Ceil hated to leave, but Anna and Matthew were antsy, so they left after the first quarter of the Girls game. We hated to take Will away from all the excitement, so I stayed and hung out with the Living Science parents I knew. Up above us Will, Holt, and slugging catcher Andrew (with his face painted) beat on the balcony overhang leading the cheers. Catherine, home from Furman for Thanksgiving, caught up with old friends.
Varsity Girls – Flight led throughout the game, with all 9 girls seeing lots of action. Crown cut the lead to 5 with 2:42 to go, as Flight continued to run normal plays, working the ball inside. Both teams were rebounding defensively, and Crown hit 2 foul shots to cut the lead to 3 with 1:05 to go. Then the Norman’s neighbor Catherine made a clutch basket, as did Will’s 9th grade classmate Kara. Flight outscored Crown 8 – 1 the rest of the way. Catherine drew a charge, and Flight won a 58 – 48 thriller.
Right after the game all the Living Science students trooped downstairs and congregated by the Flight bench with the girl’s team. They made a long tunnel for the boys to enter through. At halftime of the girl’s game I thought it interesting that Connor, an 8th-grader, was shooting lay-ups with the varsity team. As it turned out he got to dress out with the varsity, though he didn’t get into the game.
Varsity Boys - I had wanted to see Willis and DJ’s brother Ben play. Again Flight led throughout the game. Ben hit an early three, but it was Willis and Josiah who carried the team in the first half. Willis demonstrated a soft shooting touch around the basket and at the foul line. Although he had several shots blocked, he clearly frustrated his opponents inside. Josiah had the hot hand inside and out, nailing a couple of threes and well as repeatedly driving to the hoop.
Flight led 13 – 11 after a quarter and 28 – 17 at the half. No one played the entire game, but it seemed like Josiah sat out long stretches of the second half. He scored 16 in the first half but only 2 in the second. I’m not sure if Coach H was keeping the score relatively close out of respect for the other team. Crown crept back to make it a 9 point game after three, 39 -29.
It didn’t get much closer in the last period. Early on a Crown player missed a dunk. With 10 seconds to go he finally dunked on a breakaway, but Flight quickly inbounded the ball and passed downcourt to Willis, who laid it in at the buzzer. He almost dunked, but with a defender nearby he wisely just laid it in.
...Willis finished with 20 points, making 3 of 4 from the line. He had 12 rebounds and a steal.
...DJ scored 6, but had 8 rebounds.
...Ben had 5 points and rebounds and a block, but he also sat out a good deal.
...Willis’ hard-playing brother David made 2 free throws and grabbed a rebound in limited playing time.