Thursday, February 6, 2014

Maroon Squad Falls in First Game

                                1              2              F             
Maroon                  19           34             53           (0-1)     
Red                        34           26             60           (1-0)

The alarm clock woke me up bright and early at 6:20 AM. This was an insane hour for me to be up at, especially on a Saturday. I got ready and headed out the door for a 7:30 AM tip for the Harvest Hoops season opener. Our squad, team #6 captained by Ben Asper and Eric Freckman, was to face off with team #5 headed by Tobias Green and Joe Jenkins.

I’ve known Ben and Eric for 13 years and also know how they play. In addition, we had the scouting report on several of their key players because Ben and Eric have played with many of them for years on Tuesday afternoons or Friday mornings.

Here is a look at our team of eight coming into the year: Eric Freckman, Ben Asper, Billy Smith, Davaughn Rounds, Paul Von Tobel, Joe and Thomas Martin (father and son), Chris Bartucci
Coming into the game, we knew we’d be at a distinct height advantage, but we also knew that we could get out and run and find cracks in a suspect defense.

Paul was going to miss the game and DaVaughn was running late, so we started the game with just six players suited up. After a quick prayer by Joe Jenkins, it was time to play basketball.

Things did not go well for us from the opening tip as we clanked several shots and fell into a big hole early. We weren’t playing poor defensively, but we also weren’t really running an offense or getting open. We slowly began to find our rhythm and the input from our (coach) Joe Martin to run a basic motion offense got us more open looks. Joe played the “do as I say not as I do” card all morning long.

Additionally, we began to outhustle them, as the combination of Freckman-T Martin-Smith kept several possessions alive with key offensive rebounds.

We kept their lead in the single digits for much of the first half but faded late to fall behind 34-19 at the break. Davaughn showed up late in the first half and it’d be key to have our first round pick ready to go for a second half comeback.

Davaughn scored a quick bucket to start the second half and we clawed our way back into the game with more hustle, decent 3-point shooting, and scrappy play. The lead was reduced to just six at one point, but our opponents hit some big threes to keep pushing the lead back up. We also got in our own way at times during the comeback attempt.

While we couldn’t pull out a victory in the first game of the year, we played a good second half and left the court encouraged by that. After the game, we also got to know each other better in small group. I’m looking forward to a great year of growth with my brothers in Christ.

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