Favorite basketball pictures from 2019-20 season

Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
321
Location
Ohio, United States
I decided to go through all my basketball pictures from this season and picked out my favorites -- including one that earned me my first AP award.

It'll forever be the weirdest season I've had in my career -- I was expecting a down year, but we had three girls teams earn state berths and three boys teams earn regional berths. In addition to that, both the boys and girls teams at our biggest school (Sidney, which is heavily represented in this set) had outstanding years and won conference titles. And frankly, most of the teams were indeed down (worse) than recent previous seasons -- but their competition was also worse.

And of course, the biggest reason it's the weirdest season is because it stopped on a dime in early March due to COVID-19. State association went from reassuring everyone the tournaments would be finished on a Monday, to imposing crowd restrictions on a Tuesday, to indefinitely postponing all winter sports tournaments on a Thursday. After dragging its heels, the association finally announced a cancellation of all winter sports postseason events in late March -- many weeks after they should have in my opinion.

Of all the games I covered (I'm guessing around 85), amazingly my favorites were all taken in just five venues, with most coming in the same two venues (one of which I didn't even shoot at more than 5-6 times).

These images came from my D500, D3s, D5 (which I just got in early March and used twice before everything was scrapped) and a D850 I borrowed from NPS. 70-200 2.8 VR II was the lens for all but the last.

1. This school's football team won a state title in the first week of December. Many players also played basketball. The hoops squad was also expected to do well; returned many key players from last year's league champion and regional finalist squad. After a 1-2 start, the squad got its basketball legs back and went on to finish 22-5 (their regional semifinal loss turned out to be the last game I covered this season).

This celebration photo was taken on Dec. 30 after they beat an undefeated team that was in first place in the league. It was a first of a seven-game winning streak.

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2. This player is in here a couple of times. She was the area's breakout freshman this year -- averaged 16.5 points, seven rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 assists per game. She's in here a couple of more times, and I look forward to shooting her for three more years -- aside from being good (I'm guessing at least a mid-major D-I collegiate player), she's very expressive.

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3. Sidney's boys team finished 19-5. The squad lost four starters from last season's 20-5 team, which set program record for best single-season record. Yet even with those losses (including a player who earned a starting role at Texas A&M as a freshman), they were still nearly as good.

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4. Sidney's girls team was winless last year and won two games the previous year but finished 15-8 this year and won league title. Aforementioned freshman player, this freshman player and a new coach (whose coaching visibly improved the rest of the team) were big factors to this year's turnaround.

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5.

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6.

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7. This girls team in the state's smallest division was undefeated and the frontrunner to win the division's state title. I can't remember off the top of my head, but this undefeated squad beat its regular-season opponents by some crazy average, something like 70-20. Closest game all year was 14 points.

This is from a regional game and is an example of its full-court pressure defense. The squad averaged something like 30 steals a game.

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8. I got this picture at a late regular-season game. No. 1 had been fouled, and it looked like Sidney was going to win to wrap up the league title...

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9. ... but they didn't and lost after a late shot. This was on a Tuesday, and they wrapped up the outright league title by winning that Friday. I ran this photo as section's main art with "A championship deferred" as headline.

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10. AP AWARD WINNER

This photo came in No. 2 in best game photo in our paper's division in the Ohio APME contest. My first photo placer, and only the second year I've ever entered any photos.

This picture was taken in a conference game last December (got in just under the wire for 2019 AP awards). Came late in a blowout victory. These starters cheered wildly after a popular bench player made a basket.

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11.

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12. From a sectional tournament game the black team won 66-6 (with a running clock the whole second half).

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13. A senior after cutting down the net following a regional final victory. The squad was hoping to cut down another one the following weekend at the state level, but this regional game turned out to be the last it'd play.

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14. First game with my new D5! Look forward to using this camera more next year.

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15. Final night.

This photo was taken at what turned out to be the last basketball game I covered for the season. This was a regional semifinal (involving the team from image No. 1) on a Wednesday and came on the first night crowd restriction orders were in place. There really shouldn't have been much more than 100 people in attendance, but I counted 250. (These small schools draw very well -- there would have been a good 2,500 or so for this weeknight game even though it was an hour drive. If they'd have won and made a regional final, that crowd would've surpassed 4,000 (their regional final last year did).

The state association made the call about 16 hours later on Thursday morning to indefinitely postpone all winter sports tournament events. Girls basketball teams were on the court warming up for state semifinals. I was preparing to leave for Columbus for two state games in the evening when news broke.

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Thanks for looking!
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jul 8, 2019
Messages
483
Location
SF Bay Area, California, USA
Interesting.
Your winter season ran into March.
So you never even started the Spring season :(
My Winter season ends in Feb, and Spring starts in Feb.
We barely started the Spring season, when it shut down.​
 
Joined
Mar 14, 2012
Messages
321
Location
Ohio, United States
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5
Interesting.
Your winter season ran into March.
So you never even started the Spring season :(
My Winter season ends in Feb, and Spring starts in Feb.
We barely started the Spring season, when it shut down.​
Yes, winter season always ends with state boys basketball finals in mid to late March, depending on the year. Spring sports start the same or following weekend depending on the year. Can't really start any earlier up north -- there's always a ton of games played in 40's and below each year in April.
 

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