And just like that…. …

The Maine Basketball Report (mbr.org) is a site where hoop (among other sports) fans like to hang out. I posted the following “anonymous” piece last weekend:

And just like that, it’s over. Daughter #2 played her last game of high school hoops last Thursday night, ending a tough season on an uplifting note with a decisive victory over a team (in a higher class) that she and her teammates lost to earlier in the season. Obviously, she had hoped to get to Augusta one last time, but it wasn’t in the cards. Hey, ending at home with a win definitely beats getting poked in the eye with a sharp stick.

The last ten years have been extra special. I thank my daughters, their teammates, and coaches for treating me to a courtside seat for all of it. Before closing this chapter, and at the risk of self-indulgence, I can’t resist serving up a top-10 list of memories:

1. Single digit final scores at the Bath Rec where it all started 10 years ago with great coaches like Bill Gilson and Celia Smith.

2. Countless games of H-O-R-S-E in our driveway.

3. Spare-changing the generous workers at BIW’s North Gate at 6 AM seeking dollars for uniforms for the Bath Lady Bucs travel team. An hour later we’d have enough to cover uniforms and warm-ups. Those guys and gals never let us down.

4. Driving lost on the back roads of rural Maine, wishing that Delorme would publish The Atlas to the Gyms of Maine.

5. Watching daughter #2 on the Fleet Center’s JumboTron when the Lady Bucs got to lace ’em up for a prelim to a Celtics game.

6. Daughter #1 and her team going to the Western Maine’s at Augusta with a losing regular season record and then beating the odds to win the whole thing.

7. Hearing the fans at Augusta roaring the “She’s a Freshman!” cheer for both daughters.

8. Watching both daughters experience the thrill of victory in winning a Western Maine crown together with daughter #1 getting the Patricia Gallagher MVP Award as a bonus.

9. Watching both daughters experience (and endure) the agony of defeat at the hands of two very strong Lee teams in the Gold Ball games.

10. Taking my son to the ACC for his favorite outing(s) of the year and watching him gorge on popcorn and sno-cones. (Come to think of it, we’ll still do that.)

Risking the sin of omission, I can’t sign off without expressing special thanks to the coaches who went above and beyond the call in helping my wife and me raise our daughters…..and teach a lot of great basketball while they were at it. I’ve already mentioned the Bath Rec coaches. The Skillings brothers (Gary and Warren) and Ronny Wallace were key during their travel team years and huge factors in the success they later enjoyed. During the high school years, people like Tom Bragg, Pete Gregory, Betsy Olney, and Eva George were positive influences both on and off the court. Simple “thanks” seems inadequate, but it’s heartfelt.

Good luck to all who are gearing up for the 2nd season.

Onward, Malcolm Gauld