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My lead from tonight...

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by slappy4428, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    I know the desk cut one part and tweaked another, but I like my gamer...

    With just over five minutes left and momentum from an earlier 3-pointer in his pocket, Vestavia Hills’ Jordan Swing dribbled at the top of the key in front of Reggie Ragland, teasing and taunting his defender with every bounce. ¶
    Swing spotted up, drained a second triple, turned to the Bob Jones’ crowd and screamed. ¶
    With the Rebel’s yell, they were gone, gone, gone. ¶
    Vestavia Hills pushed a five-point lead into nine – a chasm in Vestavia’s glacially patient offense. And when it was over, Swing’s 33 points led the unranked Rebels to a 61-52 AHSAA Class 6A title win over Bob Jones at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex Arena on Saturday afternoon. ¶
    “They were big 3’s and I had to hit them,” said Swing, who kicked in with four steals and six rebounds to go with 11 of 16 shooting from the floor. “I had missed a couple in the first half. (Ragland’s ) a great player. He played great defense and I was fortunate to hit a few.” ¶
    It led to Vestavia Hills’ first state title since 1992 – long before most of these players were born. The reason was simple: Jordan ruled. ¶
    “When he hit those two big 3’s, I knew we’d won,” said guard William Mims, who finished with six points on the 28-8 champions. “When he’s on, no one can stop him. He has presence out there.” ¶
    There was more to it than that. The Rebels’ offense – deliberate in style, effective in delivery as they shot 55.9 percent (19 of 34) from the floor – set up for the best shot and wasn’t afraid to pull the ball out when it wasn’t there. ¶
    The defense clogged the middle and took the perimeter away; the Patriots went 0-for-19 from 3-point range. This from a team that conceded it was bad last year and worse the year before. ¶
    “The difference? A year. We want them to get better from their sophomore to junior and junior to senior years,” said Hatchett. “We’ve got a lot of guys who aren’t great players, but have great heart and intensity. Some of these guys don’t need to shoot. Defense is a big part of this.” ¶
    Bob Jones (29-9) had a size advantage, but not someone like Swing. ¶
    “You can talk about X’s and O’s but the bottom line is that we didn’t play that perfect game,” said Bob Jones coach Danny Petty. “We got in foul trouble big time.” ¶
    Fouls actually got the Patriots back in the game in the first half after Vestavia went to a 20-13 lead and the Patriots turned that it in a 21-20 edge. And neither team took control until Swing’s 3’s turned a 39-38 deficit into a 48-39 lead. Bob Jones cut the lead to 55-50, but free throws over the last 1:06 preserved the win. ¶
    “They did focus on Jordan. But it also put less pressure on us to do what we were supposed to do,” said Mims. “It let everyone else do their jobs.” ¶
    Gordon had seven points and Bill Dillard added eight. Levi Randolph led the Patriots with 21 points – 12 in the second half, with Robert Finley and Ragland offering eight each. ¶
    The win was the fourth-straight over a team ranked in the state’s top five; after beating No. 1 Pinson Valley and No. 2 Shades Valley at the Northeast Regional, they beat No. 5 Central-Phenix City in Thursday’s semifinal and third-ranked Bob Jones – as easy as 1-2-3. ¶
    “it probably helped us,” said Swing. “We knew we were underestimated by everyone. After we beat Pinson Valley, we knew we could beat anyone else. We had nothing to lose and that’s how we played.” ¶
  2. Pete Incaviglia

    Pete Incaviglia Active Member

    I love incorporating music in my stories and headlines when I'm desking.
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Had to negotiate with the desk to keep that in... I lost Jordan Rules...
  4. Batman

    Batman Well-Known Member

    Not to nitpick, but this stuck out:

    1992 was 17 years ago. Figure most of the players are between 15 and 18 years old. That's not really "long" before most of them were born, is it?
    I liked the "Jordan ruled" bit though.
  5. CCaple

    CCaple Member

    Love the "gone, gone, gone" bit. That definitely sounds like something that wouldn't have made it past our desk...meaning that it's creative and entertaining.
  6. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    The lede was far too wordy and cliched. Sorry.
    Also, there are no pockets in basketball uniforms and "drained a triple" doesn't do anything for me.

    Get to the point.
  7. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Since it was an afternoon game, played in the town the final was in, two TV newscasts between the end of the game and the time the paper hit the stands, I felt a different lead was in order.
    There were only six seniors on the team; the coach said most weren't born. Our news side copy desk did ask for ages of the players -- which the sports desk collectively asked at.
    i lost glacially patient offense too...
    SE sent me a note tonight telling me that 75 percent of the readers didnt understand the third graf but the first two were good. I did not know the SE listened to Billy Idol.
    True, there are no pockets in uniforms. And drained a triple was to avoid yet "hit another 3-pointer..."
    It's a state title game hours before deadline; you can be a little more featurey...
  8. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    You are the one who asked for some feedback.
    And, I know how to be "featurey" without being cliched. Thanks.
    It just seems that you waste a lot of words trying to be flowery...big difference between flowery and featurey.
    Reign it back some and I think it could be good, and don't ask for feedback if you don't want honesty.
  9. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    was explaining, not defending. As long as I've been doing this, I don't have to defend nothin to nobody.
    As I said; since the game was early, I felt it needed more of a different lead than a straight gamer. If that was flowerly, then so be it.
    When you start saying picking literal nits with "there are no pockets in uniforms"... well no shit.
  10. Notepad

    Notepad Member

    And you might want to work the record of Vestavia Hills somewhere in the story. Kind of important.
    Also, get the record of Bob Jones a little higher than the 10th graf.

    Those aren't nits.
  11. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    Glad you aren't on my desk....
  12. I Should Coco

    I Should Coco Well-Known Member

    How many points and boards for Billy Idol? I hear he's tough in the post, but no range on the jump shot. ;)

    Seriously, I liked the lead -- as a desker, I wouldn't have changed a thing.
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