SKIATOOK — Tia Williams, one of many Timberwolves still misty-eyed about 25 minutes after it was over and after she and her teammates had disbanded into the bleachers seeking solace from family and friends, explained it very well and you had to like what she had to say on a couple of counts.
One, she proved to have a keen grasp of the obvious, an underrated and appreciated virtue from anybody. Two, she expressed it.
“They just didn’t get our best shot,” she said. “It was not our basketball. We did not play well.”
She might have added “or anything close to good basketball,” but why pile on your own team? Anyway, she’d made her point and, because we can trust her, she’s not the only one who understood what happened Thursday afternoon against Union.
Her teammates did, too.
The Redskins prevailed 44-40 and they, not the T-Wolves, will be up bright and early at the Mabee Center today, continuing their Class 6A state tournament run. And while that’s good for them, it may be better for the T-Wolves, just not right now.
“When we come back to practice next year,” Williams said, “we need to know we don’t want to feel like this again.”
That’s the lesson.
That’s what good can come from a particularly bad day for coach Jeff Blough’s basketball team.
The T-Wolves weren’t sharp, weren’t urgent, weren’t, really, fully engaged until about 5 minutes remained and they trailed by 14 points.
Part of it was a Redskin zone defense that brought very little pressure but offered fewer cracks. North’s most basic response was to stand around wondering what it might to do against it.
It took desperation for the T-Wolves to come out of their funk long enough to go from 34-20 to 42-38 with Paige Canty at the free throw line hoping to make it a two-point game with 23 seconds remaining.