Well this week was another good one (sort of) for basket ball. While the SGE injectors (the team I play for) didn't "technically" win we surprised ourselves with how good we actually DID do. This week we had to play the "Behemoths", this team hasn't lost yet this season (I don't think) so as soon as I turned up and saw them I was already dreading the pantsing we were going to get. This however, didn't eventuate. Last time we played them about 7 weeks ago we lost about 70 - 13, this time we actually kept up with them and the final score was a respectable 42-34. A loss for us, but we played really, well. I even got told I played very well. There wasn't as many points for me as last week and true to form "with" glasses on I couldn't get the foul shots in when last week without glasses I couldn't miss??? Explain that one.
Saturday brought about my return to the coaching bench for the u10 Easter Bulls team. I missed last weeks game due to being in Adelaide and when I asked how they went (I forgot to at practice on Tuesday because Tyler was being an ass-hat and trying my patience). The answer was they lost and against the bottom team too :( Our opponents for today were, and you probably saw this coming, the TOP team in our division. We only played them 2 weeks ago....but .... somehow...here we are playing them again. This time I had 6 players so some substitutes could be made at opportune times this time.
So the kids are warming up and the first thing I noticed is that during the school holidays they have all forgotten how to shoot?? They were TERRIBLE. I got them doing lay-ups before the game and I don't think a single one of them got one in. The game starts and my team takes control of the ball straight away. They get it down our goals end and then it starts. Throw..Miss, shoot, miss, shoot....miss...shoot...miss..shoot miss. They must have put up 50 shots in about 10 mins (no kidding) and not one of them went in. The score was 0 - 0. Every time a shot went up and missed the crowd roared ..... with laughter mostly. I couldn't believe it...I was jumping up and down on the spot going "This CAN'T be happening!!!" It's sort of like winning a scrabble game...eventually....statistically....if you play enough games...you have to win ONE of them eventually (Right Rach?) That's what I thought would happen here...enough shots were going up that eventually ONE of them had to go in ?? The other team managed to get a rebound and raced down the other end of the court only to also shoot and miss. There was a mad scramble for the loose ball and the opposition got it and threw up another shot. To my great dismay it went in. 2 points to them. Eventually we managed to get the ball to go into the basket and not before time either I reckon we would have easily had 100 shots at the basket before the first goal was scored...insanity. The first half ended a low scoring affair of 8 - 6, with the opposition leading.
The kids played very well in the first half and should, by rights, be winning about 200 - 8. I told them at the break that they were doing really well but needed to remember to pass the ball out from under the basket if they got a rebound and couldn't shoot. This is the biggest problem with not just my team but all the teams in this grade. The guy (or girl) with the ball gets set upon by the WHOLE other team...and because they are all 9 y.o. they just try to POWER THROUGH ADVERSITY and more often than not lose the ball.
Second half was a much better effort from the Eastern Bulls.There was some good passes and we intercepted a lot of passes. We managed to get on level terms at 10 - 10 with 10 minutes to go and the kids were really excited to be in this position. Everyone on the team had already been off once during the game for a rest so I had to start again at the beginning. Beth came off again (without complaining, which ALL of her male team mates could take notice of!) and cheered with me from the sidelines. We got the ball from a rebound and worked it up the court and got a GOAL!! We were WINNING!! It really was gratifying to see just what that specific goal meant to the kids when it went in. Tyler had shot it (amazingly) and when it dropped in he punched the air with a fist and let out a "YEAH!!", he was so pleased with himself. The other kids all ran over and jumped around him going "Yeah!! Wooo Hooo Alright!" etc. :)
The next 8 mins went like a blur, the ball was back and forwards, back and forwards between the 2 teams with no one scoring. I dreaded it each time the ball was down the oppositions end because they have so many players they always can outrun my guys (and girls) because they aren't tired. At one stage Beth looks up at me from the bench and goes "Can I please go back on? I've been off since 10 mins." I think my mouth dropped agape....In all the excitement I'd forgotten all about substituting. I looked at the clock there was only a minute to go. I called the umpire and asked for the next sub, he nodded. My team got the ball and worked it down to our end this time Jesse put up a shot and BAM in it went ... the kids go bezerk with joy. Almost brought a tear to my eye they were so proud of themselves. The ref called the substitution and Beth went back on... with 30 secs of game time left. She said she was happy that at least she was on the court when we won, kids are so easily pleased sometimes.
So final score was 14 - 10 and a win to us.
This was probably the best game the kids have played to date. To come out and beat the top team so convincingly was a great effort by them. I personally think it's all in the coaching ;)