Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Basketball diaries

As I mentioned last week, my girls' basketball team and I were headed to Cowansville for the annual Massey-Vanier Dragons basketball tournament this past weekend. My team now has a record of 3 wins, 5 losses (wins in our last two games) and we're steadily improving. Last year, when I went to a tournament in Repentigny with my old team, we lost all three games. I figured if we won one game this year, it would be a decent result. This would also be our first time sleeping away from home as a team. I don't know what made me think that Alex, my sister Val and myself would be able to get any sleep in a classroom with 16 teenagers...

Our first game on Saturday morning was a disappointment. We were clearly outmatched by the other team, which was in fact a AA level team, even though we had signed up to play in the lower level, A, where we usually play. The girls didn't play very well as they were clearly stressed by the whole novelty of going to another city to play three games in one weekend. One of the organizers came to see me after the game to ask me why our team was so aggressive and to complain about my girls' behaviour. My girls told him that they were on the receiving end of some pretty indecent language. I don't think the organizer did anything about their complaints and we were getting a weird vibe from him. He hadn't even talked to the coach of the other team about the game, he only mentioned "what he had heard".

The second game went a bit better, but we still lost by 22 points. The second team was also AA though. This meant that we would be playing in the consolation game on Sunday morning against a team that had lost to this second AA team by only 6 points. At the same time, the older girls from my school, coached by my friend Pascal, won their two AA games on Saturday and were headed for the finals on Sunday evening, against a team they had beaten in two previous meetings this season. Each of our teams had been assigned a classroom where we would sleep on the ground in sleeping bags. I had allowed 4 girls from our grade 8 team to come to the tournament (Val coaches that team) as spectators and they were staying in our classroom, bringing the total up to 16 girls.

Although there were three adults in our classroom, it was impossible to enforce any kind of discipline. The organizers had promised a movie, but it never materialized. There wasn't even a cafeteria-type place to hang out. Despite this, the girls had got it into their head that there was a party going on in another of the classrooms and were pissed off that we weren't letting them go. There was in fact no party, but the girls were 100% convinced we were keeping them from the party of the decade. I was pissed off and sleepy, Alex was also pissed (but quite effective in dealing with the girls!) and Val was sleeping right next to the door, preventing anyone from escaping after midnight. Alex would escort the girls "who had to go" to the bathroom one at a time. After an eternity (which was in fact only about an hour), we got to sleep. We had a game to play at 9:30 am and I wanted them up at 8:00.

The next morning, we actually managed to get up, make sure everyone was on time and win our game. Our offence was shaky, with many easy shots missed, but the defense was solid. We won by a single point to end our tournament on a high note. We waited all day for the older girls' game. It turned out to be a real nail-biter, with our school losing by a single point in overtime. All in all, the tournament was a good learning experience for the girls (and me!) and we had a fun weekend. However, due to the way it was organized, I don't think we will be heading back there next year. There are many other tournaments out there to choose from.

My men's team lost by 2 points on Friday night. I was quite disappointed in the way things turned out, as we were unable to get a shot off in the final seconds. Also, I've been scoring very few points the last couple of games (total of 10 points in 2 games). Still, the team that beat us is the first place team, so it wasn't all bad.

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