April 22, 2008
By Lis Hall, Bath, NY

The coach is screaming
At you to crash the boards.
You jump as high as you can, rip the ball from the air and look up at the score.
You’re dripping from head to toe in sweat
And your legs ache so bad, filled with lactic acid, that you can barely run.
The clock’s counting down and you’re almost out of time.

I can’t count the number of times
I’ve heard that oh so faithful home crowd wild and screaming.
The clock is still running.
“Crash those boards!”
I dive into the monstrous mob of vicious, sweaty,
Elbow-throwing girls; all fighting for this orange sphere they use to score.

We have one goal; we need three points to score.
Leah takes a quick glace at the clock for a sense of time.
We’ve all got sweat
Dripping off us and someone screams
To shoot. There’s no way this crowd is bored.
The ball goes loose and we all run

Towards it. We won the ball; ran our fast break. The score runs
Up two points. We only have one more basket to score.
It will win us the game. The floorboards
Bounce up and down as ten girls scramble with thirty seconds of time
Left. Everyone’s screaming
At each other to find and tightly guard a girl. The ball’s slippery with sweat,

But I manage to get a decent grip despite the sweat.
Then I run.
I run as fast as my tired and worn out legs will let me. Everyone is once again screaming
to shoot. We need to score.
I don’t have enough time but
I’m so close to the backboard.

I’m closing in on the backboard
Now. I don’t know whether the sweat
Is from nerves or hard work. There’s close to no time
Left, and a girl comes running
From behind and hacks my arm right as I’m about to score.
The gym is furious and screaming

With passion “FOUL!” The ref funs over and blows his whistle. Even he’s worked up a sweat.
There’s no time left and my mind’s screaming at me to make this shot.
It was a perfect shot; didn’t even need the backboard. We have the winning score now. This is what I live for.

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