A story about players, the game and hard work

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Updated: februari 22, 2018

ZATERDAG 17 FEB. 2018/17:00 Landslake Lions MSE 1 – Solar systemen-Grasshoppers MSE 1 : 77 – 94
Author : Christopher Wilson

This season has been fascinating and trying year of rebuilding for the Landslake Lions. My coach who is a hard driven championship caliber competitor has had to realize he is coaching a team that in some aspects, has the talent, but will not be competitive even in a top five finish. Yet when faced with the challenge of a top four team, we compete and often push to the brink, our competition. Our coach has molded us in that image to compete no matter, at the highest level possible. Unfortunately, at every corner a player has been absent.
Injured. On vacation. Missing practice. We have not been able to mesh in a full capacity. This is not a fault to any one player just simply the reality of this season. Pro teams like the warriors will tell you it takes four years for a team to fully click, even with superstar athletes, to run offensive schemes affectively and know the ins and outs of defense. This team hasn’t even had a season.

Our coach is forced to work with what he has which is different every single game. Today’s game against the second ranked team, and a fierce rival for the organization, found us with our teams top scorer out.
Yet for the team there was no doubt we could still compete. For me, I realized that this isn’t my team to lead several months ago. We have a go to guy for offense whose is a work horse of a player on both ends of the floor and a great vocal leader. We have two other team leaders who established themselves by being a part of the organization for more then a season, a crafty, aggressive sharp shooting point guard and a strong all around post up player…they are the only ones who can claim that right of being with the organization for an invested period of time. The only two remaining from last years previous championship winning season.

So I feel to take a fourth role in the backseat. I came into the organization late, and throughout the season am still finding my own game within the team. In the past, my game has typically been a more ball dominant scorer. Which is not of the system for this team. But when our top scorer is out I feel to step up offensively. Which was
the case over this weekends game. Coach told me to work on finding my shot off motion instead of just creating it off the dribble and his advice proved substantial for me, when I finished the game with 30 points.

One of the defining issues of our season has been finding the balance and role for each player based on their skill sets. Getting everyone to buy into that and rely that all our components will be there, game to game. Yet despite this, every single player plays with max energy and we are a test for every single team.

On Saturdays game, our point guard Jos, attacked the basket and nocked down his shots with consistency throughout the game; having missed a substantial part of the season due to injury, it is nice to see his game come back to him so quickly. Our other team captain Sjenko, was tasked with protecting the paint and shutting down their big man. No
small task being that our team is severely undersized. Everyone pitched in, David our guard has a knack for hard defense and a skill for attacking the offensive boards. The younger guys on our team stepped up, Onne when he was in the game contributed to our late run with hard pressed defense and execution of hard picks and good positioning. Stats that don’t show up on the sheet but are vital to a teams success.

We are that team that is better then our win-loss column would show you. That sleeper team. That pushes the top teams. Despite having a low ranking. They see our ranking and think it will be a breeze and yet we consistently compete. And force them to work hard. One of the starting centers of the opposing team confessed to me during the game as we made a run in the fourth quarter “This game is taking too long.Can’t be over soon enough.”
Spoken in a way that said they have to work hard and this team is lingering too close for comfort. We ended the first quarter ahead. The half almost tied. We lost the third quarter and then rallied aggressively in the fourth to cut the game close before it ultimately escaped our grasp to the final tune of 94-77. I find myself passing through a very unique experience with this team. Time, and one or two extra complements and were a championship contending team. Yet we find ourselves muddling out at the bottom. A testament to our resolve continually is the notion that
our spirits our high, and we’re still hungry for the next game.