What a game.
Intense beyond intense.
Sooooooooooo incredibly proud of this team of boys.
They didn’t win the semifinals. But man they sure came close. When the game first started the Clippers team (ranked #2) scored a few shots right away. No! We can’t let them create a significant lead. Then our boys got on the scoreboard. Next thing we knew they tied it up 10-10. And then Abe gave them the lead by making his free-throw. 11-10. And that’s when the real intensity began. The points were being added to the scoreboard for each team…..but then all of a sudden we started taking the lead….a big lead….at one point we were more than 10 points ahead of them. Could we keep the lead? Oh man, then their #13 came back into the game after having sat out the 3rd quarter. The kid who makes everyone else wonder “there is no way this kid is a 3rd or 4th grader?” The kid who is several heads taller than everyone in the league and is the solid brick wall on the court who succeeds at capturing every single rebound. But our boys kept the Clippers sweating. At one point the referee stopped the game and told the parents of the Clippers team to pipe down and cut it out. I’m not sure what they were shouting- but it made the ref mad. And then he had to stop them again when they were hooting and hollering trying to distract Ryan while he was up at the free throw line.
The competition was fierce. Our boys were working their tails off keeping the lead. Then all of sudden when there was a minute left in the game, things turned. Oh no. They were pressing our team and were able to steal the ball as we brought it in. They made the shot. Somewhere along the way Ryan got elbowed hard by one of the Celtics and grabbed his mouth….he was bleeding…..he wanted to keep playing. He was upset- why wasn’t the foul called? Few moments later he and Celtics were going for the ball and both fell face down on the court. Next there was blood coming from Ryan’s nose. This kid was giving it his all. Confusion arose when the scoreboard lights went out. Next thing we knew there were 3.8 seconds left on the clock and the score was Celtics 36- Clippers 35. Pressure, emotions, worry, excitement……all mingled in the air. Our hearts were beating like crazy in our chests…. the intensity was beyond description. And with less than 4 seconds on the clock it was our turn to bring the ball in. Could we do it? Jacob was in charge of bringing the ball in. There was a full-court press, every kid on our team was being aggressively defended. Jacob’s time was running out to pass that ball in…..he hurled it past half court, past everyone and Abe started running for it…..oh oh oh oh oh he was within lay-up position….but just couldn’t get to the ball in time as it bounced off court. DANG IT!!! Since no one from the Celtics had touched that incoming ball, then the Celtics had the advantage of bringing it in just where Jacob had brought it in, right there on their side of the court. Drats! They brought it in and scored.
Clippers: 37 Celtics: 36
It was all over.
Here we were……so close to winning the game….could have gone on to the 2pm Championship Game. But it was over. We had been in the lead. We had made the Clippers nervous. We gave them a run for their money. A good game. A hard fought game. An amazing game. Everyone was proud of the boys. And this is what they were able to do without having the amazing skills of their All-Star select Nick! He had been gone the whole weekend for a family member’s wedding up in Northern California. Three amazing games without their all-star. We simply can’t say enough how very, very proud we are of all the boys. They stepped up and played their hearts out.
And all of us parents went home with throbbing headaches and feeling completely emotionally wiped out. All the screaming, cheering, hollering, encouraging- wow.
Now we’re off to go watch the Final Game between the Clippers and the Knicks.