After starting cross country practice back in mid-July, we are finally free of kid sports for awhile. L’s basketball season came to a rather dreadful end Sunday in the City semifinals. Although the result was not a surprise, the way we got there was a bit of a shock.

We were playing the team that gave us our only loss of the regular season. We lost that game by 16 after being down by just two at halftime. In that game our girls just came unglued in the second half, the other team’s best player went off, and everything just snowballed. We knew that team was better than us, but went into the semi hoping if our girls kept their composure and hit some shots they could stay in it until the fourth quarter.


L had the ball stolen from her right at mid court on the first three possessions, which went a long way toward the other team starting the game on a 12–0 run. After the second steal she went totally passive and started throwing terrible passes just to get the ball out of her hands. No one has worked her over like that on D all year. Even the first time we played these girls she was able to get by the girl guarding her.

No one else for us had any better luck. The final was 28–10 and we didn’t have a single player who scored more than once. The only good thing about the game was our coach throwing out his zone defense for the first time in a game. The girls had no idea what they were supposed to do, and our opponents had different offenses to combat a zone,[1] but it at least muddied up the game enough so that we didn’t lose by 30. We did have some stretches in the second half where we were getting turnovers. But then the wrong girl would bring the ball up and we’d lose it again before we got anywhere close to the basket. Or if we got a shot, it came no where near going in.

So that was a crappy ending. Getting to the semifinal was another story. On Friday our girls played awesome, especially L. At least for the first half. L was dishing out what she would get on Sunday, getting straight steals or jumping in the passing lanes to pick off passes and pushing the ball up court. She scored six points in the first quarter, all she would score for the game, but that and her defense set the tone and we held off a late rally to win by five. L had at least 10 steals…and also had at least 10 turnovers. She got cocky in the second half after making a couple really nice passes and just started throwing the ball all over the place. She, and her teammates, need to learn how to slow down and make sure there’s, you know, a teammate where they toss their passes. But her energy was so high that night that she played almost the entire game, only coming out once. With 11 players we usually sub girls out every three minutes, although L often gets an extra shift.

They finished the season 8–2, which was pretty solid. We have athletes. If they can turn into players they have a chance to be even better as they get older. One big problem is that, right now, we only have two point guards, L and another girl. They both averaged a team-high six points per game. And those two girls are the ones most likely to drop basketball for other sports at some point. Or, more likely, only play CYO basketball in the fall and not winter ball. So while they are the two best players right now, are they going to keep getting better? And if L does go all-in with soccer and A. goes all-in with softball, who brings the ball up for this team? I think L will play CYO basketball for at least a couple more seasons. But if she eventually moves to a more competitive soccer program, I don’t know that she’ll be able to do both since they will overlap in October.

M and C both have volleyball tryouts this Sunday, but won’t begin practice until Christmas break. It’s nice to have an empty calendar for the next month or so.

  1. These girls clearly play together in other leagues. Our plays all have one-word names; theirs sounded more like football plays “Sweep 41” and when we went to a zone their coach would call out “Sweep 41 ZONE.”  ↩