I’m a little sore but it was well worth it.
Four games in five hours.
That’s the grueling schedule that was put upon us in our men’s basketball league Sunday afternoon. We started at 2pm. If we won we’d play at 3pm. If we won that game we’d play at 5pm. If we won that game we’d be in the title game at 6pm.
We entered the tournament as the No. 3 seed and after dropping our second round game we had to fight through the loser’s bracket, and fight we did.
We won our first two games with ease, which was expected as both teams finished near the bottom of the standings during the regular season. That set up a rematch of our second round game against the Green Team.
The Green Team had defeated us in the regular season by two points and then by one lousy point in our frustrating second round loss. They got out to a lead early and stuck with it until late in the second half when Alex’s two free throws tied the score at 38-38. After a free throw they took a one-point lead at 39-38. With 12 seconds remaining we huddled to set up a play.
I immediately jumped in with my thoughts. If we run a stack (four guys lined up and then break when the whistle blows) it might throw them off. We’re playing rec league basketball so we might throw them off. And it did.
When we lined up one of the guys from the opposing team joked, “What is this elementary school basketball? You’re running the stack!” Then he pointed to Randy and said, “You’re getting the ball aren’t you?” I joked back, “Nope, I’m getting the ball.” He answered back, “No, you’re not getting the ball he is.”
My thought when I thought about that play was that we could get it high to Alex or outside to Randy. The whistle blew, the waters parted and there I was wide open. Will, who was inbounding the ball, looked surprised. He threw me the ball, I went up for the uncontested layup and just like that we had a one-point lead with 6 seconds remaining. I sprinted down court my arms opened wide. I couldn’t believe it. And now I try to think of that moment and I can’t. I barely remember getting the shot off. I barely remember the angle it took when I shot it off the backboard and I don’t remember where anyone was when I sprinted down court. I just knew I called the perfect play and ended up making the perfect layup and achieving my “career” highlight.
I had made a 3-pointer a few years back but that was with 17 seconds remaining and was less dramatic and quickly upstaged by Mike’s big shot. This was our third game in four hours, I had played horribly in the first game and a bit better in the second, and more importantly our third against our “rival” – it felt oh so good!
By the end of our third game we were done. Randy had cramped up. James’ knees were thrashed and everyone else was slowly stiffening up. We got off to a slow start going scoreless in the first 10 minutes. We put together a nice little run where we cut their 15 point lead to about eight points but then the energy was just sucked from us and we went into halftime down 40-19.
Our halftime speech was about ending it now or battling until the end and possibly risking further injury. We voted against the injuries and decided to concede victory at the half. We weren’t upset about as we battled until the very end or at least until we were physically able to.
In other news … it has been two months since I’ve last written. I’m so lame! … We had an Enchantment Under the Sea 50’s fundraiser dance on Friday. We made $735 and had a ton of fun. Thanks to everyone that helped. … Brazil was a blast! I sometimes wish we can move there. It would be a hassle because of the house and bills. I hate bills. The vacation was fun though. We went to the beach. It was great!