As the old adage goes, injuries are a part of sports. Two high school basketball programs in particular - Parkersburg Catholic girls and Magnolia boys -fit the bill but have received good news with players on the mend.
Liz Ruscitto (high ankle sprain) of PCHS missed both games of last week's Mary 'O' Crusaderette Classic before seeing limited playing time Tuesday night against Charleston Catholic.
"I'm being ultra, ultra conservative with that young lady," PCHS coach Marty Vierheller said. "She is dying to get in there, but coach 'V' is making her wait."
Vierheller faces a tough decision with Ruscitto's playing time considering PCHS travels to Williamstown tonight.
"Williamstown coach Fred Sauro splits his time between coaching an excellent basketball team and training Olympic sprinters," Vierheller chuckled. "He wants a track meet out there. We will certainly have our hands full with their up-tempo game."
For Magnolia, Stephen Rogalski (ankle) was scheduled to be a starter in the backcourt but has not seen one minute of action since the season began. The senior began jogging Wednesday.
"We anticipate taking it real slow with Stephen and taking it one day at a time," Magnolia coach Dave Tallman said. "It will mean a lot to us having him back because we have been spread so thin. Our kids played so hard against Parkersburg (in the Jack Stephens Memorial Holiday Tournament). They left it on the floor and had nothing the next day."
On two different occasions - first in the Outback Bowl between Michigan State and Georgia and again in the Fiesta Bowl between Stanford and Oklahoma State - coaches became overly conservative in late-game situations.
Needing just a field goal to secure a victory in the second overtime of the Outback Bowl, Georgia gained 2 yards on first down from the Michigan State 25. Instead of trying to convert the first down, on the very next play Bulldog quarterback Aaron Murray took the snap from center and scooted to the middle of the field for a 2-yard loss.
Understand giving the placekicker the perfect line of sight, but this is the same individual who missed 13 field goals leading up to the potential game-winner. As it turns out, Blair Walsh missed the 42-yard field goal attempt wide right.
Ah, but there's more. In the Fiesta Bowl with the score tied at 38 and 2 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck completed 5-of-5 pass attempts for 50 yards as the Cardinal made their way to the Oklahoma State 25.
With 45 seconds still showing on the clock, Stanford elected to run the ball two consecutive plays, which amounted to a net gain of 7 yards. With only three seconds left, freshman placekicker Jordan Williamson hooked the 35-yard field goal attempt wide left.
In both cases, why not stay aggressive with the play-calling? Ever heard of the phrase 'strike while the iron is hot?' Instead, Michigan State wins in triple overtime, while Oklahoma State takes care of business in the first overtime.
Contact Kerry Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org