A Multi-part series based on the Mater Dei vs. Chino Hills basketball game.
By Brian Gelet, Sportscenetv.net
Sometimes you just have a need to express yourself in a way that may be nothing more than self serving. In this case regardless what I have to put into words something that I experienced this week in my service to you our sports followers
I struggle to express myself on how or what to say without totally looking like a kid at Disneyland. That in a way that’s exactly what it feels like. I know that there’s going to be those that are upset that I’m speaking again about the Chino Hills game. I hope to explain why it was so monumental and what happened. To also explain that attempt we made to convey the action from the Ayala game with no avail. I also realize that it is going to be hard to pick what parts
Friday night came with much anticipation. We knew it was going to be special as the game was completely sold out and then some within 90 minutes (as I hope to explain later). I arrived at the game which was located at Ayala High School two hours prior to game time. It was an hour before the doors were to open. The line waiting to enter the Ayala gym could be seen from Peyton Drive. The crowd staging to go in already reached the parking lot and completely filled the walkway between the tennis courts and the temporary classrooms just west of the gym’s entrance. Fans were parking across the street and also walking in from the Shops.
As many things that happened special that night we had arranged to park in the area set aside for media, referees and VIP’s. We were escorted in through a back entrance an instructed to verify with the media check-in so that the fire marshal’s count would be in order.
To my surprise and honor I found my name on the scorer’s table with a seating front and center. The most desired seat in the house. I was humbled by the kindness and respect given to me by the Chino Hills High School administration and specifically the Athletic Director Phill Garcia for that. To the right of me sat Michelle Gardner of the Daily Bulletin. The next seat was a occupied by Steve Rryer of the Orange County Register. I felt as though I was in the company of some very talented reporters at the table. Across the court and towards the north side of the gym was a second set of media tables. It was occupied by Eric Sondheimer of the L.A. Times, Tom Kiss and Courtney Ponce of insidesocal.com and SGVNSports. CBS sent a site reporter and crew. Even ESPN had representation at the table. I say this not to brag because believe me humbly I know that the seat was a gift and there were much more worthy of it than I.
What I am trying to explain is that the attendance that night, as a side note, explains as I earlier mentioned why we had such trouble finding information about the Ayala game. The Ayala game was being played at the same time in Downtown Los Angeles against Loyola High School. We at SportSceneTV.net are a small media source in comparison to our much bigger brothers in arms at the big papers(DB, SGVN, LA Times, OC Regester). We struggled to provide information with only two reporters available. As the others have a battery of reporters and sources to send out to cover events and games. Yet it seemed all of the focus was on the Huskies game understandably.
We choose to have one reporter at the Chino Hills game(me), and my partner located Studio A. To scan the web for outgoing information on the other games. Thanks to Anthony Sarinana, he was able to find information on every game in the area including Diamond Ranch vs Hollywood but, couldn’t find any or limited information coming out of Loyal High School that night.
Back to the Chino Hills game, we found out later that night it was reported that some 200 people were turned away at the door with tickets. There are some very frustrated customers going to social media with threats of contacting CIF Southern Section. Oddly enough it is my assumption that the fault fall squarely on the shoulders of CIF Southern Section as the culprit in an indirect way. It seems as CIF Southern Section prints tickets for their conference championships at one time for the entire tournament. No one specific game is named on the ticket.
So it seems that some ingenious fans travel to other schools that were playing Friday night and purchased tickets from that school. Then used those tickets to get past the people checking/taking tickets at the door that night. Who may I add would’ve had no idea that those tickets were not purchased through either Mater Dei or Chino Hills High School.
It is important mentioning that as many things that happened Friday night it was a unique night and all thought Chino Hills had prepared for most things. There was just no way they could have anticipated all of the variables or ever imagine anything like this ever happening. It was unique and quite the phenomenon.
Another problem of that night that no one could have anticipated was what happened when 2200 people decide to use their smartphones at one time. Well let me tell you. It overloads the WiFi in the surrounding area. I found out an hour after the game as I sat at a local restaurant noticed my phone was loading everything that I had sent out earlier in the night. Nothing that night got out.
The other pre game glitch was unfortunately electronic scoreboards between the two schools being Chino Hills and Ayala were not necessarily hooked up the same way at each schools. So many people jumped in to help out to try to fix the scoreboard (AD, scoreboard operator from CHHS and Mater Dei, Ayala people that had not gone to the game and even a school board member, including live phone call to the Ayala’s regular scoreboard operator) The scoreboard ultimately was fixed with minutes to spare. …..
Be sure to check back for the next edition of this multi-part series reflecting on the Chino Hills vs. Mater Dei game.
That’s How I See It
What a great game to cover. Glad to hear coach McKnight has such a good memory.