Monday, October 31, 2011

A Building Block

Second half jump shot.
  The story was playing out just like it had in the previous two weeks. DMBC Dunkerque (my team!) had opened the game against Leon Tregor by VERY slowly mounting a lead. Tied after the first 10 minutes, we had a run to open the second to take a nine point lead. But just like the two games prior, we let our opponents back in, and took a three point lead into halftime.

  Last week, my coach and I had talked about how it takes us 15 minutes to build a 10-point lead, and then we somehow manage to lose that lead in the span of 2-3 minutes. That's a difficult thing to have happen. You can't work and work and work for a half, and then let all that work be undone in the blink of an eye. But that's what we were doing game after game.

First half fast break.
  The third quarter got underway, and we immediately lost our lead. Down by four, and with things somewhat spiraling out of control (turning the ball over, missing easy shots, allowing them open looks at the basket), we could have very easily rolled over and died. But thankfully, we didn't. 

  Instead we re-grouped, and re-gained our focus. Maybe I'm making too big a deal out of it, but hopefully it'll be a trend that we continue to see for the rest of the season. Instead of going our separate ways when things got tough, we came together, and we remembered
we needed to play as a team.

Mouse in the house.
  The fourth quarter was ours this time around. While things got dicey for a few minutes here and there, once we retook the lead, we never looked back. We got defensive stops when we needed, rebounded when it was a must, and hit our free throws to close Leon Tregor out. 

  The pre-game talk from our coach centered around correcting our failures from the previous two games. Changing our attitude, and changing the result. We felt that we had given away our last two games. You can accept losing a game if the other team is more talented, or a stronger team. But you can never
accept defeat when you give the game away by
making mistakes or quit playing.

Getting through the screen.
  Just like last week, we led the game for 30 minutes. But this time we also led when it counted most: when there were zeros on the clock. While you don't consciously think about previous games when you're out there on the court; you do draw on those prior experiences. We remembered how we felt after each of our last two games, and we did the things to ensure we wouldn't feel that way for a third straight week.

  So we learned. Maybe it took us a week or two too long, but we learned from our mistakes. That's all you can ask for, and that's how a team gets better. Hopefully the success from this Saturday will be a building block for our team, and we will continue to improve!

  Happy Halloween! ~ Sabrina