3…2…1…beeeep!!! The buzzer went off telling both teams on the court the game was over. One crowd went wild and cheered. The other fell silent and cried. I felt like I had used all my energy up to the last drip and I couldn’t move.
Tonight is the night, the day of our Championships against the Woodland Bears. I, Torre Allen, am on the Madison Wolves. I am a senior and forward on our basketball team. We are a very good team this year and we came to the Championships without any losses. Everyone had been practicing hard like basketball is the only thing they can do and basketball is the only thing to do.
I know we can win.
Now, it was only fifteen minutes until the game started. We were all in the locker room and Coach was about to announce the starting members.
“All right, gentlemen. The starting members… I picked these men because I thought they would be the best team on the court for our team.”
The locker room was dead silent. The only thing you can hear was the noise of the crowd muffed by the walls and people walking in the hallway outside. My heart was pounding and I was a bit nervous. I knew I was a senior and that I was good enough to be in the starting member. I mean, I always thought to myself that I was the best forward on the team.
“Here it is,” Coach started talking again. “Center, Mike,
Mike Miller. He’s the biggest guy on our team, 6-11 and weighs 240. Yes, he is big.
“Point guard, A.P.”
Antonio Pierce aka A.P. He’s fast and he’s good. Real Good. The guys got talent.
“Shooting guard, Sang Lee,”
Sang is a natural-born shooter. He can pretty much shoot from anywhere on the court.
“Small forward, Mitch.”
Mitch is a technician. He runs for the ball more than anyone else on the team.
“And last but not least, power forward, Torre.”
Yes. That’s me. I just answered calmly, “Yes sir.” but in my head I was probably the happiest guy on earth. I get to play!!!
After the starting member was told, coach told us today’s game plan, strategies and then did a motivational speech. It got me fired up. It got the whole team fired up. We were ready.
The game began. Mike won the jump ball as always. We got the ball first. A.P. passed the ball to Mitch, Mitch passed it to me, and I passed it to Sang. We kept passing the ball and moved up the court. Now we were in range for taking a shot. But we kept passing to find a hole in the defense to attack. But of course, the opponent has a tight defense. This was going to be a tough game.
Then the moment came. A.P. threw me a no-look pass like an arrow and I found a hole to attack. I cut in with a speedy dribble and I made a lay-up, two points. The game began to move. I high-fived my teammates and ran back for defense.
As the game went on, both teams scored. The game was tied 56-56 at half time. It was an even game. The Bears’ ace forward Ed James was a beast. He would dribble into any small space and create chances for the Bears. He could shoot inside and outside the three-point line. Our team was having a difficult time stopping him. But I wasn’t losing to him. I made a few lay-ups and a dunk. I also shot some too. I was in my best condition today.
Now there was 2 minutes left in the game. We were winning 88-86. Only a two point lead. We needed another goal to calm down. The Bears’ shooter shot from the three-point line but missed. Mike got the rebound. Mike quickly made a pass to A.P. and A.P. made an accurate pass to Sang. Sang was already at the three-point line. He shot before the opponent’s defense could block it. His shooting form was perfect. The ball made a beautiful fall describing a parabola which made a swish. Three points!!! Now we had a 5 point lead and there was a minute and a half left. But that one moment that we thought we could win created a chance for the Bears and Ed James zoomed past us to make a dunk. Now, we only had a 3 point lead. Mike passed the ball to A.P. He dribbled the ball right there and calmed the team down.
“One goal guys, we need one goal. Let’s get this one calmly and carefully.”
But as he said this, one of the Bears players cut off a soft pass and passed to Ed. Ed James rushed for the ring. Three guys on our team ran in to stop him. But when we thought he was going to shoot, Ed made a behind-the-back pass to their shooter. The shooter shot a three pointer and it got sucked into the net.
“Damn!” coach yelled from the bench. Now the game was tied with less than a minute left in the game. We had the ball. We needed to make this goal.
The ball went to A.P. He’s the only one who can be patient and go for the goal calmly. He passed to Mike. Mike was not very good at handling the ball in these kinds of situations. The opponent player batted the ball away from him and jumped to make a lay-up. We all thought the ball was going to go in. As the ball left the player’s hand and hit the back board, Mike jumped out from behind and blocked the lay-up. He saved the team from his own mistake.
The ball was bouncing free near mid court. And out of no where, Mitch snatched up the ball and passed to A.P. He settled down and our whole team switched to offence. 20 seconds left in the game. We passed the ball around quickly but accurately. Then, I saw it. I found a road leading right to the net. A.P. sensed this too and quickly passed me the ball. I rushed for the ring. Then Ed James appeared in front of me. It was a one-on-one now, me against Ed. For a minute I hesitated. I knew how good a player Ed was. But I told myself, I can do this. I made a fake move to the left and Ed followed me. Then I made a spin move to the right and bam. I did it. I beat Ed James. I jumped for the ring and made a slam dunk. Then the buzzer went off. The game was over. We won the Championship game. I dropped down on the court and lay there silently. Honestly, I felt exhausted but I felt GREAT.