Monday, November 19, 2012

Knocking that Monkey Off My Back

vs. Calais last week.
  My shoulders immediately felt 20 pounds lighter. Like that monkey who had been sitting up there for weeks, who was growing heavier and heavier each week, jumped off the instant the final buzzer sounded.

  A big sigh of relief. And an even bigger smile.

  That's what happens when you win. After six weeks of coming up empty.

  DMBC Dunkerque had a great week of practice. I was forced to watch from the sidelines for most of the week because of a nagging 'thing' with my foot. My teammates did a great job all week, playing hard and playing intense, getting ready for our upcoming game. Since I was out of practice most of the week, I was a little unsure how my foot would feel come game time. But I managed to make it through the game okay.

  With a great week of practice under our belts, we were ready -- and due for a win.

  After settling into the game versus Limoges, we slowly pulled ahead by 10-12 points. We were aggressive, and got Limoges into foul trouble. And we took full advantage as we maintained that lead into halftime. But when you've yet to win a game, no lead is comfortable. You're on edge, and you're focused til the game is in the books.

  I knew Limoges would not go away quietly. Their players were too talented to keep at bay the entire 40 minutes. As they shot lights-out (over 60% for the game), Limoges chipped away at our lead, cutting it to six or seven several times throughout the third quarter. We always managed to respond, and continued to keep them at a somewhat-safe distance.

At home vs. Pau, earlier in the season.
  Because of a couple injuries to our back court (one during the game, and one in a prior game), our bench was shortened. With no subs, our legs were weary by the time the fourth quarter rolled around. Limoges settled into a zone to protect their players who were in foul trouble, and to limit our scoring from the inside.

  With tired legs, and a score that was growing closer and closer, those shots from the perimeter got tougher and tougher to knock down.

  We struggled to score. Actually, we were ice cold, and didn't score for five minutes. So Limoges crept closer -- eventually taking the lead midway through the fourth.

  Maybe in prior games, this was where the game would take a turn for the worse, and we would fall further and further behind, eventually losing when the horn sounded. But not this time around.

  I can't help but think that extra bit of focus and effort throughout the practice-week came in handy when the game was on the line. Defensively, we made rotations we hadn't made earlier in the season. And we were patient on offense, searched to find better shots. And then knocked those shots down. Simply stated: we made the plays we had to make to win.

  And let me just say how great the feeling was to have a smile on my face when that final buzzer sounded. Onto the next one!


  1. You have followed your passion, made a career out of it....good for you! On top of all that probably avoided a lot of rainy an dreary Or days!

    1. Thanks! Haha -- well, there's been a lot of other rainy, dreary days elsewhere! OR isn't the only place with less-than-desirable winter weather. :)