Any basketball fan can relate to my dilemma Friday night.
Especially any Geneva basketball fan.
If ever a night to be two places at once -- or 10 places at once -- it was Friday.
How can you get yourself in Normal to see the Geneva girls play in the state semifinals while at the same time the Geneva boys are in Plainfield trying to win their first regional championship in 28 years?
Any Vikings fans relate?
I decided to try to take advantage of technology and watch both games online, while using an old-fashion radio to tune in Neal Ormond on WBIG broadcast West Aurora trying to win its 40th regional title.
I never would have guessed how exhausting all that basketball could be.
My plan started well enough when the Geneva girls were the only game on. Janie McCloughan scores a couple of her transition baskets, Morgan Seberger and Abby Novak knock down jumpers, and the Vikings take an early lead over Rolling Meadows.
The problems began around 7 p.m. with the girls game in the second quarter and all the boys games tipping off. Jontrell Walker draining 3s for the Blackhawks. Geneva boys falling behind Bolingbrook. I see High School Cube also offers me St. Charles East-South Elgin, so why not add a fourth game to watch? Someone please invent picture-in-picture-in-picture-in-picture.
I can't tab back and forth between games fast enough. It's like NFL Ticket on steroids. Or the first round of the NCAA Tournament. My head is spinning.
I had never been so happy for a TV timeout at the girls game. Catch by my breath.
Then finally halftime of the boys games. Phew! Focus back on the Geneva girls as Seberger hits a couple 3 and Grace Loberg's basket to end the third quarter leaves the Vikings in the lead nd 8 minutes away from reaching the state championship game.
Oh no, the second half starts for the boys games. At one point all four games go to a timeout at the same moment -- what are the odds? And what am I supposed to do now? Twenty seconds with NO BASKETBALL!
The Geneva boys break their huddle, but it's looking bleak. West Aurora boys start pulling away, and I wonder if anybody knows anything more about a single topic than Neal Ormond and Blackhawk basketball. What a joy to listen to. At one point Neal says, "Big night of high school basketball." You aren't kidding!
The size of the crowds for the Saints, Blackhawks and Vikings games all look tremendous, and I find myself wishing I was in each gym .
A turn for the worse in the Geneva girls game as Rolling Meadows goes ahead and a little later Sidney Santos fouls out. But about the same time the Geneva boys start cutting into Bolingbrook's 15-point lead.
The Vikings capitalize on some missed free throws, they force some turnovers, and the next thing you know Nate Navigato is dunking and a last-second Bolingbrook 3 rims out and the Vikings have that well-earned and elusive regional title. I'm glad I got to see it, though it would have been a hundred times better to have been there.
I am thrilled that when Geneva returns to the court next Wednesday it will be against West Aurora at the East Aurora sectiona.
Best part of that matchup?
It will be the only game in town.