Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Three Beautiful Things 04/08/19: (She Shed Note) Everett's Much Better, Goose 'n Tree Breakfast, Cavs Win in OT

A quick note: if you'd like to see the picture the Spokesman Review ran of Christy's she shed, go back to the article, here, scroll down a little ways to the picture of Thresa Sullivan and you'll see that it's the first picture of slide show.  There's a triangle in the bottom left under the picture. Click it and the slide show begins. Christy's she shed is the last picture of the series.

1. The news today regarding Everett is fairly good. He has not been having mini-strokes. Christy texted Carol and me first thing this morning to say that Everett, without any resistance, agreed to go to the ER. Christy asked me to come up so that I could provide an extra pair of ears to listen to whatever the medical staff had to say. When I arrived, Everett was in much better shape than he had been Sunday night. He was coherent, not confused. He'd already had a urine test that revealed he had a urinary tract infection (as Christy thought might be the case). We know from our experience with Mom toward the end of her life, that a UTI can cause confusion, slurring of words, and the other symptoms Everett showed.

Everett also submitted to an MRI to make sure that he hadn't also been experiencing mini strokes The results confirmed he had not.

Everett began a seven day course of antibiotics to knock out the infection. Everett got some recommendations about hygiene and hydration, aids in preventing UTIs.

Christy was concerned that she had overreacted and thank God the ER doctor told her she hadn't. Everett needed immediate attention. His symptoms could have been indicating neurological problems and the infection needed immediate treatment. 

Once home, Christy and Everett collapsed into deep naps.

2. While waiting for Everett to be wheeled away for the MRI, Christy told me she thought she'd be fine on her own. Earlier, in the ER, Everett had told Christy that he felt anxious about possibly falling in the shower and that he'd like a shower chair. When I left ER, I drove straight out to Kohal's in Pinehurst and picked up the shower chair Christy had put her name on through a phone call.

Knowing things were under control at the hospital, I also stopped in at The Goose 'n the Tree and enjoyed a very delicious breakfast. I ordered the LookOut, a scrambled egg dish with sauteed onions, peppers, chorizo, and shredded corn toritillas folded into the eggs and topped with a warm chili verdi sauce and melted cheese and hash browns on the side. Meredith was not very busy and we had a great visit yakked about living in Kellogg in contrast to other busier places where both of us have lived. I told Meredith I was interested in taking bread home and she asked me to wait a second and she came out of the back with a baguette. Meredith told me it was a day old and gave it to me without charge. I was very grateful.

I ate the entire baguette over the course of the afternoon and evening.  It was superb.

3. At around 6:20 PST, the University of Virginia and Texas Tech's men's basketball teams tipped off in the NCAA championship final.

Back in the old days, when I'd try to write papers about a Shakespeare play, I'd feel stymied because so much happened in the play that I didn't quite know where to start, how to focus, and how to say all that I had on my mind.

Right now, I am stymied in a similar way.

This game was played so ferociously, so courageously, so dynamically and featured so many players performing so superbly, that I'm not sure where to start.

Well, how about the final score?

Virginia's DeAndre Hunter received a brilliant pass from Ty Jerome deep in the corner and hit a three point jump shot from 22 feet to tie this game at 68-68.  Just one minute and forty-five seconds earlier, Virginia had held a four lead on a Kyle Guy layup, but Texas Tech scrapped and hit clutch shots and free throws to take a three point lead with twenty-two seconds to go before Hunter tied it. In the last twelve seconds, Tech's Jarret Culver missed a jump shot, a Cavalier mixup led to a turnover on the rebound, Tech's Culver took a shot from the baseline with a second left and Virginia's Braxton Keys blocked it and did not foul Culver.

The game went into overtime.

Tech's Matt Mooney, who'd been quiet much of the game, scored back to back buckets early in overtime and the Red Raiders led 73-70.

But, Kyle Guy converted two charity tosses and DeAndre Hunter hit another monster three pointer from the wing, putting the Cavs ahead 75-73. Tech missed shots. Virginia rebounded. Tech fouled different Cavs and Virginia made every single free throw in the OT, going 12 for 12. Virginia benefited from the officials reversing a call on a ball that went out of bounds. Upon viewing the replay, they could see that in a scramble between Hunter and Davide Moretti, Moretti's little finger scraped the loose ball last, giving Virginia possession.

Virginia won the game, 85-77.

Dick Vitale credited the basketball gods with smiling on Virginia three games in a row to end this tournament with three victories in squeakers.

My friend since childhood, Roger Pearson, summed it up in one word: Destiny.

Jay Bilas credited Virginia for never veering from their commitment to poise and calmness and consistency.

Seth Greenberg credited Braxton Keys and Mamadi Diakite for all the work they did inside, blocking shots and rebounding -- Greenberg praised them for their dirty work.

Coach Tony Bennett credited his players' faith in one another, that even in the most dire of straits against Purdue and Auburn and Texas Tech, they believed they could find a way to win.

What made this game so compelling to me was that Texas Tech was also having a magical run in the tournament and could have seemed a team of destiny upon whom the basketball gods were smiling.

Texas Tech remained true to their identity. They defended hard and played with poise and calmness.

Texas Tech had less flashy players doing some pretty impressive dirty work.

And, it was clear to me, that the Red Raiders' players had faith in one another and believed they could find a way to win this game -- their late surge in the second half showed me that this is true.

So, I don't know. The margin of difference was so slim in this game, that it's difficult to pinpoint what made Virginia the superior team tonight by such a very thin margin.

What did Virginia have or what did they do that made them just a fraction better than Texas Tech? Than Auburn? Than Purdue?

Did it come down to seizing moments?

Kihei Clark didn't heave a half court shot with time running out against Purdue. He whipped an improbably well-timed bullet pass to Mamadi Diakite who converted the short jumper to tie the Boilermakers. Both players seized the moment.

Kyle Guy had to make all three free throws with under a second left in the game against Auburn to tie it. He seized the moment and sank them all.

With twelve seconds left in tonight's game against Texas Tech, Ty Jerome had a clear lane to the basket and could have put the Cavs within a point by making a contested lay in. But he had the clarity of mind and the acute basketball vision to see that De'Andre Hunter's defender had moved toward the paint to help defend Jerome's drive to the basket and he bounced a perfect pass to Hunter, Hunter was in rhythm when he caught it, and he buried the game tying three.

Together, Jerome and Hunter seized the moment.

It's thrilling to watch players of any sport seize big moments and succeed. I think of Jack Nicklaus, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, Joe Carter, Arike Ogunbowale (a year ago), Joe Montana, Chloe Jackson, and the many other athletes who have made clutch plays under pressure in some of sports' most scintillating moments.

Over their last three games, it wasn't any one Virginia Cavalier who seized a big moment. All their starters did at one time or another and with that block of Jarrett Culver with a second to go in regulation, so did reserve Braxton Keys.

Maybe that's what the basketball gods smiled upon. Maybe this is what makes a team a team of destiny. Maybe this is what happens when teammates have faith in one another.

Whatever it is that set Virginia apart tonight, I can say with certainty that I enjoyed this game thoroughly. I am really glad that some time back in January I fell in basketball love with this Virginia team and that I watched them repeatedly throughout the winter. I loved seeing a team I admired so much experience the joy of winning the 2019 national title.

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