Wednesday, December 19, 2007


The Flight JV team lost an exciting overtime game last night, barely beat by a tough Sound Doctrine Christian Academy team. Flight played their best game in several weeks on both ends of the court. Sound Doctrine played a disciplined offense, working the ball around inside and out, with two small sharp-shooting guards and two big men: one looked like Shaq…very big, just not the most talented or athletic; and another not quite as big, but effective in the paint.

Flight countered inside despite the absence of leading rebounder Holt. Josh played one of his better games, with 6 points, 7 rebounds, and 4 steals. Kevin had 9 rebounds, 3 points, and a steal. But what kept Flight in the game was the guard play: DJ, Connor, Isaac, and Jonathan all played aggressive defense and combined for 13 steals.

Will started the game and also played in the third quarter, attempting two good shots but missing both.

Flight shot well in the 1st quarter and led 12 – 11, but then Sound Doctrine outscored them 10 – 5 in the 2nd to lead at the half by 4 points. In the 3rd it was Flight going on a tear…with just a few seconds remaining in the quarter they had outscored SD 14 – 4. A SD player attempted a 3-pointer, and DJ fell on top of the shooter after he attempted to block the ball. The shot was good, as was the foul shot…4 point play. But Flight inbounded the ball to Connor, who dribbled up the middle of the court. Halfway between the halfcourt stripe and the 3-point line he made a running shot, that swished the net just before the buzzer ended the period.

Since we were the home team, I kept the “official scorebook.” Next to me was clock-keeper Linda, one of the organizers of the Flight basketball program. She and her family have been tirelessly leading the program for many years. Josh is her youngest son; he has several older brothers that played many years of Flight basketball, so Linda has probably run clock in many games. Next to her was the SD’s scorekeeper. We all chatted about the game and got along well, helping each other with 3-point calls, fouls, and the possession arrow.

I was having a good game, having figured out a way to count missed 2-point shots as well as missed 3’s and foul shots (in addition to rebounds, steals, assists, fouls, blocks, and team score and fouls). But I got in the made habit of catching up on writing down the extra stuff when the ball was whistled dead, as the referee usually took his time organizing players before turning to me with the number of the player committing the foul.

Two of the tree refs were familiar: an older, humorous man we’d seen at home and on the road, a young guy who may have once played for Flight, and a new, 30-ish ref we’d never seen. Sound Doctrine had a few players who would stay in the lane too long, and soon shouts from the stands got the refs calling 3-seconds quite often. Flight also got whistled for it, but not nearly as often. The SD coach didn’t complain. Other calls and non-calls did bring loud reactions from the crowd, at one point the new ref warned a spectator to keep it down. Still, the game was far from being out of hand.

The 4th quarter started with Flight leading 34 – 29. Just after the 4th quarter started we heard shouts from the crowd that the clock hadn’t been started…perhaps 10 or 15 seconds had elapsed. No big deal, it happens from time to time. At one point in the quarter as the fouls slowly added up, the SD scorekeeper said the Flight foul was the 6tth, putting SD in the bonus. I only showed 5 fouls…he showed 2 straight on Kevin when I only showed one. Had I missed one? He thought I had, but made no big deal about it. It may have cost SD one foul shot, I’m not sure. As Kevin walked past I asked him how many fouls he had, he thought two or three (but he was playing his second straight game; earlier he played in the middle-school game).

Flight fought hard to keep their lead, but SD crept to within 2 with one minute to go. Few timeouts had been called up to that point, but in the last minute 3 were called. Flight was to bring the ball in underneath the SD basket. All the players were in that halfcourt, and Connor threw long, hitting a wide-open Kevin breaking for the goal…but he walked. SD brought the ball back up and attempted a three, but Connor easily blocked the shot, due to the low release. The new ref blew his whistle – then the buzzer sounded. Down two, SD was awarded 3 foul shots.

With the game on the line, the kid made the first, missed the second, then made the third to tie the game…forcing overtime. DJ fouled out, and Flight missed several shots. With 9 seconds remaining, Jonathan was fouled. Jonathan had played his best game of the year, going most of the way, making a great steal and driving down to make an open lay-up. Now down by two, he made the first but missed the second…BUT a lane violation! But Jonathan couldn’t sink the extra shot, and Flight lost 49 – 48.

DJ: 18 points, 5 rebounds, 4 steals, one block.
Connor: 14 points, 2 rebounds, 5 steals, one assist.
Isaac: 4 points, 3 rebounds, 2 steals.
Jonathan: 3 points, 2 steals.
Jordan: 2 rebounds.
Max: one rebound and steal.

Will played much more than Jordan, Joel, and Max, though the coach worked everyone in. Connor, Isaac, and Kevin played most of two straight games, and must've been tired.

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