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High school basketball tournament gamer

Discussion in 'Writers' Workshop' started by e_bowker, Feb 28, 2013.

  1. e_bowker

    e_bowker Member

    Haven't posted anything here in a while, so it's probably time for a critique. I humbly submit a basketball tournament gamer for your dissection.
    I'll offer one bit of context. In our state, the private schools have their class tournaments followed by an overall tournament with the top three teams from each class. The AAA schools win it about 90 percent of the time (and the AA schools win it 9 of the other 10 percent), so for most of the A and AA schools it's largely an afterthought. The school I was covering is a Class A school.
    Let me know what you think, and thanks for reading...

    Parklane ends Porters Chapel’s season in overall tournament

    CLINTON — Years from now, when they gather at class reunions and barbecues, the members of Porters Chapel Academy’s basketball team will kick back and reminisce about the season they hoisted the MAIS Class A championship trophy.
    The game they let slip away a few days later?
    That one probably won’t enter the conversation.
    The Eagles wiped out all but the last of a 19-point deficit, yet couldn’t get over the hump in their first-round game against Parklane Academy at the boys’ MAIS Overall Tournament. Brady Lea rebounded his own missed free throw and hit two more with 6.7 seconds left, then PCA’s Ted Brisco missed a potential tying 3-pointer at the buzzer as Parklane survived and beat the Eagles 53-50 Tuesday at Mississippi College.
    Under most circumstances, it would’ve been a brutally tough loss. Three days after celebrating the program’s first state championship, it was a little easier to take.
    “We’re just going to focus on the positive things five or 10 years from now. We’re going to think about how we won district, South State and State. And we’re going to still have our rings,” said Brisco, who had 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocked shots. “We all wanted to win, because we’re competitive. We just got off to a slow start.”
    For three quarters, the game seemed to fit right in amidst a parade of first-round blowouts. Four of the six boys and girls games Tuesday were decided by 16 points or more. Parklane took advantage of a slow start by PCA to take a 19-point lead midway through the second quarter, and led 42-30 heading into the fourth.
    Parklane’s Spencer Remley hit five 3-pointers — four of them in the first half — and finished with a game-high 19 points.
    “We were just tired and our knees weren’t into it, really. We had four games last week and a tough game Friday and Saturday,” said PCA center Tre’Darius Carter, who had six rebounds and five blocks.
    Parklane committed a dozen turnovers in the second half, however, and PCA’s shooting finally came around. The Eagles chipped away at the deficit and got within two, at 50-48, on a jumper by Brisco with a minute remaining.
    Then, when it mattered most, PCA couldn’t catch the break it needed to have a shot at the win.
    Parklane evaded PCA’s defense for 45 seconds before the Eagles were finally forced to foul. Twice, passes nearly went out of bounds but were saved by the Pioneers. Lea split a pair of free throws and PCA’s Peter Harris went 2-for-2 at the line to make it 51-50 with 13.9 seconds left.
    On the ensuing inbounds play, Devin Johnson outran Parklane’s Zach Stutzman in the frontcourt but was unable to corral the long outlet pass and it went out of bounds. Lea was fouled with 9.6 seconds left and missed two free throws to give the Eagles a jolt of life — until the rebound caromed off the front of the rim and back into Lea’s hands. He dribbled a few seconds off the clock before he was fouled again and hit both tries to give Parklane a 53-50 lead.
    PCA’s last gasp was, again, inches off the mark. With a defender in his face, Brisco launched a 3-pointer from the right corner only for it to clang off the far side of the rim as time expired.
    “I knew it was going to be a closer game. I had faith in us. Whether it was going to be one point, I didn‘t know,” PCA coach E.J. Creel said. “One play different in the first half. One score different might’ve made a different outcome.”
    Afterward, the sting of the loss was mixed with the realization of what the Eagles did accomplish this season. They repeated as District 5-A and South Central tournament champions, then won four games in five days last week to claim their first Class A title. All in all, the good memories from the journey far outweighed the ending.
    “All I’ll remember is I’ve just never seen them play like I did Saturday,” Creel said. “All day at practice yesterday, Ted was screaming ‘wooo!’ I think everybody was just kind of giddy, and they should’ve been.”
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