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I watched the film High School Musical 1 (2006) and there are some phrases that confuse me. Here is the video on youtube and its transcript:

[Mrs. Bolton enters the gym to find her son and husband busy shooting hoops]

Coach Bolton: (bounces ball to Troy) Keep working left, Troy. Got a guard in the championship game we're expectin'. You'll torch 'em!

  1. Does 'Got a guard' mean to protect the championship? Or does it means Troy has a job as a defender?

  2. The word 'torch' in the dictionary means to burn something. I guess in this context, it means to defeat the other team. Am I right?

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    Torch here is meaning that the opposite team will be defeated very badly. Not so sure about the Got a Guard. Google indicates that Guard Championship is organised in some schools. – hjpotter92 Mar 30 '13 at 11:28
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    You have to see the scene in order to figure out what the coach is trying to say. – SmokerAtStadium Mar 30 '13 at 12:09
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    I think your transcript is in error: What he says "Got a guard in that championship game won't expect it. You'll torch him." In this context won't expect it means who won't expect it. I think this confirms @J.R.'s answer. – StoneyB Mar 30 '13 at 17:02
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    I think J.R. got it ... Note that the boy feints to what would be his right if he were facing his father, pulls him in that direction, then wheels around him to sink the basket without opposition. – StoneyB Mar 31 '13 at 5:59
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    The father, who has scouted the opposing team, tells his son "Keep working left. Got (=you've got=you are going to encounter) a guard (on the other team) in that championship (who) won't expect it (=your working left). You'll torch (=soundly defeat) him." Exactly as J.R. says. – StoneyB Mar 31 '13 at 15:10
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I've not seen this movie, so I can't say for sure, but it's worth pointing out that guard is one of the positions on a basketball team, along with center and forward.

So, one possible meaning of this dialogue would be that the coach is talking about a particular player – a guard on the opposing team.

"Keep working left" might mean that the coach knows this player doesn't guard well on the left, or perhaps that he "cheats" to the right. (At the high school level, many players will overdefend on the right side, figuring the opposing player probably isn't all that skilled with their weak hand).

So, this is one possible interpretation:

  • There is a player on the opposing team, who plays guard.
  • I think this player might be guarding you during the game.
  • I've seen this player play defense, he likes to overdefend on the right side.
  • If you can drive to the hoop dribbling the ball with your left hand, you'll "torch" him (meaning, "you'll dribble right past him, and have a chance for an easy lay-up").

That's certainly all plausible, although, without having seen the movie, it's entirely possible that the dialog means something else. But, with the context I'm provided here, that's certainly a valid interpretation, and it explains both guard and torch in this context.

"Torch" is indeed slang for "burn"; however, in the context of athletics, I think it's more likely to be used when referring to one particular play than for an entire game.

Fred was really burned on that play!
Yes, I hope he can defend better next time.

  • Extremly thank you. I have just uploaded the part of the movie on Youtube: youtu.be/pmamm1U98Ak. Could you watch the video and help me determine the meaning of 'got a guard' again? – doquan0 Mar 30 '13 at 14:40

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