The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Sports

December 16, 2013

Basketball team, small town struggle with defeat

If “Medora” were just another movie about a hard-luck high school basketball team, you might pan it and say, “So what? Who cares? Seen that.”

But it would be a mistake to dismisses this 82-minute documentary about a small town in southern Indiana and its 72-student high school that knows more despair than success.

"Medora" takes an intimate, raw look at people struggling now that the world has sped past them - much as it has thousands of other rural communities in America.

The film is showing at selected theaters or can be seen on-demand at www.medorafilm.com. It will be featured on the PBS program “Independent Lens” beginning March 31.

If the rollout is unconventional, so is the movie.

The film centers on a basketball team but is really about the survival of a way of life. One resident of Medora, whose population hovers around 700, observes: “Once we lose these small towns, we can’t get them back.”

What makes this story different is that it’s told by teenagers, some who have dreams and aspirations and others who struggle to make it to the next day.

Producers Davy Rothbart and Andrew Cohn set up this conflict early in the movie. Coach Justin Gilbert excoriates his team, which lost all 22 games the previous year, for failing to score a point in the fourth quarter of another humbling loss.

“Are you kidding me?” he says. “You had no points. Zero. Zero points in the fourth quarter. Zero. None. In eight minutes. Eight minutes. Eight minutes. Zero. Are you kidding me?”

The players slump, their heads bowed, on a locker room bench. Their expressions range between lost and humiliated.

If that was bad, an observation by one of the team’s better players is even more wrenching. Introspective Dylan McSoley ponders life without a father and whether he should try to contact him. “Hey, this is Dylan McSoley. You might not know me, but I’m your son,” he says, leaving a telephone message for a man he’s never seen except for once on a Facebook post.

Text Only
Sports
  • ws1600.jpg West Stanly girls place third at RRC track meet

    The Rocky River Conference championship track meet was held this past Wednesday at Monroe High School.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • aaronroten.jpg South Stanly tennis tops North Stanly

    Monday’s tennis matches marked the end of the regular season for the teams of the Yadkin Valley Conference West.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • hopemoua.jpg Gray Stone girls' soccer earns wins

    The Gray Stone women’s soccer team rebounded from the team’s first loss of the season to Union Academy by winning the next four matches on the schedule, including wins over North Moore 7-0, Chatham Central 10-1 and a 7-0 win over South Stanly on Monday night.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • bomb1 VIDEO: A year after marathon bombing, Boston remains strong

    The City of Boston came together Tuesday to honor those who were injured and lost their lives at the Boston Marathon on the one-year anniversary of the bombing. While the day was sure to be emotional, those affected by last year's race are showing they won't let the tragedy keep them down.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • tylerhuneycutt.jpg Stanly County Baseball Notebook

    In high school baseball games this week, conference play was the focus as the teams of Stanly County faced key conference challenges.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • heidismith.jpg Stanly County Softball Notebook

    In high school softball games this week, West Stanly moved one game closer to clinching the regular-season conference title, while North Stanly faced Queen’s Grant in a doubleheader.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

  • ward.jpg West Stanly golf takes third at final RRC regular-season match

    The final regular-season Rocky River Conference golf match was Wednesday at Eagle Chase Golf Club.
    West Stanly maintained third place in the team standings by finishing third overall in the match.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • YVC West and RRC Baseball / Softball Standings

    April 14, 2014

  • willcasmus.jpg Gray Stone golf wins at Badin Inn

    The five golf teams of Yadkin Valley Conference West took to the links at Badin Inn Golf Club on Thursday for the third regular-season match.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • mfp file Hoffner Big win for college coach wrongly accused of child porn

    MANKATO, Minn. - The ex-coach of Minnesota State University-Mankato - cleared on child porn charges - gets his old job back or could take the difference in pay should he decide to stay in a new position in North Dakota, an arbitrator has ruled. Todd Hoffner was accused when a technician found videos of his young children on his school-issued cellphone. Officials in Mankato fired him even though a judge had thrown out the charges.

    April 12, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content