Jack Healey Commentary March 1st, 2018

It’s playoff time again in high school sports as boys and girls hockey and girls basketball are underway and boys basketball starts next week.
I’ve asked the question for the past 40 years and that is why are first round games called play downs in Vermont? I never hear that term elsewhere. You don’t hear the term play downs when the college basketball tournament rolls around. It’s the first round! It seems like a much more accurate description to me. I understand the term play-in, but I don’t get play downs. Come on man!
In boys basketball Rutland is 19-0 with one game to go in the regular season and has won 36 straight. Of course you hear the inevitable comparison to 1985 when Rutland finished 20-0 in the regular season and was the #1 seed and lost to BFA of St. Albans the #16 seed in the first round of the playoffs.[OOPS I mean in the play down game.}
People forget that Rutland had suffered a couple of key injuries to Jeff Eaton and Pat LaDuke before that game. Jeff and Pat were the starting back court. Also BFA’s sensational sophomore Matt Johnson shot the lights out that night as he scored 40 plus points. BFA was 8-12, but it was misleading as BFA was better than the record indicated as the Bob Whites got all the way to the championship game before losing to Rice by one point.
I never understood fans saying that they hope a team loses if it’s undefeated. Of course if you are going to lose, you rather lose in the regular season than in the post season. That’s obvious, but to hope for a loss in the regular season as if somehow that guarantees success in the post season is ridiculous! The pressure is the same in the post season whether you’ve lost in the regular season or not. Remember it’s one loss and you’re done for everybody. If you have a chance to win them all, do it!
Yes it was former UVM star Taylor Coppenrath who was the girls basketball coach of the Missisquoi girls basketball team that played at #1 Fair Haven in the Division 2 first round game earlier this week.[OOPS I did it again, I mean play down game] Unlike BFA in 1985, Missisquoi the #16 seed did not pull off the upset.

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