Orange Serpents Season Recap

The Orange Serpents capped off of an undefeated season with a rousing comeback against the Red Team this past Saturday.

We were down 4 to begin the 4th quarter. (For those of you that haven't seen a 7/8 year old basketball game recently, 4 points is a nearly insurmountable lead.) We made a couple buckets to tie the game with about 4 minutes left, one of which was a sweet put back in traffic by Liam. Once we tied the game, it was clear - considering the horrific shooting and scrambling defense - that the next team to score would win.

A couple minutes late, Isabelle - one of our best defenders, but not a consistent shooter - hoisted a 15 foot jump shoot that hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Her shot left us gave us a 2 point lead with about 2 minutes left. So, we only needed to make a few stops and we'd win the game.

The last 2 minutes were so exciting! The crowd was going nuts and the other team was playing very aggressively, but my players kept their poise. I called timeouts (yes - in a 7/8 year old game) after possession changes so that we could set our offense/defense. After each time out, the Serpents did exactly what they were supposed to do.

I was proudest of my team on our last defensive play. I warned Xavier - our toughest player and one of our point guards - that the other team was going to come to his side and try to screen him - which they did. He saw it coming, played it well and defended the shot. Liam snagged a tough rebound - just as he had the entire game - handed it off to Xavier once the defense cleared.

Xavier walked the ball to halfcourt and I called timeout before the defense could swarm him. We threw the ball inbounds in the backcourt without any problem. (My inbounds play was predicated on the "no pressing in the backcourt" rule.) We easily melted the clock and took the victory. My kids went nuts! They were so happy to finish 8-0.

I'm sad that the season is over. As we progressed, the games and practices became such fun. After the first 5 or 6 weeks, my kids had learned the basics - share the ball, play defense without fouling, spacing on offense, keep your spot on defense, etc. Thus, I spent our practices teaching them to set picks, block out, and hit the deck for loose balls. They loved the drills and games that I taught them and I loved feeling like I was coaching the greatest 7/8 year old basketball team every assembled. (This is an arguable point. The 1988 Gastonia YMCA Bucks with me, Joel, and Andy were pretty good, too.)

I hope that I have time to coach again next winter. I also hope that my career path meanders in such a way that I end up on a sideline coaching a high school basketball team. Considering the fun I had coaching children, I simply can't imagine how much fun I would have coaching players that can really play and that I could berate and run to death when they displease me.