By RON MALY
Things got back to normal today in the class 4-A division of the boys' state high school basketball tournament.
1. The public address announcer finally learned how to pronounce Charley Crowley's name.
2, The officials, who seem to come to Des Moines every year thinking their job in the state tournament is to exhibit their whistle-blowing skills whether or not a foul is committed, threatened to ruin a good game played by two good teams [Valley of West Des Moines and East Sioux City] by calling a ridiculous 43 fouls.
3. Defending champion Valley will play Iowa City West for the championship at 8 p.m. tomorrow in Wells Fargo Arena. It's the third time in the last four seasons the teams have played for the 4-A title.
Valley [21-4], which won last season's championship by beating West, advanced to tomorrow's finale by handling East Sioux City, 64-54.
West, with a 22-3 record and Iowa coach Fran McCaffery's two sons [Connor and Patrick, who combined for 33 points] in the starting lineup, had an easier time of it with a 61-37 victory over Kennedy of Cedar Rapids.
Crowley, a 6-8 Valley senior who is playing at a higher level in this tournament than he did at any other time in his career, scored 25 points and hauled in 8 rebounds less than 48 hours after making the winning dunk shot with 3 seconds remaining in the Tigers' victory over Des Moines North.
Like I said, the P.A. announcer screwed up his name throughout Thursday night's game, but ol' Charley didn't let that bother him. The announcer finally was told how to pronounce his name, and Charley again was the star of the show today.
Keep this up, Charley, and you'll be captain of the all-tournament team.
There will be no awards given in this essay to the three officials who worked the Valley-East game.
The whistle-happy zebras called 25 fouls against East and 18 against Valley, making sure they stopped play every time there was even a hint that one player might touch another.
Enough of that.
Following Valley's victory, someone associated with the team put this message on the squad's Twitter site for everyone to see:
"64-54 win. Another gritty performance by this group. Relentless effort & toughness down the stretch. Back at it tomorrow!"