You can almost hear Dionne Warwick singing “What’s it all about Alfie?”
The perfect soundtrack for the 2021-22 girls basketball season. What is it all about, anyway? What does a win mean? What does a loss mean? What does anything mean?
Windsor travels down to Brattleboro and loses. People are stunned. What the heck?
Then, we find out that Windsor’s bus down I-91 included a grand total of six players.
COVID has turned the season upside down and made analyzing anything harder than taking the ball to the hole against Chamberlain or Russell.
It takes us back to late March of last season. West Rutland was unbeaten and the top seed. They had size, skill and were many people’s favorite to grab the brass ring.
Then they had close contact with another team where players had COVID and all five starters were out for the semifinal game against Danville. That’s right, ALL FIVE starters.
Not surprisingly, the Golden Horde was “upset” by Danville 44-22 and never got to make the trip to the Barre Auditorium for the biggest game of all.
Then, the virus hit Danville and there was no D-IV state title game at Barre Auditorium.
Westside’s seniors Elizabeth Bailey and Kiana Grabowski had to watch the semifinal game from afar on a screen as it sank in that their career was over.
We’ve been in that same mode now for several weeks as game after game has been postponed. Teams have not played for weeks.
That makes constructing power rankings a study in futility.
You still have to give some weight to a loss when a team essentially puts a JV squad on the floor. But how much weight?
COVID is supposed to loosen its grip on us as the season marches on. Hopefully, that will give more meaning again to wins and losses.
Brattleboro is in Windsor’s gorgeous gym on Jan. 27 and the Colonels will be coming to town in an attempt to prove their win over the Yellow Jackets was not a fluke.
The Jacks will be trying to make one loud statement.
I think things will be getting better and the season will take on a more normal shape.
In the meantime, here are this week’s Rutland Herald/Times Argus power rankings for girls basketball.
Last week’s ranking is in parentheses and the rankings were constructed before Thursday evening’s games.
1. Rice 4-0 (3) The Green Knights defeated previous No. 1 CVU 34-20. CVU does not score 20 points. It’s just another case of what is going on during a topsy-turvy season. But the Knights are 4-0 and a 30-point win over a very good Rutland team is the best line on their resume.
2. CVU 5-1 (1) That loss? Twenty points? What’s it all about Alfie?
3. Mount Mansfield 6-0 (4) The Cougars have won them all, the most impressive being a 14-point win over a solid St. Johnsbury team.
4. Windsor 7-1 (2) The only Division III team in the rankings just needs to be healthy.
5. Essex 5-1 (5) The Hornets scored 93 points against that Brattleboro team but like so many teams, have not played much lately.
6. St. Johnsbury (5) When the Hilltoppers are on their game, they are tough.
7. Enosburg 7-0 (7) Not sure the Division II Hornets are better than the other D-II teams (Mount Abraham and Fair Haven) in the rankings but they might be. They are building their case but need to play some tougher opponents to keep doing it.
8. Mount Abraham 4-1 (6) It’s hard to get a read on the Eagles who have been idle too long.
9. Fair Haven 7-2 (10) The Slaters have been without some major pieces but still won three in a row, the last two over Division I foes Mount Anthony and Brattleboro.
10. Proctor 3-1 (9) The Phantoms were finally scheduled to play their first game of 2022 after three postponements. The true test is on Jan. 24 when West Rutland is on town.
On the bubble: Rutland, West Rutland, Springfield, South Burlington, Colchester, Lyndon, Hartford.
TOP FIVESDivision I: 1. Rice, 2. CVU, Mount Mansfield, 4. Essex, 5. St. Johnsbury.
Division II: 1. Enosburg, 2. Mount Abraham, 3. Fair Haven, 4. Lyndon, 5. Hartford.
Division III: 1. Windsor, 2. Williamstown, 3. Peoples, 4. Vergennes, 5. Thetford.
Division IV: 1. Proctor, 2. West Rutland, 3. Blue Mountain, 4. Northfield, 5. Mid-Vermont.