There are few athletic teams that prefer long layoffs without real playing action or competition. That’s pretty much the case in every sport. The inactivity can dull the timing and precision and slow the senses.
With the exception of maybe team members recovering from injuries, not much good results from such breaks. The biggest concern being is that overall performance will suffer once returning to action.
Although neither head coach used such an excuse, that may have been the case regarding the Marshall Statesmen, in girls high-school basketball, and the Wakefield Warriors, on the boys side, during the recent 6D North Region basketball tournaments. Each team had days without games entering their initial region contests.
Both lost, ending their seasons. Marshall, the defending girls champion, was defeated at home in overtime. Wakefield also lost on its home court.
Each head coach was concerned about the layoff, fearing such results and doing whatever they could in practice to stay sharp. That doesn’t always work, because there is no substitute for real competition.
Sometimes, though, such time off makes little or no difference.
That seemed to be the case for the Madison High girls. They had a long 12-day break without games prior to their opening contest of the same region tourney. That was a concern for Warhawks head coach Kirsten Stone.
“I worried about that,” Stone said. “But then, I worry about everything.”
The Warhawks showed little rust. They jumped to a quick 9-0 lead in their first region playoff game, en route to winning the overall prize with a 3-0 record and three convincing blowouts to boot.
The Yorktown High boys lost their final two regular-season games, had a multiple-day layoff, then finished 2-1 in the region.
So maybe such absence of playing time can work both ways.