by David Tesitor
VILLA GROVE AND LA VETA- On Dec. 17, in a nearly empty gym, with a scarcity of parents and students, in a game which seemed more like a scrimmage, the La Veta Redskins junior varsity team #1 played the La Veta junior varsity team #2 for the Moffett Junior Varsity Tournament championship. The game was played in the Redskins gymnasium.
For this tournament, the usual JV starters were split into two teams, to make it more competitive. The game was more like one of those ‘pick-up’ games we all played as children, a shirts versus skins, except it was the red-shirts versus the white-shirts. Assistant basketball coach, Chance Price led the Whiteskins, while Coach Woody commanded the Redskins.
This story really began Friday, Dec. 14 when La Veta took 16 members of the Junior Varsity squad to Villa Grove. The Skins fielded two teams, paired in separate brackets for the Moffett Tournament.
The Redskins #2 played Sangre De Cristo to open the tournament, and like the night before, defeated the T-Birds 37-27 (see related story) to advance to the championship round. Meanwhile, the Redskins #1, defeated Sanford, 31-28 in their first game. Dakota Mason was high scorer with 12.
Later that evening, the Redskins #2 handily beat Center 41-12 to advance to the championship round, against the Redskins #1. Because of the uniqueness of the situation, it was agreed that it was in the best interests to have the championship game played in La Veta.
Therefore, both teams gathered after school on Monday to determine which was the better team, the Redskins or the Whiteskins. Both squads wanted to win and earn bragging rights for the rest of the season. This unexpected game saw varsity starters Brian Andreatta and Colton Taylor as officials. The third referee was Mark “the voice of the Redskins” Erwin. From the opening tip-off, it looked like Chance Price would give his mentor and head coach, Woody Arnold a basketball lesson. By the end of the first half, the Whiteskins led the Redskins 22-16.
As the third quarter began, chants from the crowd echoed, “Go La Veta.” When the buzzer sounded to end the third, Chance’s Whiteskins were defeating the red shirted team from La Veta 42-28. By now, Coach Woody seemed shocked that his young protegee, Assistant Coach Price was beating him so soundly.
Like a true leader, Woody rallied his troops when at 45.6 seconds left in the game, Jon Christian tied up the game. Almost immediately, in a controversial call, Franklin Geiser of the Whiteskins fouled Chris Treakman of the Redskins. A heated exchange of words ensued. Coach Woody was on the verge of receiving a technical foul, but senior varsity starter and part time referee, Brian Andretta thought better of it. Cooler heads prevailed and the game continued. Coach Price had one last chance to tie it up, but a stolen pass and subsequent foul put the Redskins ahead for good.
In the end, with all the fun, La Veta’s outstanding junior varsity squads captured first and second place in the Moffett Tournament. Dalton Mason led the Red team with 11 points while twin brother Dakota Mason scored 14 for the White team.