30 lead midway through the third quarter. Soon, the game spun out of control for the Eagles, who lost point guard Aaron Clark on fouls shortly after. Broadfording capitalized for a 62-54 victory.

The win gave the Lions at least a tie for the MDCC title, but the loss set the stage for another scene change.

“This loss will help us get ready for the (league) tournament,” Kidd said, in almost Norman Dale fashion.

What made it all the more compelling to me, though, was the scene around the game.

Broadfording Christian’s gym features bleachers on one side of the floor, and they were packed. There was an invisible line running through the stands from the half-court stripe separating Lions fans from Eagles fans.

Fans were standing in the corners of the gym, just for the chance to see the game. On one occasion, a player jumped into the visible means of standing support to save a ball and was instantly engulfed.

There were times that individuals stepped forward to the baseline to yell encouragement to their team, thanks to the intimate setting.

Maybe the most throwback part of the event was the fact that the crowd actually paid attention to and responded to the yells of the cheerleaders.

Parents and students alike weren’t ashamed to be heard belting out LETS GO EAGLES, while facing off to counter calls of HERE WE GO LIONS. In most cases, the lead came from a father with a baritone voice.

It was a rivalry like those old Indiana basketball battles in the movie, but it was good family entertainment.

It was summed up best by Broadfording pastor Bill Wyand, who led the gathering in prayer saying “... this is a competition, but let us not forget the fellowship.”

Sports played for fellowship, honor and personal pride.

Even if that isn’t in a movie, it’s still classic.

Bob Parasiliti is a Herald-Mail sports writer. He can be reached at 301-791-7358 or by e-mail at
bobp@herald-mail.com.

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