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3/7/98 Tournament Game - 8:30 pm

As we wait for the game to begin, I tell my players (again) that this is isn't about winning or losing - it's about trying the best we can. "Sometimes," I tell them, "the ball just doesn't roll your way and there's nothing you can do about it. You can only try your best." I think they believe me. I hope so, because it's true. The "navy blue" team is our final obstacle to the "real tournament". They have only four players, and their fifth player arrives just in time. We run man-to-man on them, and it rattles them just a little bit in the beginning as we run off an 8-2 lead. They adjust quickly and a guy named Mr. Taylor, number 4 on navy blue, is lighting us up like a Christmas tree. No one we have can cover both his 3 point shot and his drive into the lane. He shreds the zone we put up against him, too. He's over half their offense, so we try to keep as much pressure on him as possible. Matt is doing well in this game and he gets some of his painted layups and turnaround baseline jumpers to show the world he is someone with whom to be reckoned. Patrick makes a couple of early shots that spots us that initial lead. Jason is an absolute monster tonight. He ripped off rebounds the last game, and he's doing it again now. He is an absolute beast on the boards, with a couple of easy fast break layups to his credit. The game starts to slip away from us and they lead by 5 points when Jason if fouled. As Jason waits to shoot, one of navy blue's players show up late, but we don't let him into the game without the technical. I feel rotten, but we have to get back into the game somehow. We make two free throws and get the ball. I truly believe that was the turning point of the game. Mr. Taylor keeps his team in the thick of things, and we end up tied at 31 at halftime. Peter has a few of his patented sky layups to keep the crowd entertained. Chris is running the show again, so it's pretty safe. Andrew looks like he's found his niche on our team, as he plays defense like a madman by getting steals left and right. Boy, is he quick. Anthony has a changed rotation for this game, and he plays his defense without fouling out. On offense, hardly anyone appears to want an easy 3 footer. We're starting to lose our legs. Abe is the only one who seems fresh at the moment. His drive into the lane breaks a drought in the second half. Unfortuanately, we're still down by 7 with about 5 minutes to play. Adam gets a couple of nice steals during the drought to keep them at a standstill on offense while we attempt to find someone who can score. Matt brings some rain and the drought is over for good. Just as things are going well, Matt pushes too hard and fouls out of the game. We put Chris in and absolutely takes over. His passing keeps us out of the turnover column and Patrick hits a 3 pointer to seal the lead change for good. As the game winds down, we play implement our slow down offense and run out the clock. We win 63-51. The next game is tomorrow, Sunday, at 3:30 pm. I hope our legs are rested by then.