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Greatest Night if My Life

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I can remember it like it was yesterday, our Judge Memorial basketball team had made it to the 3A State Championship game. Just the night before, we had managed to win a drawn out battle with Bear River High School in a game that ended some time around eleven o’clock. The morning of the big game our team gathered in the team room at Judge to watch some game tape of Wasatch, the team we were to play that night. Now we had already played and beaten Wasatch twice before that season, but as Coach Yerkovich had been telling us from day one that it is extremely difficult to beat a team three times. At the end of our film session, my good friend Stallon and the point guard of our team, looked at me and said, “Tonight will be the greatest night of our life.” It is amazing how true that statement really was.

That night we all were ready. The locker room was almost dead silent except for a few cracked jokes by our four-man Walker. We had our goal within out reach, and it was time to go out and get what was rightfully ours. After what seemed like ages our assistant coach told us it was time. As we ran out of the tunnel and onto the floor, we saw ten thousand sets of eyes focused solely on our team. The announcer announced the starting lineups, and as I walk outed to my name being called by the announcer, I looked up and saw myself on the JumboTron. All of this seemed like a dream come true before the game had even started.

At seven o’clock the game tipped off and we came out running. We jumped on Wasatch and raced out to an early lead. I played particularly well in the first quarter, knocking down two threes and finishing with ten points in the quarter. We continued to play well throughout the first half, and when the halftime buzzer rang we had a twelve-point lead. Coach Yerk’s halftime speech consisted of his usual points of emphasis; rebounding, tough defense, and playing together. As we ran back onto the court we all knew it, sixteen more minutes of good basketball, and we would be hoisting the championship trophy above our heads.

The second half we came out playing just as well as we did in the first. I was playing one of the best games of my life, and it seemed like no matter what shot I threw up, it was going to swish through the bottom of the net. I, along with the rest of the team was feeding off the energy of the crowd, whose deafening cheering made it nearly impossible to hear Stallon’s play calls. However, we continued to play some of our best basketball of the season, and were coasting to victory. With about a minute and a half left in the game, Coach began subbing out all of his starters. As I checked out of the game, I simply raised my arm in the air, holding up a number one. We had done it; we were State Champions.

The final buzzer sounded and chaos ensued. Our team all mobbed together and began the celebration. Hugs and congratulations were everywhere, even some of the players, including myself began to cry. This meant so much to all of us, all of our hard work in practice and the hours upon hours of time spent in the gym had finally paid off. We ran into the crowd and began one of our school cheers, “Whose high? JUDGE HIGH!!!”.

After some of the action had died down, our team took turns cutting down the nets. While we were doing this, several news stations pulled me to the side and interviewed me about the game. I had turned in one of my greatest performances in the biggest game of my life. I finished the game with twenty-three points on five three-pointers, along with four rebounds and three assists. We were the champions, and nothing could match that feeling. We won it all in 08, and we knew we were gonna come back for more my senior season in 2009.




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