Archive for December, 2008

Gift cards…YES, they are thoughtful gifts.

December 23, 2008

Nothing sports related today.  With Christmas two days away, my purpose in this entry is to dispell the myth that gift cards are thoughtless, impersonal, lazy gifts. 

Nothing could be further from the truth.  In my opinion, a gift card is about as thoughtful a gift as there is, and many of the gifts people traditionally perceive as thoughtful are the opposite.  A few examples…

An article of clothing that doesn’t fit the recipient (in terms of size or taste) is a thoughtless gift.  A gift card to that person’s favorite clothing store, on the other hand, is much more thoughtful. 

A CD or DVD that doesn’t fit the recipient’s taste in music or movies?  Thoughtless and lazy.  A gift card to a store that sells CDs and DVDs, so the person can pick out something he/she likes?  Much more considerate.

A box of a dozen golf balls that don’t fit the recipient’s game or swing speed?  Useless.  A golf glove that’s two sizes too big for the player’s left hand?  Thoughtless.  A new driver whose shaft flex, length, and loft aren’t fitted to the recipient’s swing?  Remarkably inconsiderate.  But a gift card to a golf retailer or pro shop?  As thoughtful a gift as you could ever give to a golfer. 

Anybody who indulges in any hobby is going to be particular about the equipment he/she uses, and your chances of guessing correctly are slim and none.  So a gift card to a hobby specific store is a more thoughtful way of saying “Merry Christmas” than randomly buying a piece of equipment related to that hobby and not knowing whether the recipient will have any use for it or not. 

Now, I undestand that there are old-fashioned types who are insistent in continuing their fight to save the world from happiness and common sense.  So I ask that you look at it this way when you’re doing your last minute shopping: Whatever gift you choose, understand that you’re sending the recipient on an errand to the store you purchased the gift at.  When they arrive, they’ll either be joyfully shopping with the gift card you got them or miserably standing in line to return or exchange the present you got them.  Which sounds more enjoyable to you?  Answer that question, and then do whatever you think is right.

Lopsided final deceptive for SHS girls

December 18, 2008

At first glance, the Seguin girls’ 76-57 loss at Cibolo-Steele on Tuesday appears to be a blowout.  One little detail you should know – the game actually went to overtime before the Knights pulled away from the Matadors to post that final margin.

That’s right – Seguin rallied from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to tie the game at 57-all and sent it into an extra period.  But the Mats expended so much energy competing with one of the top teams in the area for the first 32 minutes that they were running on fumes in the final five. 

Steele capitalized on Seguin’s fatigue, converting turnovers and missed shots into a flurry of transition baskets, and ultimately outscored the Mats 19-0 in overtime. 

Here’s hoping the Seguin girls take all the positives away from their best 32 minutes of basketball this season, and don’t let the final five affect their confidence as they embark on the remainder of the District 27-4A schedule. 

A few observations from the game:

1) Tabatha Richardson-Smith is a freshman growing up in a hurry.  She led Seguin with 27 points against Steele and scored 14 during the Mats’ 18-8 run that wiped away that 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter.  That includes an offensive rebound and put-back with nine seconds left to tie the game.  It also includes going 4-4 from the free-throw line in that span.  She also managed to grab 11 rebounds.  It’s beyond impressive that a 9th grader handled herself so well in such a pressure-packed situation at the varsity level. 

2) I’ve heard a lot over the off-season about Steele’s All-State guard Meigan Simmons and finally had a chance to see her play for the first time on Tuesday.  My scouting report?  Ballplayer!  Wow!  Uncanny quickness, crazy  ball-handling skills, a full array of offensive moves, can stop on a dime and change directions with the dribble , shoot a variety of shots in traffic, finish in the lane, run like the wind, jump out of the gym, and drain threes.  Defensively, she chased down Seguin players who had several steps on her in transition and cleanly blocked four layup attempts in the first half of Tuesday’s game.  She plays the passing lanes well and plays good on-the-ball defense.  Remarkable athlete with no discernable weaknesses in her game.  All of her 33 points and 11 rebounds Tuesday were fun to watch.     

3) Back to Seguin…Lee Lee Logan delivered a strong performance off the bench against Steele.  She was a force on the offensive and defensive backboards and did a nice job running the floor and finishing inside with layups against the Knights’ full-court pressure defense.  Logan had to leave the game in the third quarter with an injury, and that affected the Matadors’ depth.  Molly Cordes did a good job in the low post after that, but another pair of fresh legs might have helped in overtime. 

4) Touched on this a little bit above while commenting on Logan, but on the whole, Seguin did a terrific job of handling Steele’s full-court pressure defense.  The Knights can take the will out of opponents with that suffocating D, and the Mats handled it so well and scored enough points against it that Steele scrapped it and stuck to a half-court defense down the stretch in regulation.  Tip of the cap to Seguin guards Madison Koehler, Kindle Busch, Jessica Kalina, Briana Serna, Jasmine Haynes, and Tabatha Richardson-Smith for making good decisions and taking care of the basketball against a team that is known for rattling opponents. 

After the loss to Steele, Seguin has a light schedule of two non-district games over the next two weeks before resuming the 27-4A slate at home against New Braunfels-Canyon on Jan.2.  The Mats make the short trip to visit their friends at Navarro High School in Geronimo on Friday at 7:30 p.m.  Should be a fun game, as most of the kids playing know each other well.

Mats show versatility in winning tournament

December 8, 2008

The Seguin boys’ basketball team successfully defended its tournament championship in the Matador Classic over the weekend at Harris Gym, albeit with a much different cast of players than the group that claimed the ’07 trophy. 

What impressed me during this year’s tournament run was the versatility Seguin showed in finding different ways to win.  The Mats outlasted Austin Crockett 112-108 in a high-scoring, fast paced, double-overtime affair in Friday’s semifinal.  They followed with a scrappy, blue-collar effort in a defensively dominated 67-60 overtime win over San Marcos in Saturday’s championship game. 

It’s encouraging that Seguin had the offensive firepower to beat Crockett in a frenetically paced game that was going to be lost by the team that blinked first (or in this case, missed a shot first).  It’s just as encouraging that the Mats had the toughness and persistence to beat San Marcos in a physical, grind-it-out game where open looks at the basket and quality shots were extremely difficult to come by. 

Here’s another interesting dynamic that illustrates the unselfishness and balance this year’s Matadors have:  In the win over Crockett, Chris Sutton pumped in 30 points, and Victor Lopez scored 26.  Saturday against San Marcos, Sutton scored only four, Lopez was  held scoreless, and the Mats still managed to find enough offense elsewhere to win.  Jason Even led the team with 16 points to earn Tournament MVP honors and join Sutton & Lopez on the All-Tournament team, while point-guard Michael McHaney became more aggressive looking for his shot in netting 14 points.

Relentless defense and a willingness to share the basketball are two things coach Dwayne Gerlich has impressed on this bunch, and it looks like they’re following the script so far. 

Up next at Goldie Harris Gym – the Seguin girls host the Lady Matador Classic this weekend.  Check out next Monday’s edition of the Seguin Daily News (in print or online at www.seguintoday.com) for a complete recap, and check back on this blog for additional post-tournament thoughts.


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