"John Brown's body lies a-mouldering in the grave; (3X)His soul's marching on!Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory, hallelujah!Glory, glory, hallelujah! his soul's marching on!He's gone to be a soldier in the army of the Lord! (3X)His soul's marching on!(Chorus)John Brown's knapsack is strapped upon his back! (3X)His soul's marching on!(Chorus)His pet lambs will meet him on the way; (3X)They go marching on!(Chorus)They will hang Jeff Davis to a sour apple tree! (3X)As they march along!(Chorus)Now, three rousing cheers for the Union; (3X)As we are marching on!"- John Brown's Body, Union marching song
Game #9-215: High Point Panthers at Chattanooga MocsDecember 28, 2012 7:00 pm
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. - If you've read my stuff here for the past 12 months or so, you know that I'm a big fan of history
. I love
historical sites, to know that people stood where you are sometime in the past and changed the world is inspiring to me.
So if I was going to take a trip to the southern part of the country
, I was definitely going to try to see what I could. Any American history buff is at least somewhat fascinated by the Civil War in a gruesome, sadistic kind of way, but also trying to understand how something like that could have happened just 150 years ago (not that long from a big-picture chronological standpoint).
The plan heading this way was to get to Antietam (where I'd never been) by way of Gettysburg (where I'd been several times). Things went awry, though, when I was joined upon arrival at the Gettysburg National Park by an unwelcome guest, blizzard-like conditions. Slowly I trudged south, and -
with the forecast being more favorable in Virginia than west to Antietam, instead moved deliberately past Washington D.C. and to Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and The Battle of the Wilderness, all within miles of each other.
(Chancellorsville also saw the end for Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, one of the great generals of our time no matter who he was fighting for.)
Upon arrival in Chattanooga, the first place I went was up the windy roads to Lookout Mountain National Park, which in addition to giving a remarkable view of what's below, was site (well, most of the decisive parts of the battle were fought a couple of miles away on Missionary Hill) of a Union victory that marked the beginning of the end for the Confederacy late in 1863.
It's a pretty awful comparison actually, but I like to associate generals with coaches when I study history, or vice versa. There are some similarities, although likening any game to war makes me cringe pretty hard.
Anyway, Confederate general Braxton Bragg was brave and honorable, but seemed to suffer tactically, and didn't end up with a very good record when the Civil war was over, At Chattanooga, somehow he and his squads let the Union make a successful uphill charge right through their middle. It was led by George Thomas, who didn't get much of the credit (you hadn't heard of him, had you?), but assistants never get the plaudits, do they? The overall leader at Chattanooga - one Ulysses S. Grant - had another victory to add to his growing total as his star, like a coach making his way through the ranks, was rising fast, all the way to the Presidency in five years.
Enough of the history lesson, sorry. I don't want you to take what follows the wrong way. I'm not trying to judge, or start a political scrap, or piss anyone off, really. As an amateur scholar, I just found it ironic and interesting.
Across from an entrance to the UT-Chattanooga campus (and they appear to want to be called UTC and not Chattanooga these days) sits a Confederate cemetery, which begins the irony because UTC was originally known as U.S. Grant University in the 19th century.
This sign still hangs outside the cemetery, and has apparently been there in some form since 1901, a time when many relatives of those killed were still alive.
Not being a High Point expert, unlike Ian McCormick whom I met at the game, I chuckled when I saw that one of the Panthers best players was an African-American kid named John Brown, and how humorous it would be to a history buff like myself if he led High Point to victory after seeing the Confederate cemetery. I also shook my head because my original plan on the trip was to go to Harper's Ferry after Antietam before the snow intervened.
The original Brown, the famed abolitionist
(born in Connecticut), was among the most divisive figures of the war, with his brand of vigilante justice. But there's no bad propaganda in a war setting, and there's really no such thing as a bad martyr, either, so Brown was it.
Anyway, this John Brown seems to be a heck of a player and he had 13 points in an ugly first half that saw High Point lead 32-30 at the break. How ugly? Using the same baskets that the squads from the first game couldn't miss on
, the teams combined to go 0-for-21 on #superhoops, a mark of futility I don't know if I've ever seen at this level.
The Mocs (UTC changed its nickname in 1997 from Moccasins to Mockingbirds due to political sensitivity issues
with the Native American heritage, which I guess with the narrative of this story, brings more irony) have had a tough time of it this season in general. Historically the shining star of the tradition-rich Southern Conference (27 titles), UTC was 21-1 in the semifinal round of the Dr. Pepper Classic, but looked to be in some trouble here. With only 10 healthy players due to injury (and coach John Shulman used them all early), the Mocs were only 3-8 coming in, and - although it is the holidays - it wasn't a well-attended game downtown.
UTC scored the first 11 points of the second half without the benefit of a #superhoop, but High Point - a relatively new Division I program - answered, Devante Wallace finally breaking the superhoop drought at 23 total, and he backed it up with another, as the Panthers answered the Mocs with a 14-2 run of their own to grab the lead back in a second half that was very entertaining as the lead changed hands several times.
(Listening to the postgame show on the radio afterward, Shulman said there was an information fail with Wallace. His assistant in charge of scouting told him he didn't know who No. 5 - Wallace - was and that he didn't see him on any of the tapes. His assistant was correct in that regard, this was Wallace's first game of the season after an injury, but he did start sometimes last season, and played his high school ball at legendary Dunbar in Baltimore, known as a shooter. A good general is never surprised by anything.)
Brown tried his best to keep the Panthers plugging, but after 18 misses, the odds dictated that the Mocs were good for one #superhoop, and they were. The key play in the game came soon after. With High Point's zone (coach Scott Cherry, being a smart general himself, saw UTC's ineptness from the outside and packed it in for much of the second half) giving the Mocs fits and the shot clock running down with 5:45 left and UTC clinging to a 54-52 lead, Ronrico White not only stepped up and hit a #superhoop, but was fouled for a four-point play.
High Point got to within one on a Wallace superhoop with 30 seconds left, but UTC made enough free throws to move to the finals for the 22nd time in 23 years of the Dr. Pepper Classic (against Utah Valley the following night).
The teams combined to go just 5-for-41 on #superhoops, with Chattanooga just 2-of-21, but it was a gutsy win for a team that definitely needed one with conference play on the horizon. White finished with 21 points to lead the Mocs.
Brown, just a freshman, ended up with 23 points and 16 rebounds as the Panthers held a significant advantage on the boards (45-32) for the contest.
In one more irony to leave you with, one version of how the John Brown song was created says that there was a Union officer named John Brown (obviously, it's a very common surname), and the chant poked fun at him having the same name as the abolitionist.
I wonder if High Point's John Brown would get the joke, although with a 2-0 record already in Big South play and his play starting to get notice around the region, he probably wouldn't much care, will he?
Ah, the perils of only a selected few understanding what in the heck you're talking about.
I know, I know, I'll stick to basketball next time.
at CHATTANOOGA 68, HIGH POINT 61
HIGH POINT 4-7 (0-0) -- J. Brown 8-15 7-11 23; A. Weary 6-10 3-4 15; L. Cugini 2-7 0-0 4; D. McGaughy 0-1 0-0 0; B. Mikulic 0-4 0-0 0; J. Simms 0-2 0-0 0; D. Edwards 1-4 0-2 2; C. Law 2-6 0-0 4; H. McIntyre 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-49 10-17 48.
CHATTANOOGA 4-8 (0-1) -- R. White 5-10 9-11 21; G. McGhee 5-11 2-6 12; Z. Mason 5-9 5-6 15; F. Cobb 1-9 0-0 2; M. Bareika 2-5 2-2 6; D. Zlovaric 2-5 0-0 4; S. Watson 1-2 0-1 2; J. Bryant 0-0 2-2 2; A. Bran 2-3 0-0 4; E. Robertson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-55 20-28 68.
Three-point goals: HP 0-11 (J. Simms 0-1; D. Wallace 3-9; B. Mikulic 0-4; L. Cugini 0-3; D. Edwards 0-2; A. Weary 0-1), CHAT 2-21 (M. Bareika 0-2; R. White 2-7; A. Bran 0-1; F. Cobb 0-6; G. McGhee 0-4; E. Robertson 0-1); Rebounds: HP 41 (J. Brown 16), CHAT 30 (Z. Mason 9); Assists: HP 13 (L. Cugini 5), CHAT 12 (R. White 4); Total Fouls -- HP 23, CHAT 21; Fouled Out: HP-None; CHAT-S. Watson.
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