Use clichés and give politically correct answers: That’s what coaches are told about speaking to the media.
Every once in a while you’ll come across a rebel coach, but most of the time coaches use clichés and give politically correct answers.
For instance, after his team won its first region title in 19 years, North Hall coach Benjie Wood spoke his variation of what coaches of all newly crowned region titleists say, “Anytime you can win region in Hall County you’re proud because there’s some good basketball played here.”
It’s like a Mad Lib, substitute Hall County for a different county or region and you have the answer.
If I had a nickel for every time I was given that answer, retiring would be in the very near future.
I digress: As a result of the political correctness, sometimes coaches aren’t believable. Is basketball really good in Hall County?
Is Region 7-AAA really tough, night in and night out?
Or do they just say those things to make a win seem bigger and their teams better than they actually are? In the first round of the state tournament, the coaches and players of teams from Hall County and Region 7-AAA answered all the aforementioned questions not with clichés and political correctness, but with sheer dominance.
From top to bottom, basketball really is good in Hall County and Region 7-AAA really is tough.
The No. 4 seed out of Region 7-AAA, Johnson, hit 12 3-pointers in its win against Region 6-AAA champion, and the state’s eighth-ranked team, Carrollton.
The region’s third seed, East Hall, went to Ringgold and outscored the Tigers — I’ll reiterate here that they were on Ringgold’s home floor — 30-7 in the third quarter en route to a 25-point win.
West Hall, thanks to another double-double by Shunquez Stephens, did away with Cartersville, and we don’t even need to repeat the throttling that was North Hall’s win against Central-Carroll.
And then there were the ladies of 7-AAA. While not a Hall County team, Creekview (18-12) lost by only two points to 24-5 Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe, the Region 6-AAA champions. Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe’s been ranked all season in Class AAA and currently sits at No. 6.
The region’s No. 3 seed, Flowery Branch, went to Dalton and beat the Region 6-AAA tournament runner-up by 17 points.
East Hall and Gainesville, the 7-AAA runner-up and champion respectively, won their games by double-digits. That is what’s expected of region champs and region runners-up, unless of course you’re going against Region 7-AAA and the teams from Hall County.
So the next time a coach gives the consummate answer, believe it, because on the boys’ side, no other region in Class AAA had a clean sweep in the first round. And for the ladies, they are joined by Region 1 for the title of region with the most teams that moved on.
I’d say that’s pretty good and pretty tough.
Katie B. Davis is a sports writer for The Times. Her column appears Mondays.