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The Press Box for February 12

By Staff | Feb 11, 2020

All the talk of a possible winless season for Paden City High School’s boys basketball team ended in resounding fashion on Saturday. A streak always starts with one and ends with one. I was more happy for the kids than anything else. It was a great night for the kids and the parents who have been so supportive.

They played good team ball to take down Union high school in a West Virginia Hometown Invitation Tournament game.

As a coach, nothing is more demoralizing than a losing streak that just won’t break. While coaches do their absolute best to avoid losing streaks, it often just can’t be helped. Paden City has a decent team, their problem has been injuries, illnesses and lack of consistency.

Luckily all losing streaks are broken eventually, the real issue we’re interested in is how? If your team is in a slump, what is the best way to turn it around? How do you break a losing streak? I don’t know if the Wildcats have turned things around, but it sure was nice to see them get a win when most everyone had counted them out.

I spoke to coach Riggle on Friday and he was still upbeat and excited about his team. He spoke about the positives instead of the negatives. He was excited to see the kids still fighting and working hard and still having a good attitude. Often the worst part of being on a losing run is not being able to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong.The first step in breaking a losing streak is understanding what isn’t working and looking at ways to improve. You can blame coaching all you want, but you can’t coach effort and you can’t coach passion.

Coach Riggle told me on Friday, he had good kids, he just thought they needed to put four quarters together and they could pick up a win. They did that on Saturday and he was right. We hope they can stay healthy and get a couple more before the season is over.

Playing all season long with only seven girls on the team, Paden City coach Alan Miller and assistant Jamie Natali have made a nice team out of four freshmen, a junior and two seniors. They made quite the showing over the past couple weeks winning four games and making it all the way to the finals of the WVHIT tournament against Van hogh school before finishing in second place on Saturday night..

I don’t know why, but I always like it when the underdog wins. I just seem to experience pleasure due to the misfortune of those always winning teams. Not in a bad way, I mean I’m not happy when bad things happen to people. I’m talking about sports. We resent powerhouse teams that win every year, so we root for them to lose, unless of course they are our teams.

Another way to interpret it is that deep down, we want the world to be fair. Some teams,whether pro or college, can pour more money into winning, but we want everyone to have an equal shot at it, and when upsets happen, it tells us they do. The expected feel good benefit of an underdog winning is so great.

If you root for the team that’s expected to win and they win, you just got what you expected, no surprise and no great feeling of reward. But if you root for the underdog, the thrill of winning makes you feel like you’re on top of the world.

After all look what happen in the last Presidential race, no way Trump was going to win, but he did, guess what we may be in for a real upset come November. Be careful who you root for!

Remember, everyone, Even in the darkest jungle of despair, there is always hope. You just have to believe in yourself and, more importantly, hope the other team is freaked out by your demon like intensity and chokes big time.

I will continue to root for all the local teams, but if none of them get to the state tournement than I’ll go with the underdogs. eparsons@tylerstarnews.com