By Mick Holien
By the time this program airs the final slots are filled for the State B Tournament by either Loyola or Anaconda as a result of the challenge game between the two in Ronan Monday night.
Unbeaten Bigfork came in as the favorite in the Western B and while pushed to double OT by Anaconda in the Quarter-Finals they made it to State with their record unscathed.
While wearing the Anaconda color on their Internet broadcast, I described the extra sessions battle between the two as an instant classic and it was a beauty finally decided by a missed free throw, a miss on the put back off the rebound, a held ball favoring the Copperheads with two seconds followed by a block to preserve the win.
That all happened in about two seconds and in the midst of it there were two issues with blood, an on-court uniform change, a coach off his bench almost to the free throw circle being restrained by a manager who by the way is not allowed to be on the court anywhere unless summoned.
The foible did nothing to diminish the game or the tournament but instead was just an example of the intensity involved in that kind of contest.
Speaking off there was an increased attendance of uniformed officers both Friday and Saturday night. Athletic Director Lucky Larson, the former Lake County Sheriff, said there were about a half dozen on site both nights although there were no instances and their presence was largely unnoticed.
Bigfork Assistant Coach Jim Epperly told me before the quarter-final game there were four good teams remaining and he was happy to be one of them. Go figure.
Speaking of Epperly, whose son starts at the point for Bigfork: It probably went unnoticed to most but after the emotional victory while son Anders was diving into the student section after tossing the ball to the rafters, the volatile coach was make his way towards and down the Copperhead player line.
He either chest bumped or otherwise encouraged them not to be decesimated settle by the defeat to his team but rather to focus on winning a pair in the loser’s bracket, and the challenge game to return to the State Tournament.
The Copperheads said they were so taken back they didn’t know how to respond when he started through the line. Hitting players in the chest with an index finger.
This is what sportsmanship is all about and an example of being involved in sports for the right reasons. As I wrote on Facebook st the time Jim’s Dad Bill, missing from the event for the first time left me with an empty feeling.
In closing be sure not to forget about the Great Futures breakfast for the Boys and Girls Club Wednesday morning at the clubhouse on the north end of Ronan (The former Total Home).
Starts at 7:30 and I’ll have you out of there by 9 a.m. that is unless you want to get your picture or an autograph with record setting running back Chase Reynolds.
And the week is young..just sayin’