The same as always, Nell was off by herself on a side basket with another girl rebounding for her. Nell was just standing there on the left dropping in those 15-foot two-handers and before I could tell her to stop the guy said, "That's a nifty little shooter you got there." "Oh, she gets lucky now and then, but we don't play her much," I said.
Nell had been scoring 15 or 20 points a game for us and then the guy said, "She looks like she owns that spot on the left," and Pete and I didn't say anything. We walked back to the bench and sat down. I had my head in my hands and Peter was just staring across the gym into the wall.
The warmups ended and we were ready to go but the officials weren't there yet. Finally, they came through the big doors of the gym. They were the same two we'd had in our first game and they looked just as tough as ever, but we figured we'd be even with the other guy coaching. Wrong. He sat down and the woman who had come with him was talking to the officials. Obviously, she handled everything out front and we wished we'd thought of that. Pete and I went out and got the same stare we got from all women officials, and then we sat down and the game started.
I've seen some games and I've been in some, but I never saw one like that. We figured the guy would do it, and right away he came out in a box-and-one defense with their best defensive player on Nell and she didn't get half a dozen shots off in the whole game, and what she got off were rushed. But that left the middle open and Betsy and Blair and Robin drove and Chia rebounded and we're up 22-20 at the half.
We talked to the girls at halftime and they knew that they were in a different kind of game. Betsy had all the skin off one knee and Robin had what looked like the beginnings of a black eye. They all had their hair in their faces and then Chia went down in the locker room and came back with those colored Indian bands for everybody. They put them on and they looked like the Carlisle Indian Women's Team Chia wanted to know if that was a psych and we said it sure was, then they went out for the tap.
The third quarter was close and it was in the middle of it that the real trouble started. They had the ball and were working it around the outside of our one-three-one defense and it got over on the left and one of their girls put up a one-hander. Chia didn't have position for the rebound but she went for it anyway, the way she always did, recklessly, and she took two of the other team down with her in a pile. The official blew her whistle and then just stood there with her arm out like a traffic cop. She was pointing toward the door of the locker room. We didn't know what had happened. Chia and the official started to argue and then the official took Chia by the shoulders and led her to the door of the gym that went down to the lockers. Next she came over to us with her rulebook out.
She stood there and looked at Pete and me and then she said, "What have you taught those girls! That one there with the hair is out of this game for...for bestiality!"
"For what?" I said.
"For bestiality," she said, "and for..." and now she was reading from her rulebook:
"Hacking: Threatening the eyes of a player in possession of the ball by using the hands in a dangerous manner; Displaying unsportsmanlike behavior, and for Unnecessary roughness," and she said all that so you knew where the italics were.