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Around the Hardwoods with Wild Bill

by Bill Turner

The district seedings are now shaping up for what appears to be a year in which a lot of parity exists. And, some surprises may well be in the cards for the upcoming tournaments. Here’s a quick look at each district.

Patrick Henry controls its own destiny in the Western Valley District after its win Tuesday night over Halifax. A PH win over Fleming or a GW Danville loss in its last three district games seals first place for the talented Patriots.

In the Blue Ridge, at press time, Alleghany was on the verge of locking up the title while Northside seems set to take the runner-up spot.

The River Ridge is still up for grabs as Hidden Valley gets a rematch with undefeated Christiansburg to potentially force a playoff. Cave Spring and Salem seem destined for the 3/4 spots and an opening round home game in the tournament.

In the Three Rivers, Glenvar helped Radford with a win over EastMont Tuesday night as the Highlanders improved their tournament position.

Tonight’s (Feb. 4th) key games include the PH-Fleming rivalry at the Colonel’s gym and Hidden Valley’s visit to Salem. Tuesday night offers the Hidden Valley-Cave Spring varsity girls/boys doubleheader starting at 6:00pm at the Titan gym.

This Saturday (Feb. 5th) area basketball fans will have a great four-game tournament with the Member One Valley Shootout at the Salem Civic Center. The opener, at 3:00 pm, pits Hidden Valley against Dayspring Christian. That is followed at 4:40 with Hargrave vs Massanutten and Salem taking on Blue Ridge at 6:30. The final game at 8:00 matches nationally ranked and perennial powerhouse Oak Hill Academy against Miller School of Charlottesville.

In the unusual game of the week, Virginia Episcopal got a measure of revenge after their loss to North Cross in football last fall. The basketball Bishops came out of the gate smoking last week as they rolled up a 42-8 lead after one quarter before settling on a 103-52 win over the Raiders.

That margin, however, was nothing compared to the 67-point throwdown Magna Vista laid on winless Patrick County, 99-32. And, yes, some teams do play defense. The Hidden Valley girls held Blacksburg to 6 points or less in every quarter in their 50-19 victory.

Now, it’s time for a new feature called ‘can you help me?’ where my travels through the world of basketball need some help from you faithful readers

Last week my trusty fuel gauge was hitting on E before my stop at the pumps. I went through the requisite question and answer routine- pay here or window, credit or debit, want a receipt, select your grade, etc., before a new one came my way- need a flu shot? I waited until nobody was looking before I peeked into the nozzle to see if I could eye the needle. Things were going well until some lady four islands down laid on her horn and I got a splash of unleaded. Readers, I ask you, has anyone gotten a flu shot at a gas station?

One of my favorite digs after a game is the IHOP on Franklin Road where I often meet up with other media gurus. The food is great, big selection and they’re open late. But, the new menu has me baffled. On page 5 the new addition is a tossed salad along with one-half of a double decker BLT for the great price of $7.99. On the facing page, you get the same salad and the whole double decker BLT for $6.99. My server told me the one-half format is for the smaller appetite. Can you help me?

Finally, I often watch those late-night college games from the west coast. The latest cable pitch is the beautiful, Austrian crystal (hmmm?) pendant called the Prayer Cross. With this gadget, you hold it up to your cornea, peer in a small hole and miraculously see the Lord’s Prayer. Two easy payments of $19.95. Well, I saw something similar at Wal-Mart for one easy payment of $19.95 and decided to take a look-see. I could swear I was reading the Gettysburg Address until I got to the last four lines and poked my eye out. No worry, my eye is fine. And my predicament is nothing compared to the guy in the commercial, where his girl, probably thinking she’s opening a 2-carat engagement ring, surely gives a response that isn’t quite worth the two easy payments.

Let’s hit the mailbox for a couple of quick inquiries-

Dear Mr. Bill: My husband got pay-per-view of the Holyfield-Williams heavyweight fight at the Greenbrier last Saturday night. Was that you shooting pictures through the ropes at ringside wearing that gaudy bow tie?  (Nancy/Roanoke)

Answer: Yes, Nancy, it was formal and I’m glad the purple and black bow tie came through loud and clear. Every event at the Greenbrier is superb, so I dressed to impress. Lennox Lewis even gave me a thumbs-up.

Dear Coach B.: I saw Frank Beamer doing a signing at the new Roanoke Wal-Mart last Wednesday for the grand opening. If you become the Roanoke College Football coach, will you have an autograph day? (Bob/Boones Mill)

Answer: For sure, Bob. Since many of our students are from the Northeast, I’m thinking about Saks-Fifth Avenue.

Dear Wild One: Weren’t you at Cassell Coliseum for the Miami basketball game? What did you think of our Hokie Hoops? (MaryAnn/Abingdon)

Answer: Hey, Tech won. I’m impressed how much Seth Greenburg is getting out of these guys. That group of eight must have some strong legs to battle through their short bench.

Send your inquiries to: [email protected]

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