Friday, March 14, 2008

Why I Still Like Girls Basketball – Season 2 (updated 3/14/08) - Be Humble Be Confident - A Great Season!

7/7/07

At this time last year I began working more closely with the Team that was already accomplished winners both on and off the court. I became more excited as the practices, camps and games went on during last year's season.

We have lost six Seniors and one Assistant Varsity Coach. All of these players (DF, ES, LS, SM, SS & KD)- Donut) brought individual special qualities to the team that will be missed in many ways. Losing a Coach the caliber of JB will have lasting effects until a new coach is hired and creates her own legacy of being devoted, role model, mother, humble and honest to the girls each and every year.

Below are two posts from last season. Click to read...

http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2006/12/quality-coachingleadership-why-i-like.html

http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2006/10/story-of-fred-stinky-moose.html

Second Season - 2007 - 2008




This season started back in January when I started working with our point guard who was coming off a season ending ACL injury (she was also going to rehab therapy with the coach).

It was to soon for her to run or lift heavy weights so I built some homemade weights and we started lifting two times a week at school and she did her own work at home. All of the lifting was done from a chair so all the tension and pressure was on her upperbody.

In February we started with our official weight, speed and agility training. There was a group of five 9th graders who came to just about every practice (2X a week) and displayed a remarkable freshness and devotion (plus strength & talent) that resulted in a nucleus that will be very good for the next four years. Most of our other players were involved in Spring Sports (Softball State Champs (http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/06/quality-school-quality-parents-quality.html), Soccer and Track). I can't wait until we are all together again.


There were a few Varsity Players (except for the Hawk, she comes most of the time) that showed up every now and then and there is one Senior Varsity Player who shows leadership, courage, work ethic and special abilities every time she comes to practice. She is what Basketball is all about.

School ended in June and the coach ran a very successful two-week camp (5th & 6th, then 7-9th). I could not believe the talent of many of the girls and their willingness to learn new drills and techniques. The most drastic change for most was learning a new way to shoot that will pay big dividends if one practices what one was taught. Twice a week practice continuous with a concentration on new offenses and defenses with the girls who show up.


7/15/07
The court case (http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/06/us-supre-court-did-not-challenge.html) that changed the girls basketball season to the Winter and girls volleyball to the Fall has caused many unwelcoming problems, especially practice time and gym space.
However, the biggest problem is the complacency being showed by many of the players. Because official practice does not start until November instead of August they feel they have extra time before summer workouts should begin. WRONG!
More time means more practice to get better and work on off season (this is where you pass others in skill & development) improvements.
Many want to shoot better and leave it to the coaches to make them better. WRONG! Coaches can show you the correct technique and drills but it is up to the individual player at this level to self-improve. "Self" is the key word, you can't expect the coaches or your teammates to push you to the next level of play, that has to be done with internal fortitude (i.e., off season workouts).
In two weeks we go to team camp and will compete against some of the best teams in the state. We are going to get thumped because many of the girls are not in shape and many of them don't know the offensive and defensive systems. The Coach will have to rely on a basic offense and defense just to stay in the game.
There are so many opportunities this year to earn minutes because of graduation and there are only 1-2 girls at the present time taking advantage. Time will tell if others wake up in time.


7/24/07

The intensity at practice over the past week has picked up. Perhaps the message the coach sent with bringing some players up who work hard did the trick. The sad part some will still not respond because of complacency.

We are heading to MSU Camp on Thursday and the Team is excited. The only thing worrying me is an injury that has healed very well may take more time for the player (leader) to play at full speed. She is such a competitor I just don't want to see her get disappointed.

The same thing was on my mind last year when our senior guard had an injury that drove her (also a leader) "NUTZ" because she could not play at full speed. I felt so bad for her because she worked so hard her entire HS Basketball carrier. The good news she came back before the season started and played a major role in our team last year.

We have a very talented team with the potential to have 2 or 3 of the girls play Division I or II when they graduate. We are not as deep as last year so we have to be in the best shape when the season starts in November.


Let the games begin...
8/2/07 - MSU CAMP



MSU CAMP
Seven Games – 4 Good, @ OK and 1 Stinker. Overall games rating B-. Not bad considering the coach is implementing a new offense this year. We did no pressing and played mostly straight up M-T-M and 1-3-1 Zone Defenses.

Our top 6-7 players played well and can hold their own with any team. Beyond that we have a big gap in experience at the Varsity Level. There will be a big group competing for the remaining varsity spots.

A couple of nice surprises from our freshmen that played extremely well and held their own each game they played at the varsity level. More importantly they created a spark throughout the varsity team with their intensity and hard work. Perhaps the twice a week workouts since April had something to do with their play.

Beyond the games everyone (including coaches) had a good time. The coaches discussed basketball well into the night. Hopefully the girls grew closer in most cases and our team leader is rapidly learning the joys and PAINS of being a team captain. The coaches have complete faith in her ability to lead this team. She is a very special player/person and the team is lucky to have her in this position.



My main concern from the camp is that our top seven players are NOT disciplined enough to stay out of foul trouble early in the game. It has yet to be proven they can not foul in a consistent manner that won't harm us during the regular season and playoffs.
Michigan High School Athletic Association MHSAA
- Promoting Educational Athletics


SO what is next? The Dead Zone, I say Dumb Zone. It’s hard to determine what this is since the MHSAA rules and regulations has put everything backwards with the federal ruling changing our sports seasons. See my post http://qualityg.blogspot.com/2007/06/us-supre-court-did-not-challenge.html for more on this ruling and the reason why.

Let me start out by stating, “You officials are STUPID.” Look at the title “Promoting Educational Athletics.” Your rules “try” to protect the very, very, very select few athletes that may play at the next level. You have endorsed one piece of the whole and exploited it where the system in now in a state of flux. One piece cannot be greater than the whole no matter what the price or rules or regulations you set up.

You have forgotten what High School Sports is all about. It’s companionship, learning how be adults and being challenged in a positive way that will relate to the classroom and more importantly life. Your rules limit and harm the 99+ percent of the student population at the expense of a few that might be recruited for the next level. Backwards and Sad, very Sad.

Michigan’s rules are ridiculous compared to other states. For example we played a team from Chicago Illinois who has already played 50 games this season before the MSU Camp and plays 30 regular games in their season. We have had a handful of practices and no games and we play a 20 game regular season schedule. Guess what team dominated the camp? Why did MSU allow them to come to the camp? Money I suppose.

I talked to my son's H.S. Cross Country Coach the other day and their new rules are even worse than ours. He can no longer time or have a clipboard during the summer to get his team in shape. CROSS COUNTRY is all about conditioning, C’mon MHSAA (MHASS).

He also can no longer run in a street race that he liked to do with his team to promote team and community support. Why? I have no idea.

SO what will the result of all this be? AAU, AAU, AAU! And, Freshmen and Junior Varsity Games will be officiated like AAU, AAU, AAU!
The Hills Are Alive with the "SOUND OF GRUNTING"

updated 8/24/07 -


Sometimes you got to do what you got to do, even if it stinks!




Updated 09/15/07

This past week we started back on a regular schedule. The MHSASS Rules only allows three players with a ball and coach. We abide by this rule and bring in three players (those not playing a Fall Sport) every 30 minutes for some individual workouts twice a week.
The Coach has developed some really intense workouts for the bigs, middles and smalls. I must admit the girls who are attending looked good and as always did not complain, as each drill was both learning and conditioning workout.

Speaking of conditioning the girls have a running workout once a week and this past week they chose to meet me at the Hills I run at once a week.

It is not a high hill but it is long and has a good vertical side for running up and down. I named the Hills Agony & Misery after two mountains I had to trek up and down during basic training when I was in the Army at Fort Knox Kentucky.
I hope the ladies enjoyed the run as much as I did (they said I had to teach them the course). We ascended and descended 20 times over the next 45 minutes doing different drills to develop all muscles for basketball.
I think the biggest obstacle were the mosquitoes and the Adams Family (my name for kids who dress Gothic) perched on top of the hill acting like punks (they eventually left).

I was disappointed more players did not show up but for those that did they can proudly say




video

Sunday Night Shootout

We started our Sunday Night Shootout two weeks ago and the players are starting to grasp the new shot technique (CPSM) that was introduced at the end of last season.

The changes are few and to the point using the method that was taken from a number of shot gurus around the country and molded into a new shot form that is ideal for women's basketball.

The shot format we use on Sunday Night's is based on shot technique and repetition. Old shot habits are tough to break especially when the training goes at game speed.

I am very pleased the girls took my suggestions and are now mastering the CPSM. The off season rules indicate we can only have three girls and a coach on the floor at the same time so this allows me to do some good one on one coaching.


HOMECOMING

Last Friday night was Homecoming and two of our senior players were on the court. They really looked beautiful and I could tell they were having a lot of fun. Well, one of the girls won and it was so nice to see the two of them hugging and so happy for each other. It was really fun sitting in the "Waldo" seats watching all the pictures being taken. I especially liked watching how proud their parents were as flash bulbs erupted around mid field.

Two great athletes and two beautiful ladies.

Oh yeah the Football team won beating an arch rival and going to 5-0 on the season.




Next ... It's Showtime

Updated 10/28/07

Three @ a Time
For the past two months we have been working hard having "Three players @ a Time" come in every half hour twice a week, plus shooting the "Cabrini Pure Shot Method (CPSM)" on Sunday nights.
Click on Pics to Enlarge The girls are lucky to have a coach that has a passion for the game. Many coaches will not start conditioning or practicing until the end of October or beginning of November.

The players that have been coming to the practices and shooting have been put through some tough workouts and conditioning drills. Their hard work has paid off because most of the players have improved and know the plays.

In addition for for those players that played Varsity last year know what it takes to get ready for tryouts on Monday November 5th. You best be in shape, worked on your personal skills and shooting and did I mention be in shape.


Cabrini Pure Shot Method (CPSM)

We have made some minor and major changes since the beginning of the year to a number of the players shot technique. For those girls who have practiced on their own to discard their old style for the new format have made some big changes. However, for those that have waited for the weekly Sunday shootings to work on their shot are way behind their peers.


The new method is a well researched technique that combines many of the drills and shooting form from the best shooting coaches that I could find and learn their method. The proof will come during the season to see if our shooting and free throw percentages have improved.

TRYOUTS Monday November 5, 2007

This is going to be an interesting tryout to see if the season change from fall to winter has affected change. I feel there will be good and bad. The good are those players that continued to work on their game and conditioning since the MSU camp last June. The bad will be those that did not and those playing Fall sports that did not work on their game during the Fall season on their own.

One of last year's leader and captian (DONUT) shared the following quotes with me that really apply to this coming this week. Thanks, KD!

"Discipline is doing what you really don't want to do,
so you can do what you really want to do."

and,
"Hardwork BEATS Talent, When Talent Doesn't Work Hard."
Updated 11/11/
A very tough week for the players both mentally and physically. Many were worried about making the team and then making their mile time and ball handling reps in time on Saturday.

The tryout lasted three days with one player being sent down to JV. The player sent down has the potential to be a very good player but it will take more conditioning and commitment not just during the season.
The person who had it the hardest was our JV coach who had to cut a number of players because we will not have a freshmen team this year. It was a very difficult job, probably the hardest task a coach has to do each year. The cuts were made fairly and she deserves a lot of credit how she handled the situation.
Most High School Varsity Sports run at least 6-8 months each year with different degrees of workouts. 100% during season and at 75% during off-season to make and start on a varsity team.
The coach kept a larger number of players than he wanted but he rewarded some girls with their hard work and commitment. Many coaches would not do this but our coach considers the complete picture (this year/next year, potential, loyalty, chemistry, etc) when keeping and cutting players. The team also voted for captains and voted in three outstanding players and people who the coach has complete confidence in to lead the team.


It seemed overcrowded this week with all the girls in the gym at the same time (rules allow us only three at a time during the off season). The coach predicted last year that he was going to have to do more teaching than last year because of the experience on last year's team. His prediction has come true and this always causes concerns when the first game is only two weeks away.
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Great News! We have a new Varsity Assistant coach who joined the staff this week. She is a former standout player who played the game with intensity and intelligence. She will make an immediate impact on our team. Welcome A.D. Great choice great person.

I am not worried because he has a plan and he is not afraid to change it when time and execution tell him to do so, this is called flexibility and adapting to change and this must be part of any leaders skills in their management or coaching toolbox.
Saturday was the first time trial and BTKid and KRoo completed all events in required reps and times. By virtue of a wider margin (more reps) won the first inaugural Pistol Pete Shirt Contest.

Next ---> The Scout Gets Ready and the Team awaits our first game


12/03/07
Week One – The Wait is Over
It seemed like forever for the first game of the season to start and it has been a busy week with the team having our first two games and scouting three opponents’ teams too. Not to mention Team Poster Pictures and Team Shoes.

Our games showed both our strengths and our weaknesses. The best part is all of the weaknesses can be corrected through planning, practice and the proper player matchups. The coach has a handle on it and will put everyone in the proper order.


This year will be very interesting because of the makeup and experience of our team. The coaches believe this team can go as far as it wants to collectively. It will require all the girls to be on the same wavelength, determination and commitment to team goals.

We have great talent and we need all players to fulfill their rolls and play defense with intensity.
The week brought us two wins. However, our schedule gets very tough for the rest of the season starting this Tuesday & Thursday.

12/10/07 - We Need More R & R

Two tough games last week. While driving home from the team’s last victory I was thinking of one of the old Quality Terms of Replicate and Repeatability.

I was actually thinking of this phrase as a means of getting our shooters to understand that shooting a basketball takes a touch or a feel that needs to be solidified and used time and time again.

It’s the same for winning games, what did we do well and how de we bottle it going forward.

Finding the right mix does it and ingredients that make a stable force or movement that can be relied upon time and time again. We must Replicate our recipe and then do it time and time again until a better one is found and that is called Repeatability or Reproducible and becomes second nature that only needs to be altered when it is time to improve the method/system.

Coaches must be careful not to Tamper or Alter the system time and time again when a Special Causes (one time events, out of the ordinary like taking a different rout to work because the county was painting lines on the road you take home each day) pop in to the system.

Next Week – They Want Us Bad

12/14/07

I’m doing an early update this week because I will be out of town this weekend. We lost our game last Tuesday. We got beat BAD!

Not BAD because of the score (44-41), it was because we played BAD. 26 Turnovers and not running our offense by not swinging the ball around Side-Top-Side (STP). We even missed our last shot to tie the game.

We had no balanced scoring like we usually do and that will cost us in the future too if we don’t get to another level of speed on offense. We were running on empty.


Our defense was solid as we held their top scorer to 6 points and did not allow any other player to score more than 9 points.

When in Rome give credit to the Romulus. This game is turning in to a good rivalry since we beat them last year and now we are 1-1. We won’t see them again this year because they are a Class A Team and we are Class C Team.

We play our first league game this Friday night and we will come out "Swinging".

Next Week - Do Not Get Foleyed Again!

Updated 12/22/07 - I hate sitting on the bench!
A team shows character after a loss by going out and improving what was wrong. We had allot to improve on after 25 turnovers in our last game. With two wins this past week moving our record to 7 – 1 going into the Christmas break.

Working the ball around and being patient on offense has improved with some excellent balanced scoring.

The highlight has been our defensive pressure especially at the guard spot. We are fortunate to have a number of skilled guards who understand defensive pressure. We have a way to go but it continues to improve and I think the players can see how well in your face defense (without fouling) causes turnovers.

One of the main reasons I no longer like sitting on the bench is because of the comments I hear from the stands (parents) and opposing coaches who act like fools (I have done it too). It is also very hard for me to sit and watch one of our players go down from an illegal push or kick.


At least Coach AD has a plan from the Coach if I venture out to far. All I can say is I'm wearing a tight belt from now on

Last night I was reminded. We beat our opponents soundly and we shot great from the Free Throw Line (19/20). Throughout the game the opposing coaches were all over the refs telling them every play what calls they missed. This is normal in a game but to concentrate on the refs as to why you are losing and not your coaching is lame.

They were warned numerous times and continued to believe the game was called unfairly even when they were down by more than 20 points and we had more fouls called on us.

Another lowlife moment was when a player on the opposing side had enough of a parent screaming at her while he filmed the game from the stands. She actually started crying and yelled out at a teammate. Unfortunately many players cannot tune out parents and get frustrated. The worst part of this situation was the parent was the father of another player and blamed everyone but his daughter as to why they were losing. What A “Grinch” no what an “AH”

One Referee said it all as he ran by the opposing bench and got tired of the constant criticism when he said, “Coach, the reason you are getting beat is because you are getting out coached.” I have never heard truer words during a game.


Quote from Big John "The best part of doing the scorebook is being able to watch you on the bench."


I hate sitting on the bench!




It's Time To Duke It and Drive the GUT!

Next --> A Message to the Mega


Updated 12/30/07 - Message Sent


Last night was our final game for 2007. Our record is 8-1 and we look forward to our next game Thursday January 3rd.

We did send a message to the Mega League and we also sent one to ourselves. We talked about it this morning at practice.

“Be Humble, Be Confident” – we treat all opponents with respect and courtesy (humble), come to play because we are ready to go (confident).

It was good team effort (except Free Throw Shooting). Three of our players did not play in the game (I don’t count the short time AC was in the game). Other players got minutes that normally don’t and really stepped up and showed they are ready for more game action.

One of our coaches (AD) said some simple wise words this morning that the team needs to take to heart – “Don’t get out hustled and stop playing sloppy”. Simple words that have so much wisdom.

Next – Here we go again, another tough game that will test our character


Updated 1/6/08


Even though we lost our game our character test passed with good grades. We knew this would be our toughest game that we scheduled and indeed it was by far.

The team we played is well coached and has a history of good teams that spans many years. They played hard the whole game and made less mistakes. Not a flashy team but a well-rounded solid team from starters to the end of their bench. We were down by one at halftime and felt very confident because this is where we wanted to be our pre-game plan.

The opening five minutes of the third quarter spelled our doom as we made costly turnovers that were capitalized by our opponents. We lost 57-46.

We get another shot at this team in about 2 ½ weeks at their gym.

Playing a team two classes higher (based on student population) is always tough but that is why I like basketball because you can schedule these games to test your team and to player tougher opponents that will get you ready for the state playoffs were you play games only within your class.

We were rated number seven in the state last week so it will be interesting to see if we drop in the ratings. The team that beat us is in a higher league and has lost only one game in overtime to a team that is picked by many to be the state Class A Champions. No excuses they were better than us that night.

This week brings another challenge because we play three games in one week with back-to-back games on Friday and Saturday Nights.

The coach has declared this to be a “District Week” because we play a number of games in a short time frame and all of them are away. I don’t believe we scheduled this on purpose but it is something we should do each year to prepare us for our your end goals.

Half way through our season and we are 8-2.

Next ---> Another week, another new challenge!
Updated 1/14/08



Practice District Week???

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No, it is not time for Districts yet but the coach declared it our District week to see if we could handle three games in one week. Scheduling games this year has been a nightmare for many Ads trying to fit both Boys and Girls practice times and games into one week. Throw in the fact we are a grade school too and they play their games on our gym on weekends can also add havoc. Many props to T.K., for a great job.

Three grueling games and they were all away games. Tuesday night we played a good game and won by ten but it back and forth for much of the game. Our free throw shooting was good and we played good pressure M-T-M defense. It was a very long night because they moved our game time back by a ½ hour.
The hardest part to for most of the girls was not seeing the premier of “One Tree Hill.” It seemed like a One Tree Hill Episode when we practiced Thursday night in an old closed grade school gym that had a tile floor and funny working lights.

The next game was Friday night playing our rivals at their gym. I have attended many of these games over the years and the gym was rocking with noise and excitement. If anyone believes girls’ basketball does not draw a crowd then they need to see this rivalry. The lead went back and forth through the whole game. Each possession being critical and we pulled the game out by three points. On paper we are a much higher rated team, but when this game is played you can throw out the statistics. We only missed four free throws and like Tuesday’s game they were a big factor. Another late night as the coach told the team to get some sleep before tomorrow night’s game.

Before our game on Saturday we had team pictures and then we loaded the bus. It was obvious we were all walking a little slower than normal. Like most good athletes each time we asked if anyone was tired they all stated no, some said stiff but not tired. We started the game OK but it soon became apparent that most of the players became sluggish by the end of the first quarter.
Our opponents jumped on this opportunity and applied pressure and played as physical as they could. Reaching fouls (another sign of slow feet) got us into to trouble especially when they were making them right and left. We struggled and were down by nine at halftime. The coaches challenged the girls at halftime and they responded by taking the lead in the 4th quarter and we won by four points.

The worst part of this game was the fact that we made 16 out of 36 free throws. 20 MISSES! Most of the shots were in a one on one situation and they came up short and many missed because of lack of concentration. We cannot let our inconsistency at the line continue if we are to compete for the rest of the season.

This was a special week because of the three games but we also celebrated some birthdays, test passing and a visit at practice from the Whammy!! I also got to talk to one of my all time favorite player (KU).

The saddest part of the week is when a former player broke her arm at a game. Heal soon K.D. we love you.

Next Week --–> League Title?


Updated 1/20/08 - "Sag" our way to the League Title


Sag - 1: to droop, sink, or settle from or as if from pressure or loss of tautnes


When you get to be older the "Sag" does not imply a good thing. But in basketball it pays to Sag under the correct circumstances when playing defense.


I have always been a believer in:





"Attacking weaknesses until they break or give up and at the same time executing strengths again and again until they break or give up."

While watching films this past week the coach discovered a few things, not so much about our opponents but what we need to do in order to apply pressure at the right time and at the right player. In basketball terms this means taking a chance. In order to gain something you must also give up something and not get burned in the process.


Side Note: Our Boys Freshmen Team lost two games this week by a very large margin. In both games they were full court pressed the whole game and their opponents took three point shots until the end of the game.


I don't need to go into all the classless acts like this because unfortunately it has happened time and time again. However, what I would like to say is the boys never gave up, they never once stopped playing hard and they played with heart. The boys reflect their coach, parents and school. I for one learned a lot watching these games from the playing of a few good men!

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Yes, we did win the game and the League Title

Next Week - Pony Time - Rematch - see update from 1/6/08






Updated 1/28/08
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Looking at the picture I posted last week with the Lion (us) getting ready to pounce on the Horse (them) I was hoping that nature would take its course. Well the pony horse stomped the lions and it was as ugly as can be and nothing can be learned from this game except watching a coach keep his cool and knowing when to say NEXT GAME!

Well, next game turned out to be as bad as the first game of the week, not in terms of score but in terms of the coaching. It can be said that a coach is also a teacher but in the end the coaching must prevail.

It can also be said that it stinks in order for me to wake up sometimes when I know an outcome is soon to happen. My job is to understand trends and I have failed since the Christmas break. The trend was a funk by both players and coaches. Sure we had our moments (like one practice, parts (quarter) of a game) of looking intense and playing hard but it has not been sustained and the result is not enough execution and out of fighting shape.

So what do I mean by execution and not in fighting shape. In the case of a basketball player this means doing what I have done (not just learned) in practice during the game (heat of the battle) and being able to do it for the WHOLE game.

We are in shape, but not fighting shape.

Analogy – In boxing one can get in shape by running, skipping rope, hitting the bags, etc., but if one does not spar (practice) at the same intensity (actually more) and apply their knowledge and conditioning to winning the fight they may get by for awhile (rounds = quarters) but not for the distance (game).

Players can do sprints and drills and run the floor but that is not basketball shape. Basketball shape can only be obtained by playing basketball in practice in game like settings. Stopping, starting, deflecting, diving, jumping, defending, etc., with rat like speed and agility is required at all times until the practice is over.

Following are some good quotes from last week’s practices:

"Game Days Are My Days Off" – AB
(Meaning - Games are a breeze compared to the intensity of our practices)



"We Miss The Twins" - AB & cc
“The Train Has Left The Station” – cc
Updated 1/31/08 - Poster Night
Poster Night is special, we get a large crowd that is made up mostly of grade school kids who idolize our players. After the game we set up tables where the coaches and players sit and sign the poster. This is a tradition and one the players really look forward to each year.

Plus we won the game!



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Next - Catholic High School League Championships - First Round
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Updated 2/2/08
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We won round one of the CHSL. Clearly the best game we have played this year. 75% efficient and effective. We are starting to peak and we need to keep the train going. The game was truly a team effort and our defense is getting more intense espacially at the guard level where we must win every battle.
It was a good bus ride home with some some "fine" music from the team choir - NOT!!!!
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We don't play again until next Sunday for the Championship. The coach gave the team a few days off to rest some legs. From here on out it is "Crunch Time."





Next - Two In A Row?


Updated 2/10/08 - Catholic Champs Again
Until last year our school never won a Catholic Division Championship. Now we have won two years in a row with a hard fought win that ended in a 46 – 43 victory over the Irish. This game is so much fun for the team because we play before a large crowd that is shown on local TV and they play in a college arena.


The school has a good fan base and leadership from Father, Principal, A.D. and many teachers and students. Special thanks to our JV Coach and team and a BIG Thank You to Big John for his contimued support and friendship to the coaches and team. It’s been a grueling week with three of our starters sick with the flu and still not 100% percent at game time.
We started out the game a little slow and battled back by half time to be within one point or ahead by a point, all I know is that it was close. We took the lead in the 3rd quarter and held it the rest of the way. Four turnovers in a row toward the end of the game brought the game within in one point but we got some clutch free throws and key rebounds to secure the game.
One of our players made the All Academic Team (my favorite individual award). Two made all Catholic and two made All League and two made Honorable Mention.

Special Props to the Coach for his Coach of the Year Award.

We have one more regular season game this Thursday and the State Tournament begins next Monday. There are still many areas we need to improve on and one of them is Free Throws.

Next – Here Come The Devils
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Updated 2/18/08 - Down go the Devils


Senior Night and End of Regular Season
We played our last regularly scheduled game this past week and we also celebrated senior night honoring our seniors on the team.

Senior night is always special because the underclass players buy gifts and write poems about the seniors. There was even a Team Rap poem for one of the senior’s but I could not understand the words.

We won the game but our stating center did not play and our starting point guard and swingman were in foul trouble and both fouled out of the game. Give credit to our bench and the coach making the correct substitutions. We had close to 30 fouls called against us and 15 fouls were called on our opponents.

Current Record 16 - 4

Today starts the State Tournament. We are hosting our District and our first game is tonight. The coaches feel really good about our chances and if we play consistently and keep the turnovers to a minimum we will make a good run.

Saturday we went to see one of our former players play in a college game. It was really a nice day even though her team lost but how can you complain when one of your player's moves up to the next level and is getting a good education too!

Next - The Real District Week
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Updated 2/24/08 - District Champs!
Three games, three wins. Each game was different from the standpoint that we won as a team but we also had a couple of girl’s step-up when some of our starters were in foul trouble. And one player injured.

The bench played a huge part in our wins and that is what it takes to win the state title. One of our starting players is the personification that hard work pays off. Last year she missed the state run because of a disabling injury (ACL) that took many months of recuperation and rehab. During that time she worked hard and never let up. Each game she gets better and realizes that she would be no where near the player she is today without dedication and hard work.

On our team a player can not hide, the coaches or the film will find you and it is not a brow beating but a learning tool to get each player better and reach your potential as a player. Please understand that both positive and understanding better is what I mean, not catching someone being bad, but also someone being good so we can replicate the situation. “ Better and faster improvement can be made by learning a positive situation than by a negative one.” qg

This team is sticking together but we have the glue and the talent and the smarts to keep our focus on one game at a time.

Another team that works hard is our support team that announces and keeps our record books during the games. Big JN also comes to our away games and is an inspiration to the coaches and players for his selfishness and kindness that he brings to each game. Plus his wife is a great cook (SN).

Best quote of the week


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“Coach, do you know what time we are having practice tomorrow? It doesn’t matter if we don’t win the game tonight.” - MR

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Saturday Night was the Sweetheart Dance - How appropriate for our girls!Next - Regionals
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Updated 3/2/08

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A good week of practice and a two well-played Regional games provides us the championship and the opportunity to go to the Quarterfinal game this Tuesday. When I look back on the season it’s hard to believe there is only one week left with the Semi-final game for our class (B) being played Thursday and the Finals on Saturday March 8th.

Elite Eight as the term is called when March Madness hits the Basketball Courts. For the past two weeks we have had a calm, cool, collective confidence building as each practice and game ends. We stick to our motto to:

"Be Humble, Be Confident"

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This winter has gone by fast and at times it’s been bitter cold with heavy winds and snow blowing and it is not yet over. Even this past Wednesday we had a snowstorm but like our team it left a calm beautiful scene confident of its ability and providing a strong presence for all to see.


Our opponent on Tuesday was in the Final Four last year so they come experienced and looking for more as they filmed our Regional Final game last Thursday. However, that is OK because when you look at the teams we have played this year and in the playoffs it’s clear that we are a tram that has planned and is delivering on the goals set last year when our schedule was created to play upper class opponents that are rated teams in both Class A and B. We have gone through the Catholic league, The Mega League, The Huron League and recently in the Districts and Regional three Detroit Teams.

We Are Ready!

Next - Quarterfinals and Finals
Updated 3/6/08

The last three days have been a roller coaster for the team. An emotional Quarterfinal win by one point Tuesday to beat Napoleon and a two-point loss to Galesburg – Augusta today in a Semi-Final (final four) game with 5 seconds left on the clock.
As in any sport to lose your last game and to know that your seniors (AB, AC, KA, KM, MK, TR) move on to their next chapter in life a coach can only hope that you played a small part in providing the players with the qualities that help make sports so important in life.






Hard work and passion for what you do will provide the foundation, and the love the players have for each other and the game (life) will provide the strength to encounter and handle all situations in life.


To be Humble and Be Confident are the two keys for success. Our girls have both!

Next – A team dinner tomorrow night and our banquet on Monday.

I would like to thank you all for the kind emails and support you have provided the team this year.

Thanks to Father J, Principal S, Coach R and AD K (and staff) who allowed me to be part of such a great school.


To my fellow coaches (MM, AD) and support folks (JN, TS, MH) who are the best at what they do and being such good friends.

To the Coach – a perfect example of what it is to



“Be Humble and to Be Confident!” even in defeat.

Banquet

It's difficult (Seniors) for me to go to banquets but I really do like seeing the girls turn into special young ladies!



4 comments:

Kristyn said...

Hey! Sounds like a typical MSU camp minus the work ethic. The winter season is going to be a challenge, but I guess we'll see who wants to step it up. Let me know if you need help this fall - I would love to be around the game and absorb some basketball wisdom. :)

Anonymous said...

Sorry about your loss, my daughter plays in New Jersey and I enjoy reading about your team's weekly encounters.

Ruth

Anonymous said...

I enjoy keeping up with your posting. I'm not a big fan of women hoops but I am getting a better perspective reading your posts.

Good Luck!

Gino

qualityg says said...

Gino,

Glad I can help. Without my involvement I doubt I would be a fan of girls basketball.

Having the privilege to work with these ladies and great coaching staff has been fantastic!
g