Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hollidaysburg vs Altoona Boys Part One


So I go the idea to write this after tonight's game its from the game a few weeks ago but still....

Hollidaysburg vs. Altoona Boys Basketball

PART ONE

Everyone in Central Pennsylvania was talking about this "Rumble in the Jungle" match-up for months. Each team had exceptional starts to their seasons; Hollidaysburg was coming out of another Roundball Classic victory with a 9-3 record, and Altoona with a record of 10-3. The small gymnasium of the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School was packed with a sell-out crowd plus many that snuck in through the doorways. The large student turn out from the home team gave viewers on the "home" side a sight of nothing but white. The student section, dubbed "Pope's Posse" by a giant blue and white sign, stood with tension building and watched as the miniscule Altoona student section arrived, although I wouldn't call it a section, more like eight rows. The entire crowd was graced with a special guest appearance by Captain America right before the National Anthem; he later joined the Hollidaysburg students in an attempt to overpower the minimal show from Altoona. At the tip, signs depicting that of a tiger “mating” with a lion were held up in mockery of the Mountain Lions and no response was given. Our own Jordan “Griff Daddy Dollaz” Griffith’s cousin Jesse Betar put up 10 points in the first six minutes and the first quarter ended with Altoona leading 16-7. The Tigers started to come back with a 10-0 run, a superbly executed block off the backboard by Stephen Tidd, and ended the first half only down by four, 28-24.

The student section wars to this point were already in gear; Altoona pointed to the scoreboard and chanted that it would be just like the football game. (Side note: Altoona crushed Hollidaysburg in football back at the beginning of this school year 41-0) The “Hollidaysburg Hooligans,” as they have now become known, responded with the fact that our school won the District 6 AAA title game and Altoona couldn’t win their AAAA game. The cowbells were out in full force also during the first half of the game. Altoona brought out the classic cowbell chant and not to be shown up, Hollidaysburg responded with the same chant only Tiger’s style. Later in the half Altoona, lacking a special talent for creation again performed the same cowbell chant as earlier. The Hooligans came prepared with the addition of a new cowbell ditty created by the one and only Greg Kanski. The “Altoids” were stunned and had no response to this awesome new way to cheer, and could do nothing but stare in awe. Chanting continued in the second half with the addition of “WE HAVE RAYMOND” from Altoona, “WE DON’T WANT HIM’ as the response from Hollidaysburg, “RAYMOND PAID THE REFS” from the all white side of Hollidaysburg, and later “WE OWN THIS GYM” from the cocky little section of Altoona students. Other chants were said during this game that, well frankly, can not be stated here for the fact that the swearing is too much.

The second half started with Altoona getting the ball and coming down the court again. When the one and only Alex Raymond was in control of the ball, a chant of “Daddy’s Boy” could be heard overpowering anything else from the Hollidaysburg Hooligans. Bothered by this and looking down the lane to see big men like Andy Dellaripa, Patrick Smith or Stephen Tidd, the “daddy’s boy” got scared and stuck to the outside of the key. Angered and out for any blood they could have, the Tiger’s Phillip Pope, seized the opportunity to take his shot. As Raymond stepped back behind the three-point line due to utter fear of being hurt, he realized no one was around. Being the cocky man he is, Alex took the shot and a split second later, woke up on the ground. During his shot, Pope had run full speed at Raymond and upon release, knocked him down with the force summoned from Jesus himself. This gave the Golden Tigers some motivation and they were able to hold Altoona’s little Alex Raymond to only seven points. The Tiger’s eventually brought the score back within three points. During the timeout taken by Hollidaysburg, a note arrived amongst the Hollidaysburg Hooligans. It stated “41-0” again not caring because that was football this was basketball, two completely different teams and sports, the students responded accordingly only further making the minimal Altoona students have nothing to say. After the timeout Hollidaysburg took the court in hope of a quick steal and quick three to tie. Altoona had the ball on Hollidaysburg’s baseline and trying to go down the court to a person only in his imagination, the Altoona player threw the ball out of bounds taking no time off the clock. Hollidaysburg now had the ball on their end with only a few seconds to work with. The ball was quickly given to a man the team had “faith” in, Phillip Pope. Pope however had to take an awkward shot and after bouncing on the rim, and the entire crowd taking a deep breath, the ball bounced out as time expired ending what had turned out to be a great game for both teams.

The Altoona fans, disregarding the idea of sportsmanship and honest fan’s stormed the Hollidaysburg hardwood in celebration. The Hooligans left with their hopes of beating Altoona at home vanquished.

The Golden Tigers were also upset by this loss and stated that they would find victory in the field house later that month. Outcome being regarded the Tigers played a good game, not their best, but good and was able to make an almost miraculous comeback victory. The team saw the true cockiness of some of Altoona’s played and in the day following further made fun of not only the players but also a certain player’s sibling that attends Hollidaysburg. Oddly, this sibling was no in school the following day due to a fact later found out by one Tyler Robertson that her “daddy” didn’t make her come. Obviously this was due to the fact that she knew she would be harassed by all whether they were joking or not, and as seen later would most likely end up crying like a little infant child and running back to her father being like her brother a “daddy’s girl.”

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