We're proud to play a part in growing popularity of H.S. sports

They will start selling tickets around 5 p.m. Friday at East Lyme High for the most anticipated high school basketball game of the season to date here in our corner of the world: No. 6 Waterford at No. 7 East Lyme, a rematch of last season's ECC tournament championship game and the renewal of a neighboring rivalry.

Many people want to watch, but only about 800 will see it live and in color. That's because the gym inside the high school in the People's Republic of East Lyme isn't so big — maybe 800 seats maximum — thus thrusting your favorite local news source happily into the fray.

And we here at GameDay can't wait to livestream the game, which, given the anticipation and small venue, may generate the most live viewers in the eight-year history of live sports on theday.com.

It's very exciting, at least to those of us who enjoy the rhythms of local sports.

Even better news: There will be a number of other venues available to watch the game through the wonders of thedaycom. East Lyme High athletic director Steve Hargis worked on plans Thursday to show the game in the auditorium, while two other establishments — the Birdseye in New London and Filomenas in Waterford — also plan to show the game to their customers.

And if you'd like to sit home sipping a few lemonades but aren't so confident technologically, here are some options for you:

• You may watch the game on our website www.theday.com or our YouTube channel: thedayct.

• If you own a Smart TV, use either a web browser app or YouTube app.

• Mirroring: use Apple TV to mirror the screen of your MacBook, iPad or iPhone. Use a Google Chromecast to mirror the screen of your laptop, or your Android phone or tablet.

• Use a streaming media player like Apple TV, Amazon Fire Stick, Roku. All have YouTube app included.

Now I understand that's a foreign language to many of you (and me). Suggestion: Summon the closest teenager you can find. He or she can walk you through the process faster than Mike Francesa hangs up on a caller.

GameDay has been an incredibly rewarding experience since our first webcast Dec. 29, 2012, when Kris Dunn and defending state champion New London played St. Joseph at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. We've come a long way, baby. To the point where we're getting hounded in some places to bring the circus to their gym.

Heck, even a reader comment appeared the other day chiding us (sort of): "You have thousands of people going to some of these games, you have thousands watching on GameDay. The interest for these basketball games is unbelievable, especially considering that in 2019 there are hundreds of other forms of exciting entertainment. I understand that every game can't get full coverage, but when EL plays against NFA, can we get a full article? Is that asking too much? In all honesty, the game should have been televised by your excellent crew. Thanks for all that you do, and the highlight package was excellent, but it's time to step it up a little."

Some of us might be tempted to respond with at least five of George Carlin's seven words you can't say on television. Except that the comment actually screams praise:

We are watching.

We are paying attention.

And we want more attention.

In our business, we can't — and shouldn't — ask for more. If you do us the honor of reading or watching, you are certainly entitled to share your opinion. And the mere idea that seven years later we're subject to critiques of our livestream choices suggests this is a smash hit.

This game should be fun. Waterford, the defending ECC and Div. III state champion, is 10-0. The Lancers have won 25 straight games, dating to the middle of last season. East Lyme has but one loss (to No. 5 Notre Dame of West Haven), gets to play at home, and has maybe the best player in Connecticut in senior Dev Ostrowski, who has dunked in two of his last three games against Waterford.

We have more coming. Highlights: The East Lyme-Waterford rematch is Feb. 12 at Waterford. We'll also show the ECC wrestling (Feb. 9) and cheerleading (Feb. 16) championships. Last season's foray with cheerleading produced more than 100,000 web hits alone, the single biggest number in the history of theday.com.

So if you can't make the game Friday, please tune in. Can't wait.

This is the opinion of Day sports columnist Mike DiMauro

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