Wahluke Eagles

This blog describes the joys of coaching an AAU basketball team from Mattawa, WA. Our team and town is roughly 90% Mexican. The blog celebrates and describes life in a central Washington town through the eyes of the players and their coaches.

Location: Mattawa, Washington, United States

I work as a School Psychologist in the Wahluke School District. When I am not coaching I enjoy fishing, reading, and riding my bike.

19 February, 2006

We're back

We're back on the sunny side of life with a convincing 30-20 win over the Burbank Dunkers on Saturday. When the game began, things looked grim. The Eagles became mired in foul trouble and in the first quarter, we already exceeded the limit on team fouls and our opponents were shooting 1&1 free throws. Luckily for us, they missed them.

Oscar was nervous and almost breaking down in tears and the rest of the team was close to a major malfunction. We called a timeout, and reminded the boys that all the baskets made, the steals, screens, and passing done in practice means nothing. They have the skills then but now is the time they need to show them.

Slowly things began to turn around. Jesus and Oscar got us going with some shots, passes, and steals. Christopher played solid defense. He popped out and didn't let the opponents get settled for an open 3. And Antonio, one of our strongest shooters and defenders finally showed up. His corporeal self had been at our last 3 losses, but his shooting, moves, and overall solid play hadn't. Mr. Martinez and I called over and told him to go in at forward.
Tony- I can't my knee hurts.
Me- I don't care get in there.
Tony (voice rising)- I can't my knee hurts!
Me (voice rising as well)- I don't care get in there.
Tony- I can't ...
He enters, shakes and bakes the offense, make a basket, gets a steal, passes the ball to Oscar and generally provides a spark.

Jesus, our foreword, Point Guard, and Center also began the game with difficulty. Midway through the second quarter, he accumulated 3 fouls, (all of them reaches), and we took him out and put in Alan. He sat there and watched the other team score. Mr. Martinez told him that we needed him, we needed his skills and strength, but that we couldn't put him in if he keeps reaching. Instead of glaring at us, he put his head in his hands, closed his eyes, and got himself back in his game.

When the third quarter began, it was Oscar and Jesus and Point Guard, Tony and Christopher at foreword, and Alan at Center. And then it all came together. Mr. Martinez and I saw in a game, what we saw in practice. The boys moved the ball, made passes, congratulated and encouraged each other. They played as team and it was good.

At the last moments of the game we put Caedyn in at forward. Oscar gave him two good passes but he missed the shot. His last attempt looked good but just rolled off the rim. That was my only disappointment of the game.

Later Oscar was talking about the game and he mentioned how he was nervous when it began. I reminded him, there is nothing wrong with feeling nervous. Feeling come, but when they do, its important to not let them overwhelm you.

Next week is Mabton, our rivals, who we beat with a basket last December with 20 seconds left in the game. This time they're coming to our court looking for revenge. After tasting victory that was won with team work, my boys are ready.

They played as a team and it was good.


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