Kid Hoops

A great weekend for L’s team.

They played in a one-day shootout Saturday about 30 minutes away from home. Our coach moved us up to the 8th–9th grade bracket, so we were worried going in.

That was dumb; both teams we played were awful.

The first was an all-freshman team. We hit two 3’s to open the game and never looked back. We had a running clock before halftime and won 59–5. It was bad. Just run-out layup after run-out layup. It reminded me of the 1989 Kansas-Kentucky game.[1]

This was L’s first game in her new ankle brace. Going in her coach said he was more interested in her being available for next weekend’s tournament than these games, so would limit her minutes if she was still in pain. Something about the brace helped her, as she had four offensive rebounds in about a three minute span. Oh it helped that the other team was awful. She finished with two points on 1–1 shooting and six rebounds.

We expected our second opponent to be better. They were from Cincinnati and were mostly tall, super athletic girls. We went out for a group lunch and came back to watch the end of their first game. We quickly saw that no matter how athletically talented these girls were, they had almost no basketball skills. They lost to a team that was shorter than us, and seemed to fall apart mentally in the closing minutes.

Still, you never know. We’ve been bothered by tall, athletic teams all year.

Turns out we needn’t have worried. We rolled them 55–29. L started and had four assists in her first four minutes on the court. She hit a 3 and a couple other shots to finish with 7 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and zero turnovers. That’s a pretty solid box score line.

I felt bad for the Cincy girls. They seemed pretty clueless and got down on themselves easily when things went wrong. Their most talented girl looked like a shorter version of LSU’s Angel Reese. In one sequence she had five offensive rebounds. But when her sixth shot attempt got blocked out of bounds, she smacked the ball and pouted. She had just done something remarkable – some players go an entire season without getting five offensive rebounds – but she got in her own head and didn’t do much the rest of the game.

It didn’t help that their coaches just screamed at them the entire time.

Things got a little tense late in the game when a refs T’ed up one of their players. When asked what she did, the ref said, “She said a curse word.” One of their parents asked what she said and he responded, “Jesus Christ.” That set their coach off, “OH, SO WE CAN’T SAY JESUS NOW???”

So you have a white ref who is clearly in a bad mood, and a black coach screaming at him. This seemed like it could go off the rails quickly. Thankfully cooler heads prevailed.

Best news was L survived the weekend without rolling her ankle again and wasn’t in too much pain Sunday. I’m sure it helped that she didn’t practice at all last week.

One more weekend of travel ball before we break for June, when high school activities take over.


M finished up her CHS tennis career with two matches last week.

Monday was senior night, and S and I got to walk onto the court with her before her match.

Then we sat down for the long wait until she played. I had forgotten how long these full team days can take, as both matches I had gone to this year were JV only and moved more quickly. Fortunately for us, there was a pop-up storm right on top of the CHS courts about 20 minutes into the varsity matches that brought things to a halt.

I went back Tuesday as M was one of six JV girls selected to play in the makeup matches. She and her partner played a JV team that pretty clearly featured Center Grove’s next star player. She was probably 5’9” and blistered the ball when she hit it. When she could keep it in, you had no chance to return it.

M and her partner nearly broke the tall girl’s partner, leading 30–40, but blew that game. The next game they were up 40–15 and blew that one. It took about 17 minutes for them to lose 6–0 and walk off the court laughing at themselves. I’m glad M has always kept a sense of humor about her ability.

Wednesday she played her final match. This was the night S and I were at the City and Colour concert so we missed it. She played with a junior this time and they lost 6–1. That made her 0–4 for the year, and something in the area of 1–10 or 2–10 for her career. She came close to getting another win two weeks ago when she lost in a tiebreaker.

Again, she had fun, which is all that really matters.

C only got to play one match this year, with one of her St P’s classmates. I was able to go to that match and stand with her partner’s parents. They also have a son in M’s class so we’ve know them for 13 years. We made a lot of jokes about our daughters’ abilities as they struggled to hit the ball, not giggle, and figure out how to keep score. They also lost 6–0 in about 15 minutes. In a coincidental twist, M had lost to one of those same girls 6–0 last year. I couldn’t be prouder!

C also enjoyed being on the team, and she and her partner have talked about taking some lessons together this summer so they are less clueless next year, and hopefully get a few more matches.

Girls tennis season kind of sucks. Being in the spring, practices and matches are constantly being cancelled because of weather. C was sick with the Punta Plague for two weeks and missed a bunch of practices. Getting one match out of our team fee and uniform purchases seemed like a bad return. But if she is interested in continuing to play and trying to improve, I guess it’s worth it if she had fun.

Mother’s Day

We had a pretty chill Mom’s day, mostly because that’s how S likes it. We ordered dinner from a new restaurant and were able to eat outside. She took flowers to her sisters and step-mom. We watched a movie together in the evening. Otherwise a rather quiet holiday.

We did have our old neighbors over Saturday night, the first time we’ve seen them since before spring break, so that was probably the highlight of the weekend for S.

  1. If you know, you know.  ↩