Column: This game was all that was advertised

Published 1:20 pm Wednesday, January 19, 2005

By Staff
COLOMA - The Lakeland Conference showdown between No. 3 ranked and undefeated Buchanan against defending league champion Coloma was everything it was advertised to be.
It was a classic high school basketball match up between two quality basketball teams.
The Bucks were out to snap a three-game losing streak against the Comets, who were trying to defend their home court and stay in the league race.
Coloma had been upset by league-leading Bridgman the previous contest and were looking to make sure it stayed within a game of the Bees.
Coloma coach Josh Hood, a standout at Brandywine High School and a former Dowagiac basketball coach, told me before the game that he "hoped his kids would show up."
And show up the Comets did.
It was clear from the start that Coloma was ready to play and had a point to prove following their loss to Bridgman.
The Comets played hard and used their physical attributes to combat the smaller, quicker Buchanan squad.
Hood told me after the game that he felt that his big men could be a factor in the game and that they played as well as he had hoped they would.
It was interesting watching two of the area's younger coaches work the sidelines Tuesday night.
Buchanan's Reid McBeth and Hood gave the officials an earful trying to get a call here or there.
They also seemed to be talking to each other during the game.
But unlike some instances where coaches "jaw" at each other, Hood and Reid seemed to be having fun.
It was refreshing to see these coaches enjoy themselves as the tensions of the contest continued to rise.
It was also nice to see them talk to each other in the hallway between the two lockerrooms following the game.
There seems to be a mutual admiration and respect for each other.
I have known Hood for some time now and I always enjoy talking with Josh.
I cannot think of another coach who has as much fun as he does.
I believe that he is all business when it comes to coaching basketball, but Josh still is able to make it fun for not only his kids and fans, but for his coaches as well.
Another thing I enjoyed about the game was the fact that the players didn't seem to get caught up in "talking trash."
Instead, they let their play do the talking for them.
There were a few tense moments as there always is in a closely fought contest, however, cooler heads always prevailed.
I would say that the players on the court were a true reflection of their coaches.
They were intense, they showed a lot of heart and desire and they played the game with class.
This made for a truly great game which was pleasing to those in the stands who were cheering loudly for both schools.
The Bucks and Comets play round two in Buchanan a week from Friday.
I would encourage anyone who has not seen these two teams play to get out and watch.
You will not be disappointed because I know that this game will go right down to the wire exactly as Tuesday night's game did.