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3/7/98 Tournament Game - 7:00 pm

The "orange" team, who had finished in last place with only one win in the regular season, has surprisingly beaten the "black" team in overtime in the first round of the play-in tournament on Wednesday. I get to the gym at around 4:30 pm and watch the two travelling girls team play. At around 6:30 pm, our players start showing up. Patrick, Andrew, and Adam show up 5 minutes before game time. We have just enough time to run a few layups. The orange team has only six people, so it looks like we're going to run them down. It doesn't turn out that way. We try the matchup zone on them, but they're slicing through and over it. Patrick gets a couple of three's and dribbles the ball everywhere. I guess he's our playmaker, both good and bad. Andrew is playing some excellent defense. Matt is having a hard time owning the layup in the paint. The guys in orange are playing like this could be their last game. Adam is seemingly quiet so far, but he comes up with a nice jumper near the end of the first half and plays good defense to help us out. Abe is doing a nice job flashing into the paint on ball reversals and working the transition game. At the end of the first half, we're leading by only one point. As the second half starts, neither team is leading by much. 5 points is the biggest lead either team has the entire game. We try a full court press for a while and it works to a certain extent. Unfortunately, we can't convert the steals into any points. Everyone on both sides is playing really hard. Chris is able to make a lot of points by driving into the lane against their 2-3 zone defense. Jason is letting me know he is in this game by making monster rebounds and getting an easy fast break layup. Anthony is in another world today. He's scoring like a maniac and is nowhere near foul trouble. He's figured out that he can stay down and still affect the shot without getting a foul. Peter has some jaw-dropping line drive shots that keep us going during the stretch. His defense has improved, but could use more work. It's still tied with about 5 minutes to go when the Play of the Game is turned in by Andrew Diapola. After Matt scores a basket giving us the lead by two points, the orange team tries for a quick in-bounds pass. Andrew, the quickest player on our team, steals the pass and makes an easy 3 footer. The lead is extended to four and we never look back. We start playing our slow down offense near the 2 minute mark to keep our extended five point lead. We move the ball well and make our foul shots to win the game. We congratulate orange because they played better than anyone expected them to play. They played with guts and heart and nearly beat us. It is 8:10 pm. We have 20 minutes until our next game starts. It really must be March madness time. The final score is 53-48 in our favor.