NEWCASTLE — This is how it works. You look at the schedule. You see where everybody’s at, realize you can’t possibly be everywhere, so you pick a gym.
That’s how you wind up in Newcastle, where the Washington and Westmoore girls opened tournament play at 11 a.m. Thursday, followed by the Washington and Westmoore boys.
You know there’s history at work. A year ago, the Washington boys beat Westmoore in the title game. Also a year ago, the Washington girls beat the Westmoore girls, not in the title game. The Warriors are a Class 3A program. The Jaguars are a Class 6A program.
Can history repeat?
You go, too, because what’s cooler than eight games in the same gym on the same day? And because you might run into somebody you used to know. And you go for the same reason you’ve ever gone anywhere, hoping to see something great and cool.
It turns out, a Class 3A program topping a Class 6A program is so last season.
The Westmoore girls were too big and too much for coach Rocky Clarke’s Warriors, winning 53-39. And the Westmoore boys, maybe finding their game at the right time, went from 6-0 down to 64-37 up at the buzzer.
So last year’s great story isn’t this year’s great story. Still, there are good stories.
Clarke is starting two sophomores and three freshmen. The Warriors have won as many as they’ve lost this season. That may be terrific considering the squad’s youth, but not so wonderful considering the Washington girls’ history.
In 13 previous seasons, Clarke has guided the Warriors to 11 state tournaments. He’s not giving up on this season, either. He thinks he can go back with his younger than young team.
“Nobody thinks that but me,” he said.