Crunch Time

11 November 2018

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Down two points in double overtime, I’m on the sideline waiting to e subbed in. One knee to the floor, weat trickles down my face as I anxiously clench the collar of my damp jersey. Pressure is beginning to build in my gut, and my heart is pounding faster by the second. I nervously glance over the bright red lights on the score board reading .30 seconds in the 4th quarter. Thoughts of losing began to flood my mind, when suddenly … Slam, crash! #3 Lexi Gonzales takes a charge “Foul, 2 shots” the ref screams! The crowd begns to roar, and jump to their feet “Lady pirates” is echoing the gym walls. My entire team, including myself and the bench, jump in excitment. As the continuous applause begins tofade. The ref then looks my direction, point’s one hand towards me, and waves me in. I take a brief pause of relief, then it hits me “game time”.

“Screech, squeak” my shoes sound, gaining traction as I shuffle onto the court. I fill the lower key, right side of the hoop for our post, Jazmyne #5. As the ref bounce passes the ball to Lexi, I hear my coach yell “Box out T”. My hands instantly go upwards and out, blocking out the opposing player to the left of me. Eyes directly on the ball, I follow it as it is released from her hands. “Swish”, the ball swiftly falls through the hoop, our team claps then quickly resets in position. I look to the score board, it reads 101-102 Eagles. I take a deep breath, looking down “1,2 … 1,2” as I place my feet, the ref then again bounce passes her the ball. My hands go up and out. Watching the ball closely as it reaches rim, I bend over, butt out, hands up, and box out my opponent. Stumbling towards the hoop, I leap in the air and get the rebound. I fall to shooting guard, Lexi moves to post. I bring the ball up left court. She runs down middle court, cuts right and swings to the top. With five seconds on tle clock, and the left lane open I do a pump fake, loose my opponent chest pass the ball to her and cut to the basket. I catch the ball with both hands rock it to my left, and lay it up. I fall to the ground as the buzzer sounds, anxiously looking up, the ball falls through the hoop. My head immediately drops, in relief. “2012 District Champions” the commentator announces.

The crowd grows in excitment. Everyone is chanting my name, and begins to fill the court. I grin and slowly get up; whipping the sweat from my face with my jersey. I begain the gaze at my teammates, and coaches. I think to myself “We did it”. Our hard work during those 5 hour practices, running those 17’s in the gym, sprints on the track, and texas miles in 100 degree weather has paid off. The early mornings we put in, our weekends we spent running the same plays, and drills is what sets us apart. While everyone finds grace in the win,I find grace in the work, amd what it took to take home that win against the Lady Eaglea of Ike.

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