|The damaged shoes are being buried today.|
DeSales was playing Rhode Island's Johnson and Wales Wildcats (5-7) in the 'ship on Sunday. You might think the Bulldogs would have no trouble treeing these Wildcats. After all, JWW has a losing record. That must be what Maryland's McDaniel College thought in Saturday's contest. Then JWW rained down 10 treys and wreaked havoc on defense, causing 20 turnovers. That team was red hot. As for DeSales, starter Ben Pratt, an ACCHS alum, was sidelined with an ankle injury. To make matters worse, the chemistry that makes a good team into a great team was absent, especially on defense.
At first, it looked as though JWW would dominate. They were up 11-1 in the opening minutes
Then something strange happened. Chemistry. Everyone played as though it was the last time they would be on a basketball court. For the first time this season, the Bulldogs became tenacious on defense. They would claw their way back from a 10-point deficit twice, finishing the first half down by two.
The second half was a war. As the game was tied 11 times, I had 10 heart attacks Then something strange happened. With about seven or so minutes left in the game, Kalcheris's shoe fell apart. I'm not talking about it falling off. It actually fell apart. One grizzled fan told me this sort of thing happens all the time. I've never seen it.
Coach Scott Covall (Whitehall, '82, 1,800 points) called a full time-out. As he talked to his team, Kalcheris was trying to figure out what the hell to do. My solution to this sort of problem is duct tape. I even use that to keep my car from falling apart. Very few people are that ingenious. Fortunately, there was a better solution.
One of Kalcheries' teammates was wearing shoes that were exactly the same size as his. He took them off, Kalcheries put them on. He was back in action as soon as the timeout ended and before i could get my roll of duct tape.
These shoes were magic. Either that or flubber. Once Kalcheries donned them, he could do no wrong. Every shot he took went in. Every jump he made was higher. He was no longer human.
He was Spiderman
In the meantime, the Wildcats were declawed by three technical fouls.
This 91-78 is a big win for DeSales. As for Kalcheries, he was climbing walls when I left the gym.
(This tournament honors former Liberty High School special ed teacher and basketball coach Al Senavitis, who dedicated himself to Special Olympics).