Our first weekend with sports on both days for awhile.
Saturday M had her first volleyball game of the year. They lost in two games, and neither was very close. The other team had one good server who ripped off 6–7 straight points early in each game and that was pretty much it. They were also better at passing than our girls were.
M is playing on a C team. Sometimes C teams are garbage, with a bunch of girls who have no clue or ability lumped together. But M’s team should be ok. Although they lack a complete player, almost every girl is good at at least one skill.
That said, I did sense a bit of disappointment among the team Saturday. Like a good chunk of them were upset to be on the C team. They didn’t talk very much during the game. I bet if you put the same group in the B league they would have been more vocal. A couple of the girls seemed outright surly. Now whether that was because they were on the C team, or just normal teenage girl stuff I have no idea. We reminded M that she was playing with a bunch of her friends so she should do all she can to make the games fun. They play again Wednesday night so hopefully the attitudes and performances will be a little better.
Sunday L closed out her basketball regular season with two games. We got a big break and played at our local high school, so we had a 10-minute commute instead of the 45 minutes to an hour we had the first three weekends.
Game one was great. We fell behind 2–0 and then dominated, winning 26–3. The girls were really good on defense and on the boards and actually ran their plays halfway decently. At least in the first half. The second half was just chaos. L had eight points, including two breakaway layups in the first half. She also hit a long jumper that was pure chucking and lucky to go in. I had a couple texts after the game from parents on the other side of the court laughing about what a lucky heave it was.
Four-game winning streak, 4–3 on the season.
Game two we played a team that came into the weekend 5–1. We can see total points for and against but not individual game results on the league’s website. All we knew about them was the only game they had lost was to the first place team, who was undefeated, and they were outscoring opponents by a total of 55 points through four games. Yeesh.
A couple parents snuck down to watch part of their early game while we were playing our first. The scouting report was that they had some size but weren’t all that. In fact, they ended up losing their early game by one point to another team that came in 5–1. If we win, we’re tied with them going into the tournament with a tiebreaker.
The first quarter was just a nightmare. Both teams were attacking the ball on defense so nothing was happening on offense. We finally got a bucket late in the quarter. We got another early in the second, they scored, then we got one more to go into halftime up 6–2.
The second half was just terrible basketball for the most part. But the other team had a play that worked. L was on their point guard. She would go left where two teammates were waiting to screen L. We’ve been working on switching on defense for three weeks in practice, but our girls just stood there and watched as the guard dribbled in and tied the game on two-straight layups. We called a timeout to yell at the girls about switching. I also told L that she should know what’s coming, so don’t run into the screen, go around it and beat her girl to the baseline.
Next possession they run the same play. As soon as the guard makes her first move, L turns around, runs all the way around the lane, and sets up under the basket. Not quite the right execution, as she left her girl way too early and didn’t watch the ball, but at least she got the concept. Even better was one of our girls switched down and cut off the drive! Everything kind of went to shit and they didn’t get a shot.
Next possession, same thing. L turns tail and runs away, our center slides down to cut off the drive. But then the guard decides to throw in a 15’ baseline jumper for the lead. Damn, kid was good.
Sadly that was it for us. L hit a free throw early in the fourth quarter but that was the only point we scored in the second half. The final was 10–7. I spent roughly half of the second half with my head down in my hands because of another dumb turnover. But that is 3rd grade basketball for you.
So we finished the regular season 4–4. The girls got so much better over the course of the year. We figured out how to coach them better, too. Of our opening three losses, I bet we’d beat two of those teams if we played them again.
Which we may get a chance to do. We have a week off then begin a single-elimination tournament. I don’t know how they’ll divide the 18 teams, but based on the standings going into last week, we would be playing a team similar to the one we beat Sunday. And our girls know they can hang with one of the best teams in the league. In other words, we’re the best 4–4 team in the country, and no one should want to play us!