We won our second game of 2011, our second win! We played Geneva’s team, Bernex, a team we knew we might be able to beat if we played well. The other team was down their starting post player and is the only other team in the conference with fewer than two foreigners (they actually have none). It felt really weird to be the team actually picked to win a game, a feeling I haven’t had since back when I played at TCNJ. I’ll admit, it can make you a little nervous if you’re not used to that pressure of knowing “We should win.” I don’t think it helped that before our game there was a handball game going on in the gym and we had to wait in the locker room for half an hour until it was over.
I think most athletes are a little superstitious, or at least used to their routine. For example, I always wear the same pair of spandex underneath my game shorts, listen to the same playlist (or at least a few usual songs) before games, and I always take off my watch and then my Claddagh ring right before leaving the locker room and picking up my first basketball of the day. Regardless, our routine before this game was a little off, and with the extra nerves our warm-up seemed sub par. I kept trying to talk to my teammates and telling them it was going to be okay, we didn’t have anything to lose and should just play hard and have fun. I’m not sure how much better they felt, but talking always takes the edge off for me. :)
We went up 10-2 (maybe) early in the game before the other team rallied and I noticed the score was 14-10. I wish I could tell you more specifics, but we were winning by 9 at halftime, things seemed a little crazy in the third quarter but we were still up by 9 at the end of that, and we ended up winning the game by 9! 57-48!
A couple things are happening to my game that I think are really cool, so I’ll share. First of all I’m getting used to shooting outside more (I took another 3 in the game which was in-and-out but led to an offensive board by a teammate and a put-back!). I’ve been getting more familiar with finishing in weird positions around the basket (I’m really liking that reverse layup for instance). I had two wrap-around steals, one that led to my point guard grabbing the ball and dishing it back to me for a fast-break layup. The game is so different over here, and I’m getting to do different things, which really is a lot of fun for me.
During the game in the fourth quarter I had some cramping issues. My feet, shins, calves, hips, hamstrings, and quads ALL seemed to cramp at the same time. I’ve had my fair share of Charlie horses, but never all those different areas all cramping at once. It was so bad that when I took a free throw, my whole right leg cramped up, and when I jumped to try and block a shot pain shot through my calf. Cramping is seriously no joke. I never want to cramp like that again; I wonder if you can over-hydrate…
On a side note: I officially think bubble baths are heaven-sent!