Monday, October 22, 2012

Close, But No Cigar

Line-up introduction at La Roche.

  Saturday night in La Roche Sur Yon (on the Western coast of France) featured a match-up between two win-less teams. Both 0-2. Both desperate for a win. After all, no one wants to be 0-3! 

  While DMBC Dunkerque (my team!) had played two quality teams (and one on a difficult road trip), we still were disappointed not to come away with a win in either of our first two games. 

  Our goal on Saturday was to be in the game after the 1st quarter, and then again at halftime. Since in our first two games, we had put ourselves in a giant hole the first 10 minutes of the game, it was important to get off to a good start. We knew La Roche was a tough team. Athletic and well-coached. But we had had a pretty good week of practice, so we were confident coming into the game.

  After a semi-slow start, we recovered quickly enough in the first quarter to bring La Roche back into range. Once both teams got comfortable, and got a feel for the game, you knew it was going to be a close match til the end. 

First half action.
  It's always interesting how the first six to seven minutes of a game play out. The two teams getting a feel for one another. The rhythm of the game, the pace each team likes to play with, and their strengths and weaknesses. It's where you set the tone for the rest of the game.

  At halftime, not only were we in the game, but we had the lead. Our first halftime lead of the season. Question was, could we hold on for another 20 minutes, and eke out our first WIN of the season?

  Right off the bat in the third quarter, we gave up our six-point halftime lead, and were faced with a three to four point deficit less than five minutes into the 3rd quarter. But never the less, we regained our composure, and stayed in the game. 

  That's one thing I can say about my team this year, is that we don't give in. We may give up a 10-0 run a little too often, but we always fight back. There's a lot to be said for a team with that spirit. If we could only learn not to give up those runs. 

  Continually being in a hole is tough to come back from, and requires a lot of energy. So if we can avoid deficits to battle back from over and over again, we'd be much better off.

  Mid-way through the 4th quarter we found ourselves down several baskets. But we scrambled defensively, and made a few plays to get the game back even with just over a minute to play. It was then we made one too many mistakes. A turnover, missed free throws, missed open shots, and giving up multiple offensive rebounds was too much to overcome against a good team down the stretch.

First half action.
  On one hand, it's a good feeling to have been in the position to with the game against a talented team, on the road. But it's also incredibly frustrating to think about the many things you could have done better, or differently, to affect the outcome of the game. 

  One more play here, one more defensive stop there, we might be looking at a close victory instead of a heartbreaking four-point loss. 

  Going on the road, sleeping overnight on the bus, and then coming up just a few points short, for our third consecutive loss, is extremely disappointing. But let's hope we learn from our mistakes, continue to work in practice, and come out on the winning side next week.

  If our team spirit wins out, I have no doubt we'll do just that. One thing's for sure, I can't wait to get back on the court. Nothing cures a loss faster than getting back on the floor, competing, and winning! 

  So stay tuned for next week!


Post a Comment