story by michaela baker and kirsten arnoult
Down by five, he lined up to shoot his free throws, the first went in with ease and the crowd went wild, the second shot falling in with nothing-but-net. The team now gained a view that they could win.
Court polished, basketballs freshly filled with air, gym lights beaming, Dutch Fork varsity basketball is ready to play but, most do not know of what really goes into a game.
“They do drills, warm ups, and stuff. They stretch to warm up and exercise,” junior Java Scott said.
Drills and warms ups are all apart of practice but, along with the basics other necessary items are on the agenda.
“We’ll watch film on the opposing team and do an in depth report that coaches have made up, two days prior to the game, during practice, we do drills to complicate what our opposing team is likely to do. Play offense and defense of what our opponent is going to do, play the game like a last walk through,” varsity head basketball coach Matt Brown said.
The team is not a randomly chosen group, tryouts were held to determine the best to be on varsity.
“You had to shoot and dribble. Work on offense and defense drills in a scrimmage. You had to show you were in shape and condition,” point guard Austin Williams said. “You couldn’t give up for nothin’ and show a lot of leadership.”
With each player added to the team brings a different potential and strengths.
“[Strengths are] They play well together, really a team, not one person stands out, they share the ball well, and they work hard. The biggest defense is man on man defense. I think we’ll shut people down with that.”
A basketball game is not just a game. It consists of plays, shots, defense, offense, dribbling, and there is more to planning than just working on the fundamentals.
“A game is made up of hard work, teamwork, and never giving up. Offensive and defensive strategies, different game plans, and a lot of communication. Between offense and defense you got to scream to communicate and let the players know what to do or what your going to do,” Austin said.
The moment before a game is exciting as the boys get ready to play.
“I would say they are ready to go and would have a lot of energy,” junior Alex Rowe said. “I wouldn’t talk and would have my headphones in to get my energy up.”
Every player has a different method to get focused and all set for each game.
“Most listen to music, try to relax, get their mind right, read binders and an hour before the game we do shoot around, to shoot shots we’ll most likely shoot during the game, then we’ll stretch so we’re loose,” Brown said.
But with the good reports on how the team is doing this year, the boys probably are pumped every time they step on the court.
“I think we are going to surprise a lot of people, we are very athletic and a very good team, nearly one of the biggest in the state. I think with every game we play we’ll get better and better, by region we’ll be really good,” Brown said.
Each game is a new challenge for the team. A new team to play, new players to go against, and different strategies formed.
“We come out slow at every beginning of the game but then we pick it up in the second half. Our defense is great and athletic and we are very unselfish,” Austin said.
Even though in the past years they haven’t won as many games as they would of liked, this year may be a game changer for all.
“I think this year will be a good one. Like I said, they work every day, all summer, since last mach, this team wants to get better. I feel very confident this team will be very good,” Brown said.