Herald Journal Columns
Feb. 28, 2005, Herald Journal

Whoopings are not always avoidable

By Aaron Schultz

A few weeks back I ripped into the Minnesota Transitions boys’ basketball team for putting a licking on a team.

They defeated Community of Peace 153-69, and had a player score 90 points.

Well, just last week, another team made big news with another whooping, but this time it was in girls’ basketball, and it has some pretty local ties.

The Holy Trinity of Winsted Trojans girls’ basketball team defeated Oh Day Aki Charter School, which is also known as Heart of the Earth, 104-4 last Monday in Winsted.

Not wanting to appear as too much of a homer, even though I am, I thought I should give my two cents on the Trojans’ victory.

While the final results of the two games are very similar, how they got there was not.

In the Minnesota Transitions victory, they kept their best player on the court for nearly the entire game, and were looking to break records.

For the Trojans, two of their top scorers (juniors Lindsay Ide and Dana Chalupsky) did not play a single second in the fourth quarter, and the bench got cleared early on.

Also, the Trojans ran offensive sets constantly during the game, only hit one 3-point bucket, and stopped pressing in the first quarter.

Sure, there were still ways the Trojans could have gone where the score wouldn’t have looked as bad, but the game might have been just as ugly.

One way would have been for the Trojans to run a four corners, and play keep-away from Oh Day Aki, which doesn’t do much for me.

I just don’t like seeing teams play keep-away from an inferior team, which to me, is even worse than winning by 100 points.

Another option would have been for them to run all of their offensive sets, get in position for a good shot, and instead of taking the shot, pass the rock back out, and do it again.

This also seems like crap to me, you don’t want your players not taking open shots.

So, other than just calling off the game, it is a tough situation for a coach to be in.

Trojans head coach Mike Gunderson was put in a tough position, one that not many of us would know what to do with.

Gunderson substituted his entire bench during the game, but with just four girls on the bench, a starter was always on the floor.

It was not like he was 13 deep on his bench, and didn’t play everybody.

You go into a game with the players you have, and look to play well, and win.

These situations rarely come about, and as a coach, you handle them the best you can.

“This was a terrible, awkward game for our team to play,” Gunderson said. “It was nice to see all the balance in our scoring, but an uneasy feeling with the result of the game.”

If hindsight means anything, maybe this game should have never been played in the first place, and that I put on Oh Day Aki.

They came to Winsted with just six total players, and no junior varsity squad.

Two of their players fouled out in the second half, leaving them to play with just four.

The only time I had ever seen, or heard of that happening was in the movie “Hoosiers,” and Oh Day Aki was no Hoosiers team.

Oh Day Aki ended its season with a 5-19 overall record.

Over the course of their season, Oh Day Aki lost several games badly, with losses to Bethany Academy (67-5), Zimmerman (81-17), Pine Ridge, SD (131-27), LCO, WI (51-7), Minneapolis Roosevelt (83-6), and their final game to Southwest Christian (74-17).

The Southwest Christian game was played Tuesday, and was their final game of the season because they forfeited their opening round section game to West Lutheran Thursday.

So, as anyone can see, getting beat up pretty good in games has been a pattern this season for Oh Day Aki, not just something the Trojans went out and looked to do.

Taking a look at Oh Day Aki’s roster, which is posted on the Minnesota State High School League’s web site, they have nine players posted.

But, because of either injuries, or some other reason, they had just six available against the Trojans.

Of those nine listed, two are seventh graders.

Alright, I have had just about enough of talking about this, but one thing I am sure of, the Trojans were not looking for this.

Sometimes these things just happened, and although regretful, not much can be done about it.

Yep, some things just are unavoidable, but I know we all wish they were.