Newspaper Archive of
The Message
Evansville, Indiana
December 18, 1987     The Message
PAGE 16     (16 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 16     (16 of 20 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 18, 1987

Newspaper Archive of The Message produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2020. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

12 Sports II I Rutter on Sports By DAVE RUTrER The Message -- for Catholics of Southwestern Indiana ii December 18, 1987 It's up to them says Mater Dei basketball coach Some teams aren't much good in the objective sense, the coach does what he can with what he has. Some teams are superbly gifted, and the coach sculpts along minimalist lines -- standing aside and letting the team demonstrate its skill. Other teams essentially decide for themselves how good they will be. And that brings us to Roger Sills and his Mater Dei basketball Wildcats, who despite a 2-3 record early, seemed to fit in the latter category. "It's like this, says Sills, "I told them last week that they've got size; they've got shooting; they've got experience. In general, they're a pretty good basketball team. But how fast and how far they go is entirely up to them. Really, what I think 3is that we've got together a group that can be a good team. And whether they win is up to them." This might seem an ill-fitting gauntlet to be hurled down by a second-year coach. It would seem more natural for Sills to place his signature on the program by assuming absolute control. Sills admits the approach is not part of his customary attitude about the game, but there are good reasons for his view. For one thing, this is virtually an all-senior team stocked with athletes who have been suc- cessful in other sports. "What this team needs to do is play as good as it's capable of doing," he says. "And if they do, they'll win their share of games. I told them that. It's up to them." In essence, Sills admits he is waiting for one player -- or perhaps a small group -- to step for- ward and accept responsibility. Leadership, it's called. "In one way, it's always up to the kids in game situations; they decide their fate," he says. "But this group has a little something extra. Once they decide, they can do it. I told them I would do my job, scout the opposition, practice 'em hard, teach them fundamentals; do my normal coaching Va " job. But this group has to decide for itself." Although the pecking order of local basketball has yet to be established, it seems apparent that relative parity -- what an ugly term -- has settled on the landscape. If Sills is right, Mater Dei could do more than passing damage in such an environment. Bosse has yet to play with its full complement but probably is the heir apparent; Harrison has some high risers on the front lines, but weak guards; Memorial still is trying to find itself; Cen- tral has adequate talent but occasionally plays in the Twilight Zone. North is undefeated but nudged winless Reitz by eight points. Mater Dei dispatch- ed the Panthers by seven. Up the road, Castle has 6-10 David Hinton and bigger ambitions. Of Mater Dei's three losses, two resulted by a total of seven points when the Wildcats hit a com- bined 18-of-40 free throws. Even the Wildcats' 82-63 loss at Terre Haute South was more com- petitive than the score." If we played 10 times, it might be interesting," says Sills. The picture also is muddled because Sills figures he's at least two weeks behind most adver- saries. Four performers -- Todd Rohrbacher, Tim Martin, Tim Weinzapfel and Chris Goedde -- arriv- ed late because of football playoffs. As a result, the precise dimensions of the team have yet to be established. "Most teams have had four or five weeks of practice before the season and a minimum of 20 practices. But we've got kids on the floor who've had barely 17 practices," he sayd. "Some of our players need another week before they should even attempt their first game, and here it is almost a third of the way through the season. But, still, I'm starting to see things. We've really improved the last two-three weeks." What is clear from the very first is that 6-foot-5 Scott Lady and the 6-4 Goedde will supply most of the points. As a guard, Rohrbacher has been in I I I double figures twice, but elsewhere, the Wildcats do best when they stick to a half-court tame, prac- tice patience and take intelligent shots provided by the offense. Lady is averaging 19 points, Goedde about 12 and the team has yet to score more than 63 points or fewer than 50. Even though fans get fidgety because the scor- ing seems so concentrated, Sills does not see that as an obvious flaw. "From the stands it's easy to see our guards weren't scoring, but I'm not sure it was a problem. Most teams have two players who do most of the scoring. Sometimes it's two guards; sometimes it's a guard and a Coward. To say we've lost because our guards haven't scored is irrele- vant. Our scores have been too close. You might say we've had a problem with shot selection or free throws, but I wouldn't put it on the guards. I wouldn't say we have to dictate the tempo, but we've got a pretty good grip on it. That's because defense comes first." Eventually, Sills says, the question of balance will be rendered moot. Mater Dot's offense gets everyone a shot, and he figures the players are capable of doing what has to be done. But more than natural development, Sills wants this team to look inside itself and make a commitment. Perhaps he is reminded of last season when the team spent most of its time losing close games. Close losses might be "moral victories" to fans, but coaches still mark the verdict on the "L" side of the ledger. Close is not good enough this year, Sills says. "I expect a lot of them," he says. "I wouldn't pull any punches on that. With a team that doesn't have much talent, it normally has a lot of hustle. So you're willing to play anybody, and it's fun. But the mark of a good team is that they get together and decide they're just not gonna get beat. That's what I want this team to do. I want them to relax and just play." I I II con//na tram pes Americans gather weekly at the Church of St. Agnes, is the place to sample "pangiallo," the sweet bread crammed with dried fruit and nuts. The historic debate, which still rages, is whether or not figs should be used in the recipe. In the oval-shaped square, once the site of an ancient Roman racetrack, the modern toy-run takes two laps: at Christmas and later at the feast of the Epiphany, when the "Befana" or gift-bearing witch can be seen ,walking among the stalls. '  ' She should not be confused with another woman in rags, who carries her sack through Roman neighborhoods in search of old metal objects and household junk. A rare figure today, she's one of the collec- tion ladies for the annual St. Rite Christmas charity, whose proceeds go to the needy. Other seasonal street- wanderers include the "zam- pognari," poor shepherds from the Abruzzi Mountains east of Rome who play their bagpipes beneath street shrines to the Madonna. Unlike the original shepherds drawn to Bethlehem, they accept tips from passers- by. On Christmas Eve, dressed in sandals and sheepskin chaps, they serenade church- goers on the steep steps of the Basilica of Santa Maria d'Aracoeli. The fourth-century church, built on the ruins of a pagan temple to a mother-goddess, holds one of the most unusual statuettes of the Holy Child. Bedecked in jewels and stand- ing in hiscrib, he receives visits over Christmastime from a steady trickle of children, who recite poems from an opposite pulpit. Nearby is a stack of let: ters addressed to "Santo Bam- bino" from all over Italy. One of Rome's most unusual fashion parades occurs here, too, when local Gypsy families arrive for midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Proud women and children are delivered to the foot of the steps in the clan's polished Mercedes, their begg- ing rags replaced tonight by their best dresses and jewelry. About a mile away, near the Colosseum, Irish Dominicans sing beatitudes during Mass. :! FAMILY PHARMACY II I Medical Arts Pharmacy 3700 Bellemeade Avenue Phone 477-1532 Donald Gutzweller City-Wide Delivery Duncan's Riverside Pharmacy Prescrlpt/on SenSe* Dru-Sundriu-Co4metlc* Msguln - "We De//ver" Corner Riverside and Governor Evansville 422-9981 Newburgh Pharmacy BILL REINE, Pharmacist Complete Prescription Service and Health Supplies Phone 853-6166 : PAUL'S Pharmacy Paul Mayer, Owner 2170 W. Franklin St. 425-7141 Plaza Pharmacy Newburgh Plaza Shopping Center Fast Prescription Service Ken and Rebecca Hacker 853-7141 Oak Hill Pharmacy Prescription Specialists Hwy. 62 and N. Wetnbach Ave. LARRY SCHULTHEIS, Prop. 42s4422 lul Stratman's Pharmacy City-Wide Delivery 413 Locust Street John and Judy Stratman 425-5293 II II