Some area high school basketball winning streaks are on the line on Friday and Saturday as ScoresBroadcast.com and WMVR, 105.5 TAM FM, cover big contests in the Shelby County Athletic League.
Friday night’s boys game is online at 7 p.m. and features Botkins at Anna, where the Trojans have not won since January 2002. The Anna girls, losers at Fort Loramie nine straight years, take on the Redskins both online and on the radio on Saturday at 1 p.m.
By the way, Anna has come out on the short end in the Fort Loramie gym each year since December 2012, when the Rockets pulled out a 63-61 overtime thriller. Three months later, the Anna girls won the Division III state title and the Fort Loramie girls won the D-IV state title. The two local SCAL powerhouses won state championships on the same day in back-to-back contests.
Meanwhile, the Botkins boys scored their last victory at Anna 19 years ago, 73-57, when the Trojans went 16-7. Botkins won by 10 points at home a month later in that 2001-2002 campaign.
On Tuesday of this week, the girls program at Botkins stopped a losing string to Anna in a game carried on ScoresBroadcast.com and simulcasted by WMVR. Botkins had dropped eight in succession to the Rockets over a four-year span.
The Trojans girls squad fell behind briefly at 20-19, scored the final hoop of the second quarter and then built a 12-point lead before winning, 46-38. Anna fought back within three points with two minutes left. Carmen Heuker tallied 20 points for the victors.
Expect another tight contest between these two evenly matched girls teams when they meet again at Botkins on Jan. 11.
“These streaks are made to be broken at some point,” said Chuck McBee on the air Tuesday when the Botkins girls topped Anna.
“We in the media like to talk about them. But, at the high school level, I don’t believe the players and coaches think too much about winning or losing streaks with certain opponents. Talent goes in cycles,” said McBee, a former coach.
He added, “Within a season, however, streaks are important. Winning a few in a row builds confidence and chemistry, which can lead to even better performances.”
Two of the region’s greatest and most recent examples, McBee pointed out, are last season’s Botkins boys and Fort Loramie girls who put together terrific winning streaks during the end of the season and during the tournament, and then eventually earned state titles in March.
Neither club lost a game over the final seven to eight weeks of their 30-game campaigns. They combined to win 56 of 60 contests.
The title was the first for Botkins in the history of the boys basketball program. The championship was Fort Loramie’s third. The girls reached the state final four in 2020 before the health crisis ended tournament action.
“Graduation of a few key players changes the dynamics on teams each new season,” McBee said. “Working with players to re-establish that belief in winning and that team synergy is what mentors enjoy about their coaching profession.”
McBee and Jack Kramer are on the scene in New Madison at Tri-Village High School next Tuesday to provide online and radio coverage of a key girls inter-league encounter between Russia and the Patriots.
And guess what? Another win string is on the line. Call this one a “mini-streak.”
Russia has lost four straight to highly skilled Tri-Village squads which have advanced to the regional tournament each year since 2017. Two of the Raiders setbacks came in the post-season tourney.
This upcoming game promises to be a well-played, exciting contest between two tall and talented clubs.