Senior Year

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It's my senior year at a small school. I'm the point-guard for my basketball team. We have played six games this year and haven't won any of them. My school doesn't have a lot of money. We only have five good basketballs in the whole school and three of them are girl's balls. We don't have enough kids in our high school for a team so we have some middle school boys on the team. A lot of the students in my school don't play sports. We only have nine guys on the team and three of them are only in middle school. I don't know how we are even gonna be able to win a game this year when half the kids on the team are under 5 feet, 8 inches. I thought your senior year was supposed to be one of the best years of your life, but it doesn't look that way for me.


Today was just a normal day of school. Then came basketball practice. I got to the gym first just like I always do. I started working on my jump shot. I was on fire today. I couldn't miss. All the other guys came in about ten minutes after I did. Then Coach came in. Me and Coach have a pretty good relationship. I mean, I am the captain of the team, so I guess we should be pretty close. All of the other guys on the team hate Coach, but he is okay, as long as you're on his good side, which I am.


We always started practice with some running. Most of the guys were really out of shape, but not me. Then we stretched out a little. We did some layups after that. Coach always let me dunk it the last time through. I am the only person on the team that can dunk. I'm not even very tall. I'm only 5 feet 11 inches, but man, can I jump high. I think our center who is 6 feet 2 inches, is a little jealous because he can't dunk. I even take all the jump balls. It's not very often that you see a 5'11'' point guard taking the tap.


Finally, it was the weekend. I'm not really a morning person, so I slept until about 11:00. I had a game at 2:00, so I got up a little earlier than usual, and showered. Then I tried to decide if I should eat lunch or breakfast. I decided to have a little bit of both. I had scrambled eggs first, and then two left over burgers from last night. Burgers always taste better the second time. After I was done eating I got ready for the game. I like getting to the gym an hour early when we have home games, because it gives me about twenty minutes to have the whole gym to myself.


All the rest of the team, including Couch, showed up about half an hour before tip off. The other team had already been warming up. We did our normal before game routine. Then Couch sat us down and gave us a pep talk and told us who was starting. It was the normal people. There was a bigger crowd than usual, probably because people wanted to see how horrible we were. I had a good feeling about this game, but I didn't know why.


The ref blew the whistle and we all took the court. They had a pretty tall guy taking the jump, but I still got the ball. Pretty easily too, I might add. I brought the ball up the court and passed it off. Then drove to the bucket, but of course nobody past it to me. Instead they shot a three and missed it entirely and it went out of bounds. Couch yelled, “Pass it next time or I'll take you out!” The first quarter pretty much went that way the whole time. Us missing and them making. The score was 23 to 7 at the end of the first quarter. I think you can guess who was
losing.


The second quarter wasn't very good either, but we did a little better. The score was 44 to 19 at the half. And yes, obviously we were still getting our butts kicked. Couch gave us his usual half time speech. This time he sounded a little bit happier. We weren't losing by as much as usual. Most of the time we only score about 25 points the whole game, and we were already almost there. I had a good feeling. Before we went back out to warm up a little I told everyone to pass me the ball. Coach agreed and told everyone to keep feeding me the ball.


The beginning of the third quarter we played pretty bad. Coach called a timeout and told everyone to pass me the ball again. This time they actually listened. Everyone just kept feeding me the ball and I was making it. It was awesome! We were catching up a little bit at a time. This was the first time that I thought that we could have a chance of winning. The horn blew and the third quarter was over. We weren't losing as much now! The score was 61 to 42. We more than doubled our whole first half score. If we had another quarter like that, we would definitely win.


I started off the fourth quarter cold. I couldn't hit a broad side of a barn. That's when I started passing the ball and playing some good defense. My teammates were making it. We were actually working as a team for the first time. We got within ten points from the lead, and I didn't make a single basket in the whole first half of the quarter. My team was doing great, and coach was starting to get excited. The ref blew the whistle for a timeout. Couch told us to keep working hard, and we might be able to sneak out the victory. We all went out there fired up. We had five minutes to win.


I took the first shot, and missed again, but the rest of the team was still making it. I was playing awesome defense, but I just couldn't make a basket. I looked up at the clock and saw it had two minutes left and we were down by five. Couch called a timeout to tell us the plan. He told me that I need to start making some baskets now. I told him that I would, and got out there on the floor.


I brought down the ball and passed it. Than I drove to the basket, and got the ball right back. I made the easy layup. Now we were only down by three with a little over a minute and a half to go. We all got in our defensive positions. I tried to steal the ball, but fouled the guy. We were in the penalty, so he was shooting a one and one. He made the first one and the second one. We only had a minute to win the game. I brought the ball up and passed it again. I passed to one of our best shooters. He shot the ball, and it swished in. We were down by three again with a little over thirty seconds left. They were bringing the ball up nice and slow. They were trying to waste time off the clock. I ran up and fouled with fifteen seconds left, so more free throws. He missed it, and I grabbed the rebound, and called timeout.


We were down by three with thirteen seconds left. Couch said for me to wait until there was five seconds left, and to dribble to the three point line, and then give it my best shot at the buzzer. As we hit the floor I was the most nervous I had ever been in my life. We threw the ball in and I stayed up toward half court. I looked up and there were seven seconds left. I started to dribble in. Now there were only three seconds left. I pulled up and released the ball. A guy bulldozed into me, and the whistle blew. As I looked up, the ball was spinning around the rim. Than it plopped right in. The crowd and the team screamed with excitement. Now I was shooting a free throw. If I make it we win, but if I miss it we're going into over time.


The ref passed me the ball. I dribbled it three times and then spun it on my hand. I looked at the rim, and shot the ball. I could sense the anticipation in the crowd. The ball bounced once off the back of the rim, and then it swished its way in. The crowd went from silent to deafening in a less than a second. We won our first game in a long time. The best part was that it wasn't a one man show. We did it as a team.





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