by Jim Buzzerd
Last Saturday turned into one of the more interesting days in recent memory. My wife and I have been living in South Carolina full time for over 13 months. We’re about eight miles north and west of North Myrtle Beach in an area called Longs. We have friends from Berkeley Springs that spend February in a house on the beach in Surfside, SC which is 38 miles and 50 minutes from our house.
We decided to visit the vacationers Saturday and headed south to Surfside around noon. We winded our way to Ocean Boulevard and as soon as we turned onto that street there were many folks gazing westerly into the sky. When we parked, we checked out the sky and there it was. The balloon from China that was in the news all week was clearly visible. We had to look westward to see it, but it seemed destined to soon be directly above us.
A couple minutes of watching this object without some effective magnification device was pretty boring, so we went inside to begin our visit. In a half hour or so I went out the back door, which opens to the ocean, to see if the balloon had made it over water. There was a small group of people gathered just below the deck I was standing on and they were excited to report they had just seen a missile take down the balloon.
The contrails of the missile were still evident, and the balloon was gone, and I missed seeing it by a minute or two according to those who did see it. There would have been nothing boring about watching that missile take out China’s balloon, but that’s the way my luck is.
Anyway, we were back in Longs in time to watch the West Virginia University men’s basketball team, coming off last Tuesday’s 76-72 loss at TCU, to try to avenge an earlier loss to Oklahoma. Finally, a game the Mountaineers controlled from beginning to end. WVU blitzed the Sooners early and led 56-30 at the half. Even so, with West Virginia’s epic second half collapses it was too early to celebrate. On this night the Mountaineers would hold the lead by outscoring Oklahoma 37-31 in the second half.
Erik Stevenson had another big night with 34 points eclipsing his previous high of 31 two games prior against Auburn. According to some computer models WVU is as high as 14th in the Pomeroy ratings, so at 14-9, 3-7, the Mountaineers are getting a lot of love for their strength of schedule. If the Mountaineers can win their four remaining home games, they should be in the NCAA tournament in March.
That won’t be easy as the next home game is Wednesday night with 11th ranked Iowa State. The game is on ESPN2. Then the team travels to Texas for a Saturday noon game with the fifth ranked Longhorns on ESPN2. WVU will remain in Texas and meet Baylor at 9 p.m. Monday, also on ESPN2.