Flashes’ fairy tale ends in defeat

Dave Yochum

Senior forward Kevin Warzynski, senior center Nate Gerwig and senior guard DeAndre Haynes, show their disappointment after they lost 79-64 to Pittsburgh in Auburn Hills, Mich., in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Tournament Friday evening. MEL

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

Flashes, your fairy tale ended Friday – before the stroke of midnight.

It could have been over when Pittsburgh’s Sam Young’s steal and dunk put you down 32 to 14.

Or six minutes into the second half, when Levance Fields’ 3-pointer widened Pitt’s lead to 25 points.

The magic from your basketball season was fading fast Friday night, but that didn’t stop you from playing hard.

The pride, passion and class you showed on the court even had a Pittsburgh fan hoping for a comeback. But Friday belonged to your evil stepsisters, Cinderella – it belonged to the Panthers.

I don’t agree with how the Panthers treated you, but they have always been a big, physical bunch. The Panthers play rough, they play mean and they push people around. Flashes, Pitt simply was taller and heavier than you, but you were larger than the Panthers in one respect Friday night – you were the bigger person.

Panthers like Carl Krauser got carried away swinging elbows. His uncontrolled aggression only hurts Pitt’s program and his own credibility. Krauser looked foolish bumping players to get open, while the Flashes hardly complained about taking the abuse.

Cinderella, you spoke volumes about the Kent State basketball program without saying a word.

You played as a team Friday night and you played with trust. Even at your worst moments, your high-fives and group huddles kept you competitive.

Watching the contest on television, CBS announcers seemed to lose interest in the game before halftime. Commentators had given up on the Flashes, but Cinderella, your fans did not.

Kent State fans were louder than the Pitt faithful all night. Despite how the scoreboard read, you could hear Kent State fans chanting “defense” above the Palace of Auburn Hills’ crowd.

Kent State, your players, coaches and fans have something to be proud of. The Flashes are a first-rate group of men who gave their all representing the university.

Cinderella, you may have lost a glass slipper in Auburn Hills Mich., but you still have one that proves you were there and that you belonged.

Dave Yochum is a transportation reporter for the Daily Kent Stater and Pittsburgh native. Contact him at [email protected]