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HS Basketball gamer for feedback

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by delmer_1999, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. delmer_1999

    delmer_1999 New Member

    I posted a story on here last fall and got some feedback from some of you, which I greatly appreciate. Since that time, I've taken the advice I got and worked a lot with my editor. I feel it's time now to go back here and get some more feedback.

    Assignment was to just do a basic gamer for the newspaper in Tulsa's home town (thus the focus is on them). The below story was completed in about two hours for the small weekly and its website (yes, the wanted a plain gamer). All feedback appreciated. Thanks!

    (Names, schools, etc. all changed).

    Tulsa can’t stop Erving, South

    Tulsa pulls within one point in the fourth quarter but can’t stop Red Devils’ center Randon Erving.

    DALLAS — Every time the Tulsa came close to eclipsing South's lead in a BBC crossover game last Saturday, Randon Erving put a stop to it.

    South’s 6-5 center added 30 points and 14 rebounds, scored in critical times — including a basket in the fourth quarter after Tulsa had come within one point — and led the Red Devils (6-7, 3-3 BBC North) to a 71-62 win over the Knights (7-6, 3-3 BBC South).

    “We couldn’t stop him,” Tulsa head coach Tim Baxter said after the game. “He’s a nice player and we couldn’t stop him. But we lost this game through our own mistakes. We had plenty of chances and open looks that we didn’t finish on.”

    Tulsa came within one point with seven minutes left in the fourth quarter on a three-pointer from Josh Bowers. Erving scored on a short jump shot ten seconds later, and Tulsa never came closer than three points the rest of the game.

    Erving got 30 points on a basket with 35 seconds left, capping off a 4-0 run in the last minute for South to finish off Tulsa.

    Baxter said that, despite the loss, Tulsa's competitiveness in the game was indicative of the progress the team has made this season. The Knights’ seven wins matches the amount of wins they had in the previous two seasons combined.

    “I was disappointed, but not disappointed in their effort,” Baxter said. “The adversity these seniors have overcome in the last three years is remarkable. We are in games and playing hard in each game. We’re a couple of possessions going our way tonight from winning this game.”

    Tulsa shot 46 percent from the field in the game, going 20-for-36 (55%) from two-point range. Baxter said the Knights missed too many shots to beat South.

    “We got some looks that we just didn’t shoot it in,” Baxter said. “They’re all competitors and they know they missed it. We made a run at them, but (the shots) didn’t fall.”

    Anthony Ford, a 6-0 junior guard, led Tulsa with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Ford, a first-year player for Tulsa, averages 20 points per game and 12 rebounds per game and is top in both categories in the BBC.

    Ford fought against Erving in the post during many possessions and scored most of his points on penetration.

    “He’s listed at 6-foot-1, but he’s 6-foot,” Baxter said. “There are very few 6-foot players that average 11 rebounds per game. He’s a hard working kid in games and in practice. He’s constantly trying to get better. He’s always going after the ball, and that’s hard to coach.”

    Tulsa led 5-4 three minutes into the game, but the Red Devils went on a 5-0 run midway through the first quarter to take a 9-5 lead. Tulsa never recaptured the lead.

    The Knights tied the game at 25-25 with a minute left in the second quarter, but South scored twice in the final minute, including one basket from Erving, to take a 29-25 halftime lead.

    Baxter said Tulsa's improvement in shooting will be the key for it to compete for the BBC South Division title. Tulsa hosts Bedford (6-4, 4-2) in a key league game this Friday. The Knights beat Bedford 42-39 on Dec. 16.

    “The big thing will be to try and get more consistent on our shooting,” Baxter said. “I think any great basketball team is consistent on their defense and consistent in their shooting. You’re going to have off nights shooting, but you have to bounce back. We’ve got to bounce back from tonight.”
  2. Versatile

    Versatile Active Member

    You obviously know the traditional structure of a game story. And you executed that mostly well. It's formulaic, but some places want their stories this straightforward. I'd love to see what you can do with a feature story or even a less formulaic game story, because this doesn't totally give me the opportunity to understand your strengths and weakness. But this is what you've posted, and I'll judge it as a traditional, straightforward gamer.

    The biggest issue with your writing is probably phrasing. Here's an example: "The Knights' seven wins matches the amount of wins they had in the previous two seasons combined." That sentence could be more interestingly worded as, "The Knights had won seven games over the two previous seasons. No. 8 this season could wait." (This is just an example.) You've built too many of your sentences around formulas you've seen. It seems rehearsed and non-specific, like an AP no-quotes gamer.

    But my biggest issue with this story is definitely the source issue. You have to interview at least one player or the opposing coach. At a lot of places, that's not even an option. You wrote 600 words with one quoted source. There's really no good reason for that, particularly for a weekly where you surely had the time to find a player or two.
  3. Boom_70

    Boom_70 Well-Known Member

    DALLAS — Every time the Tulsa came close to eclipsing South's lead in a BBC crossover game last Saturday, Randon Erving put a stop to it.

    South’s 6-5 center added 30 points and 14 rebounds,

    Added to what ?

    Erving got 30 points on a basket with 35 seconds left,

    Wow a 30 point shot. I did not know they existed. Was it from beyond half court?
  4. KYSportsWriter

    KYSportsWriter Well-Known Member

    One peeve of mine: Putting a team's record before the final score.

    You can move both records down a graf or two or more.
  5. delmer_1999

    delmer_1999 New Member

    Thanks for the analysis. I'll watch the phrasing more, and will post a feature on here sometime, as they give me a feature assignment every now and then.

    I'll definitely keep it in mind to utilize more sources. For this particular game, the opponent was from way out of our coverage area, and my editor told me to focus on the home school. However, I never gave it a thought about asking the opponent coach what the home school did well and if he thought the home school improved. I'm going to start doing more player interviews as well.
  6. delmer_1999

    delmer_1999 New Member

    OK, I get to watch the phrasing.
  7. delmer_1999

    delmer_1999 New Member

  8. young-gun11

    young-gun11 Member

    I love how coaches "list" a player at a taller height. Why not just be honest? Everyone does it, so you gain nothing...
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