Sunday, November 28, 2010

Great weekend for the Diamonds (or should I call them the comeback kids?)

There seems to be a recurring theme with my Diamonds: they are slow starters. The rules in the grade 8 age group require that 9 different players play at least one of the first three quarters of the game. As a result, I can't just play my five best girls as much as I would like to. This means that I have to mix and match the better players with the less experienced ones in the first three quarters. In practice, I choose to do this in the first two quarters, so that, in the second half, I can play whoever I want to (i.e., those who deserve it). This means that my team usually performs better in the second half. For example, last Wednesday's game (described in my last entry) saw us tied at half time, yet winning by 13.

Little did I know that this would become a recurring theme. Yesterday, we were visiting Jean-Grou high school. I didn't really know what to expect, as Jean-Grou is traditionally a great basketball school, yet they lost to Regina Assumpta a couple of weeks ago 72-8. Also, I was afraid that the girls might not show up on time, for several reasons. 1) There was no bus to take the team to the game, as it was a weekend game. 2) School was cancelled on Friday because of a mini ice storm in the morning, which means that practice was also cancelled, and I could not reinforce to the girls that they had to be on time. 3) Jean Grou is quite out of the way. 4) There are two different gymnasium's at Jean Grou, and people could easily show up at the wrong one.

By game time, only two girls had arrived. I could not believe it. The referee told me that we had 15 minutes to get a team together. Six more girls showed up, and, luckily for me, one of my players' younger sister, who also attends our school, was willing to be a temporary member of the team (she did OK). Another player eventually showed up. By this point, I had already almost had a heart attack and the game had not even started.

When the game did start, it was not long before we were down by 6 or 8 points. The girls managed to claw back to 17-16 after one quarter, but were down 31-24 at half time. The way my team played in the second half was a thing of beauty. They started out the half with a 10-0 run and never looked back. Jean Grou never managed to close the deficit and the Diamonds won it 52-49. The girls were pumped, and I was pretty excited myself. It was really an impressive win, in less than ideal circumstances.

At the end of the game, I really stressed the importance of arriving on time for today's game. It seems as if the message was received, as the girls arrived at Collège Anjou early enough to warm up properly. I was hoping that a proper warm-up would make the difference and help us deal with the slow start issue. On the defensive side of things, I could not complain. However, the offense was just not working. The girls were not generating many shots and were missing the ones that they were taking. As a result, the Diamonds were down 18-9 at half. I can't say that I was discouraged, given the way things had gone in the last couple of games and also due to the fact that my strongest five players would be playing the whole second half.

The second half was really no contest. We held the other team to 7 points in the third quarter, then only 2 in the fourth. In the meantime, our offense was beginning to take shape. I was so proud when one of the girls set a pick for the point guard, generating an easy layup.. you really don't see this much at this level. With 28 points scored in the second half, the girls took the win 37-27. As one of the parents mentioned to me after the game, I will have a few new grey hairs by the end of the season at this rate. I admit that I am quite emotionally invested in the team, but all I really want is for my girls to do well and play to their potential!

As a result of this week with three comeback victories, the team is now 4 and 1. We have the second best record in the league, behind Regina Assumpta, who are 5 and 0. There are no more games before the holidays, and we should have some time to work on addressing some of the issues that have come up this week.

I emailed Alex a link to a used BMW M3, telling her that for about the price of a 2006 0r 2007 325i, we could get a 2003 M3. She was not hard to convince that it might be the car for us. As a result, I have made an appointment to have the car inspected at the BMW dealer in Quebec City (where the car is located). The car has a few modifications (some of which I would quickly undo) but has covered only 103 000 km, with no winters. Stay tuned.

No comments:

Post a Comment