The stars, or maybe the schedulers, lined up just right.
Each week at the Waterville Times we look at the high school sports schedule for our three schools. We try to get to one game for each of the six basketball teams and two hockey teams we cover.
That doesn’t always work, in part because sometimes they take a road trip to some far flung place like McGraw or Skaneateles or West Canada. Sometimes the weather takes out all games for an evening.
But on Saturday, Jan. 11, the schedule on paper presented an interesting scenario.
Four teams - one girls hockey and three girls basketball - were all playing. Two were at home, Clinton girls hockey and Waterville girls basketball. Two were on the road, but close, Clinton girls at Westmoreland and Brookfield girls at SUNY Morrisville.
More intriguing, the start times fell in line that, with a little bit of luck and a full tank of gas, I could get to all four games. The day dawned uncharacteristically sunny and clear for an early January day, so it was game on. Or rather, games on.
The Clinton Arena:
Armed with a hot chai tea latte and pastry from the Waterville Standard Bakery, I found my usual spot to sit in the Clinton Arena. The Warriors were playing Potsdam, which had won 11 games.
Not a lot of fans, but those there knew enough to bring blankets and coffee cups. Unless it’s packed the Arena is a cold place to be a fan.
The game went back and forth and was tied going into the second period. I realized that an overtime period in the first contest could ruin the four-for-four day.
Fortunately freshman Drew Kopek came through for me, scoring not just the game winner but an insurance goal to help Clinton win 3-1.
I left at 1:35 p.m. and headed back to Waterville. I had enough time to get gas at Nassimos on Route 12B and discuss Madison basketball with Whit before getting to Waterville High School.
Times Teams 1, Everyone Else 0
Waterville High School:
Uh oh. It’s 2:25 p.m. and the clock shows the teams have 15 more minutes of warmups, throwing off the 2:30 p.m. start for the Indians to play Little Falls.
Fortunately Waterville jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back in winning Coach Larry Stockwell’s 496th game. Unfortunately the Mounties, down 16 with four minutes left, begin fouling to stop the clock.
Waterville finally does what we all knew the result would be early on and the game comes to an end a little bit before 4 p.m. I grab stats from the book but forego the usual post-game analysis with Stockwell and head for the car.
Times Teams 2, Everyone Else 0
Westmoreland High School:
This was going to be the tightest part of making the day work even before Waterville’s late start. So when I enter the Bulldogs gym Coach Elaine Hogan’s Warriors are six minutes into the game.
I get there in time to see Mariah Seward steal the…