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3/4/98 Tournament Game

The "khaki" team is shows up to the gym at around 7:00pm, the same time as our team. We gather around and I tell the guys that it's been a great year - but it could get better. I remind them that we'll win only by playing good defense and guarantee a victory if we hold the other team to under 50 points. For the first time the entire year, I put in the real line-up. Our lead quickly runs to 17 points. Matt is once again getting easy junk points underneath the basket. Patrick is getting some great drives into the lane, but he's also trying three's that aren't going in. Adam has suddenly become an absolute monster on the boards - I've got to figure out what his parents fed him beforehand. Jason is around doing something, but I can't figure out what. Anthony is playing excellent defense and is getting some easy points. Abe is throwing down some jumpers that are almost sweet enough to call candy. Still, the lead whittles down to 7 points by halftime. The players explain to me that I did not have a point guard (Chris or Patrick) in the last 4 minutes of the first half. I need to attend some more clinics during the summer. I quickly look over the rest of the rotation schedule and modify it so we have at least one point guard in the game at all times. I must be royally stupid. Fortunately, the rotation starts to work. Andrew gets a layup near the start of the second half that has our entire bench standing up and cheering. Adam has become the beast of the boards, as his rebounds run into the double digits. Chris goes on a 7-0 run all by himself, prompting his teammates to hit him as he comes off the court. Anthony has realized he doesn't have to try to block every shot by jumping into the air. Standing tall will block their progress. He doesn't foul out and gives us the defense and offense he's capable of. It's a beautiful sight. Peter is the layup king of this game. The aluminum backboards of the middle school gym are perfect for his finger roll bank layups as they deaden the momentum of the ball. We win by 29 points, 69-41. I feel badly for the members of the other team. I remember as we lost last year in our first game of the tournament, also. They played a hard game. Our next game is Saturday. Even if we do play our last game on Saturday, it's been a good year.