Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The Season Opener

Sadly, this is not from last nights inaugural game of Girl's final basketball season at her school. My camera batteries decided it would be great fun to have enough juice left to take a picture, but not enough juice to produce significant light for a flash. Every picture I took came out dark, although, I suppose that's a good thing since Girl moves so fast. In this pic, she's the one in the white and blue in the foreground...yeah, the blue and white blur. I think this was from last season, anyway. Regardless, the craziness of basketball season has begun, and will continue, as such, until February - ish ( I think). I'm hoping that I'll have plenty of posts for you to carry you throughout her season and play-by-plays of as much as I can remember after leaving the gym...and hopefully no more stories of concussions.

Now that she's in 8th grade, she has the last game time - 8:00, which means that if any of the previous games go long, we ultimately are the ones delayed. We also get the responsibility of cleaning up the gym after the games (the 5th graders have pregame clean/set up duty). Assuming, then, that all goes according to schedule and our girls start at 8:00 and win in regulation, then we're usually out of the gym by about 9:30. So much fun on a school night. Somewhere in all of that, she has to find time to study. Hopefully she won't have too many Thursday night games, though...don't want to miss my Supernatural, at least not til the holidays when the reruns start.

As usual, Girl is doing 2 sports simultaneously. Basketball is her current "in-season" sport and softball is in Fall Training right now. It's incredibly busy, but it's great training and conditioning for her. Oooh, how did I do that? Somehow I got off track. Shoot.

Back to last night: Opening night. We played one of the Catholic schools from the Richer-Than-Thou suburb just west of us. There's been a long standing rivalry between the two schools, although, there are long standing rivalries between us and almost every school we play. I'm not sure how the 5th & 6th graders did, but the 7th graders lost, and it was up to the 8th graders to make the big showing for the school. You could feel the tension in the gym so thick that the air was clouded with it. Our girls were pumped, the other team was pumped. We, the spectators, could just sense that we were in for a really intense game.

Girl, of course, started - although she was surprised she started (?). Back and forth, up and down the court, shoot and a miss, shoot and a miss and a rebound which found its way into Girl's hands. Girl took it down for the layup and scored the first points of the game...WOO HOO! Back and forth this went and the first quarter was over before we knew it with a 2point spread between the teams. At the buzzer, we just happened to be in the advantage. By halftime it was another story.

With the start of the second quarter, the other team came out strong, the fouls began, and soon we were down by 7. Watching our girls on that floor, it was easy to see that they were not about to let this pattern continue. They went into the locker room at halftime with bounces and hoots and yells. They were full of fight. When they came back out, it was like they had taken all of the individual energy and fight they had when they entered the locker room, and had channelled it all into one big energy mass the encompassed the team as a whole. They fought hard. They fouled, they got fouled. They made shots, hit the threes, they grabbed the rebounds, they dove for the saves. I gotta tell ya, they were HOT! With 1:54, or something short like that, left in the game, we tied, back and forth some more. On an unfortunate turnover, one of the girls on the other team took the ball on a breakaway. Girl was not covering her, but another girl. No one saw this player bolting to the hoop (who was covering her????). She went up, simple, uncontested layup. She MISSED! The score was still tied. We got it back. Down the court they blazed. Blocked shots, no fouls. We lost it out of bounds. Girl was covering the player who had to inbound the ball and slapped it right back at her. The player, instead of letting it go and retaining posession, caught the ball - she was still standing where she had inbounded, so she was OUT of bounds. OUR BALL with 2seconds left...and so rang the regulation buzzer.

Into OT we went. Did I mention that our game started late? Girl was in, Snood was in, coverage was intense. More back and forth, more fouls (and , of course, by OT both teams were in the bonus). One & ones with the made first shot, the miss and the hopeful put back for a three-point play. Our girls were on those players like chicken on a junebug. Boom! Bam! Up by two, we turned over the ball. The other team went to the hoop, we fouled them. They missed their shots, we boarded and held on to that ball. Final Buzzer - WE WON!!!!!!!! What a great way to start the season!

Post game conference and clean up. I think we got home around 9:45/10:00. Girl was so pumped she could hardly sit still long enough to woof down some much delayed dinner. She LOVES to compete. It's in her blood, coursing through her veins. It will serve her well. Here's to the start of the first league (of 3) of the final basketball season before high school!


kyra said...

oh, to be young and athletic! i'm living vicariously through Girl!

Kristina Chew said...

Your play-by-play takes one right into that gym!

Anonymous said...

so sad that I missed it - it sounded awesome! Congratulations Girl!! GR