Friday, March 05, 2010

Why I Still Like Girls Basketball - Season Over!

Welcome To Season Four

"We Want Them Back"

The past three season blogs can be found by clicking on the "Girls Basketball" Label found on the left sidebar.

This year’s team began the day after our Team Banquet ended last March. There has been a hunger to get back what was ours. Last year we lost to teams that had never beaten us, we lost our league tile, our catholic league title, district, regional & quarterfinal titles and we lost to our arch rivals.

So what will be the difference between this years and last? Hopefully this year’s team will understand what we have lost and want to begin their own destiny. Coaches we feel we have more offensive weapons this year and we should be able to play consistent pressure defense for a whole game. If we do not we will lose, it is that simple. This summer many of the girls have been working hard on their shooting and passing.
We went to camp last month (July) and did a good job. I felt we beat the teams we should have and we hung with those that beat us including some top rated teams in the state. We are one fundamentally sound big (6’2”) from being a very dangerous team. However, we have hearts this year that can make up the difference.

While at camp we suffered cuts, breaks, sprains, slams and many bruises. And guess what? These kids stuck their noses right back in and kept playing with humbleness and confidence. Many times you see players backing away after they take a hard knock, not these girls they can give as well as they take.

We have a strong captain returning this year who has done a wonderful job this summer building confidence and camaraderie among the returning players and the new freshman entering the school. She has done a number of team building events and leads by hard work and determination.

School starts in a few weeks (August) and we will be moving in to working with small groups (4 players) of players who do not play a Fall sport. Some of the girls are also considering joining a Sunday night league to get some additional playing time before the season officially starts in November.

I also want to give a shout out to one of our 8th grade coach's who has spent some considerable time in India this summer.

Hold that Tiger “E”.

11/8/09 - Try Outs

Tomorrow begins our season and our first game is December 1st. Three of our first four games may be the toughest we face all year. In fact, this may be the toughest schedule we have had in years. Two of the teams in our league made the final eight last year in the state tournament (They are one of the first four teams).

Try Outs start tomorrow and unlike last year it will be difficult to make this team.

The coach is implementing new offensive schemes that will work great with the talent we have on the team. While we are undersized we have many good athletes. A good number of the girls have worked hard this summer and I see some nice improvement.

We will be considered a young team but we still have four players who played on our Final Four Team three years ago. All four will contribute heavily to the success of this year’s team.

We could be a very good team with a 500 record this year. That is OK because I would rather play the competition than to have an over rated record.

This is going to be a very interesting year. Defense, Defense, and more Defense! Stay tuned!

11/28/09 - Fire & Ice & Wind

I can't believe our first game is next Tuesday. We have 12 players this year and each practice brings hopes of a good season. Tomorrow we have our annual scrimmage against a well coached team that provides great competition and a good gauge for improvement.

8#s of Nothing!!

12/6/09 - 70 and 70

Our first week is over and we had two polar games. One good and one bad.

The first game we lost and gave up 70+ points. We were actually leading early in the 2nd quarter but a key player got in foul trouble and we could not contain a starting line-up of our opponents 6'3", 6'1 and 5'10" Our biggest starter is 5'8."

No excuses, we let in far too many lay-ups and did not move feet enough on defense.

The second game we scored 70+ points and won the game by over 30 points. Size way we matched up evenly but we had too much depth, speed and good defense on their best player who averages around 19 ppg. We held her to twelve with five coming in the 4th quarter when the game was well out of reach.

We have no games this week but we face two teams the following week that may be the best teams we see until the state tournament.

Like most teams we have many weaknesses to work out but this team has something special and that is heart. These girls do not give up, they get frustrated but do not give up.

12/20/09 - Not good enough

As stated in my lat post we did play two good teams this past week and lost both games. While these teams are in an upper division it does not matter when it comes to effort and the will to win.

It is just not the effort to win but truly believing you can win. That is what we won from the past two games. I believe the girls know they can compete and win any game we play.

The potential for this team is an on-going step by step process that must be managed carefully but at the same time increase the talent of a few player who will play pivotal roles towards this years state playoffs and the next two years success that may field some of the best teams to play at our school.

Best wishes for a Merry Christmas and Enchanted New Year!

1/3/10 - New Year, New Confidence

It truly is a new year for our team. If we can capture the defensive intensity, communication and running game the team displayed at a scrimmage against two higher class teams than us last week we will be in good shape to compete in our league which has two top ten state rated Class D teams.

We started the scrimmage slow but played out played and outscored our opponents at will for the remainder.

We play both of them this week. This team has potential and we are going to surprise some non-believers this year. I just hope none of them remain on our team.

1/17/10 - Improvement is Evident

Our record is 3 wins and 5 losses. We have three games this week and if the team can maintain defensive intensity we will win all three game to put us above 5oo.

Tomorrow we play our fourth game against a state rated team. It would be a good win because we had a rough go last Friday and we did not respond to some "trap" pressure which we usually handle very well in most cases.

The gap between understanding and skill level is narrowing from top to bottom players on our team as the season progresses. This can only happen during good intense practice sessions where the girls are trying to make themselves better by banging and grinding out each possession. While it is not as consistent as the coaches would like it is getting better.

Our schedule is really tough and I like it that way. It is tough on the girls who don't really understand because they like their parents and many fans judge by wins and losses. This is especially true for the JV and Freshman Teams. It is my belief it is more important that kids play at this level for development. The overall goal is to get players ready to play Varsity .

Wins and Losses get in the way because many JV and Freshman coaches want wins and for a good many players who need develop they do not see the floor and do not get the attention in practice for continual improvement.

1-2-3 WIN!

1/25/10 - Rivalry Week

Since my last update we won our game against a state rated team and lost two games by 2pts each in the last minutes of the game.

Losing close games drain you both physically and emotionally. The team starts doubting if they can win and start blaming others for losses. Even the parents start to chime in with comments that are better off unsaid. If they must make stupid comments they should first have to stand up and say I am an idiot. I say this because this is what the other parents think of you they just don't want a confrontation so they pretend to agree with you.

This week we have two games. The first one is against a neighboring city which is a Class A Team (We are C). They have never beaten us so the pressure is on both teams to win. We need a win to get some frustration out and to go in to Friday's game against our arch rivals.

It will be interesting to see if the girls will get ready to play and it will be more interesting to see if the coaches can too!

2/1/10 - Back to Basics!

Two games two more losses. The girls are playing hard and we lost both games. We just are not doing the little things right to win games. The little things are called "Fundamentals."

There is little practice time to adjust but we will have to find time for boxing out and taking care of the ball. It is tough for the girls and each loss brings more outside drama to the team.

Sometimes things like the drama can only be settled by the team themselves. I believe that will have to happen to this team to be successful for the remainder of the year.

2/12/10 - Win One Lose One

My last prediction was correct and I think internally the girls have become to work things out as a team. However, outside influence in the form of tampering with some our team members by another sport is causing other problems.

I must be getting soft because because in past years I would have hit this problem head on and probably would have made things worse. So maybe I'm just getting smarter (I hope so). In any regards, I don't forget and some people won't know what hit them or when by the time I am done. (I am also now very patient).

Last Monday we beat another state rated team (4th this year) but lost to an inferior team on Thursday. This team does not know how good they are and do not have any idea what is is to win a big game and sustain that feeling to another game.

We have three games left until the State Championships start March 1st. If we get momentum we will be dangerous. If we win one and lose one it will be a crap shoot.

3/1/10 - State Run Begins

We won our last three non- league games in good fashion. It really proved just how tough our league is and the parity between the teams. We won each game by at least 15 points.

This is a fun team with many players who can help and contribute in scoring, defense and good solid play. Our District Games this week will be tough but we welcome the competition. We are prepared and we are all excited.

3/5/10 - Season Over

The season ended in a way that every player and coach hope does not happen. Losing to an inferior team and not playing your best for a complete game. We score 15 pts in the first half and was down by 17 pts.

We got to within 3 pts in the 4th qtr but could not get the lead and we lost. I wish I could say their defense stopped us in the first half but we missed 4 wide open lay-ups (That I remember) and a number of free throws and we were not moving. It was like a flashback to the beginning of the season and how we were playing.

I feel terrible for the three seniors. Hopefully, the juniors and sophomores will remember the pain they felt in the lockeroom after the game and devout their off season to a new level of commitment for the game.

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