*This past weekend the Hale Sentinel was fortunate enough to have Jeff Kramer, a humor columnist for the NY Times (Syracuse) and ex-Sentinel reporter, live blog the Hale basketball game versus Oak Hill Academy
by Jeff Kramer
8:30 a.m. Hello, Jeff Kramer here, Nathan Hale class of 1980, former Sentinel writer and present day humor columnist for the Syracuse (NY) New Times. Today, bedecked in my newly acquired Raiders ball cap, I will be blogging the BIG GAME: Hale v. Oak Hill Academy at the HoopHall Classic in Springfield, MA. Tipoff is 10 a.m. Seattle time. The game will be televised on ESPNU. I suggest using this blog as a companion source. My enthusiasm for the Hale basketball jaugernaut stands in inverse porportion to my reliability as a journalist. I am already at the press table watching a team from Georgia v. a team from New Jersey. The center for the team from Georgia has blue hair. I don’t know why. He looks pretty old. Maybe he’s a retiree. More later.
10:03 a.m. Slight delay here because two teams NONE of us care about had the audacity to go into overtime. Good part is it will give Oak Hill Academy a few extra minutes to contemplate what they’re in for v. The Mighty Raiders.
10:12 a.m. This is an outrage. Pace Academy (GA) and The Patrick Academy (NJ) disrespecting Raider Nation by going into double OT. Do not delay our repast! OK, finally it’s over. Main event time. 1:31 p.m. scheduled tipoff now.
10:31 a.m. These guys are warming up in front of me. They’re not just tall — they’re like, really old. One of their players looks, like, almost 40. Place is packed. About 2,500 or so I would guess.
10:34 a.m. Porter brothers provide the first two hoops of the game. Michael Jr. with a nice step through. Jontay with a jumper from left side. Am still not fully understanding why I just got a B in Mr. Gross’s Gas Engines class. But I should probably let it go.
10:41 a.m. Michael Jr. draws Ooooos from the crowd on a drive from right side but Oak Hill denies the bucket. That plus some overpassing by the unselfish Raiders has them down three. They’ll figure it out. 10-8 OHA
10:46 a.m. Apologies for the faulty math on last post. Hale just tied it on a Tre-Var Holland layup. 17-17.
10:48 a.m. The first quarter almost ended in spectacular fashion with an MPJ three rimmed out but little brother Jontay nearly slammed it home. Drat! OHA 19 – NHHS 17
10:52 a.m. Some crazy spin move by MPJ for two. I remember spinning like that in high school but not on a basketball court. OHA 23 – NHHS 19
10:57 a.m. PJ slams one with authority and follows with a 3. Only down 2 now, 34-32, after multiple defensive lapses. Teams walking off court for a time out much as many of you Raiders walked out of 6th period to protest Donald Trump. Nice work there. Proud to be a Raider!
11:03 a.m. We’re up by one. I really like Dick’s. NHHS 39 – OHA 38
11:10 a.m. With all due respect to all the other fine basketball players on the court, including the other Porter brothers (I believe there are 16 currently enrolled at Hale) Michael Jr. is on a level all his own. He looked like a hydrofoil going to the basket on his last drive, which began somewhere near the New York State border. Suddenly OHA is looking slow and tired. NHHS 43 – OHA 38 (half)
11:27 a.m. We fall behind again but PJ ties it up with a breakaway slam. Michael missing some awkward looking shots inside. But Jontay picks him up with a three-ball of his own. Hale starting to roll. 54-51 with 3:43 left in third quarter. NBA could learn a thing or two from these guys on how to speed up games.
11:36 a.m. Refs seem to be hating on Hale at the moment. I had 10 rebounds once in a JV game v. Rainier Beach. Just want to get that on the record. People who saw me play remember me as having a game similar to Michael Porter Jr but with a better post-up game. I ended up skipping varsity ball to play for Meadowbrook State.
11:38 a.m. PJ just hit one from the 3 point line — the OTHER 3 point line! Buzzer beater to end the 3rd. 63-55 NH
11:45 a.m. MPJ dunks on left baseline. Maybe tiring some as he missed an easier dunk op on next possession. Some back and forth now. Hale up 69-62 with 5:54 left.
11:51 a.m. Downtown the Third hit a big 3 during this run. Brings this all full circle for those of who were alive to see the Sonics win a title. Two possession game with 2:10 left. 74-68
11:57 a.m. 76-71 Hale with 1:07. Then Jontay misses a layup and Jontay fouls on other end. Devontae Shuler hits two for OHA. Three point game. PJ at line. He …
11:58 a.m. makes both but OHA answers with a bucket underneath. 78-75 Hale. 13.1 secs to go. Lotta time. Don’t head to the parking lot yet.
12:00 p.m. Porter hits 2. Then OHA answers with an uncontested layup. Hale has ball with 3 pt lead and 3 secs to go.
12:04 p.m. 80-77 final– We win. 37 for MPJ. Heading to Dick’s.
Photos and Video by: Jeff Kramer