It wasn't exactly at day at the beach.
Corry Irvin had hoped to take her FAB 50 nationally ranked Whitney Young Dolphins (Chicago, Ill.) on a trip to Southern California to play No. 4 Mater Dei and No. 6 Long Beach Poly that would include some sightseeing and maybe even a win or two – but things didn't work out as planned.
When Irvin planned the trip, the Chicago city championship was scheduled for this week – but then in September, it was shifted to last Wednesday, Feb. 3. After practice had started, though, the Chicago Public Leagues Sports' Association changed the game to Feb. 4, and despite Irvin's pleas, refused to shift it back.
That meant the Dolphins had to play city rival Bogan at 8 p.m. Thursday night, in what Irvin called "definitely an emotional game", and then get jerked out of bed by a 3:30 a.m. wakeup call to get to the airport. Naturally, half the team got bumped off its connecting flight in Phoenix, so by the time the whole group arrived in L.A., it was nearly 1 p.m.
"We just had time to check into the hotel and eat," said Irvin, and then it was off to Santa Ana to play Mater Dei.
"There were times we had some energy," said Irvin, but it was not enough against the bigger and very talented Monarchs. Though it was just a four-point game at half, Mater Dei pulled away in the third quarter and finally won 71-58.
Originally, Irvin also had hoped that Saturday would be a day for her girls to go to Venice Beach, or check out some of the Southern California tourist attractions, but instead, most of them spent the day sleeping.
Long Beach Poly was next, again in the opponents' home gym, and though Irvin was happier with the team's effort, it turned into loss number two for the Dolphins, 56-49.
"If we had come down on Thursday, I would have been happy coming out of it 1-1," said Irvin, whose team is still at No. 9 in this week's FAB 50, one spot ahead of an Incarnate Word (St. Louis, Mo.) squad that it beat earlier this season.
"It was a helpful trip," she said, as the Dolphins are looking ahead to No. 8 Bolingbrook in the Illinois playoffs. "These teams did some of the things that Bolingbrook will try to do to us – it was like practice for that. And even though we lost, it helped our confidence, given the circumstances. We played a good 16 minutes against both, and they're two of the top teams in the country."
Still, a trip to the beach would have been nice – and so would have at least one win.