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Davis: Give girls a chance
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It’s no secret that the average sports fan shares a common sentiment: The girls game just doesn’t measure up.

I overheard someone say this week, to what I presume was a buddy, that they didn’t think they could sit through a girls game.

It’s understandable: By nature girls aren’t always as athletic as boys and that can lead to paltry displays in the game of basketball.

But tonight, Pat Summitt, the head women’s basketball coach at Tennessee, has the chance to win her 1,000th game.

Former Indiana and Texas Tech coach Bobby Knight put that into perspective in an interview this week when he said that it would take a coach winning 33 games over the course of 30 seasons to come within 10 wins of that mark. A men’s or women’s coach, and none but Summit have.

There are plenty of examples of why the girls game is inferior, the least of those being that you don’t see a lot of ankles broken by stunning hesitation dribbles. There’s a lack of one-on-one showcases, and dunks are performed by legends of the women’s game, not everyday high school or college players.

More and more, however, there are signs that the women’s game is emerging into something that doesn’t just call for, but demands everyone’s respect.

Case in point was Saturday night’s contest between Class A No. 1-ranked Wesleyan and Class AA No. 1-ranked Buford.

The gym was packed and the fans were raucous.

The turnovers were few and the highlights plenty.

Buford freshman Andraya Carter was even the recipient and scorer of an alley-oop pass.

Before that, however, she put on a dribbling display that lasted 30 of the 45 seconds remaining in the third quarter, kept her defender from getting close enough for a five-second count to even start and ended with her team scoring on a Blanche Alverson jumper from the corner.

Speaking of Alverson — who’s going to Auburn to play next season — the game also included two of
the top players in the nation, and they didn’t disappoint the standing-room only crowd.

Alverson, the No. 8 forward in the country according to ESPN, and Wesleyan’s Anne Marie Armstrong, who’s also the reigning Miss Georgia Basketball and will be playing at Georgia next season, scored 18 and 25 points respectively.

With class and dignity, the two teams sparred for three quarters until Buford, in the final period, went on the type of offensive run that leaves mouths open and heads shaking, outscoring Wesleyan 29-14.

There was no jawing, taunting or anything of the sort. No player from either team hit the floor without being helped up by an opponent. For every mistake, there was a player looking not only at her coach but at her teammates and saying, “My bad.”

Rebounds weren’t grabbed, they were fought for. Assists weren’t accidental, they were the result of a perfectly executed play.

If that’s not indicative of a game anyone wants to sit through, then what is?

Andy Landers sat through it. Former Buford and Georgia player and current Los Angeles Spark Christi Thomas sat through it. Georgia great and four-time Olympic gold medalist Teresa Edwards sat through it.

Who knows, maybe the next girls game you sit through will be like it.
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