It's "Basketball Season", Baby!
I get to watch my Daughter play Jr. High (The Lions) Ball once or twice a week. She won her First Games this week (both away games at Nestucca & St. Helens). I saw her Team get into double figures, for the first time, last week.
They play six minute Quarters and a 3 - 2 zone. The game lasts about an hour. She runs up and down the court as fast as she can, with the same Big Smile on her face, that she had when she got her new BMX and road it home through Down Town Tillamook, a couple Birthdays ago.
Turnovers abound. About half the time they head back the other way around half court only to have the ball reclaimed and they race to the other end of the court. Where at about the top of the key, control of the ball is lost again. Then they face the same obstacles going in the other direction. This can go on for more than a minute, sometimes two, of their short quarters.
Finally they will settle into position at one end of the court. Paired up like square dancers as their Coaches have instructed them. My Daughter's Team has a dribble first and always until you can shoot PG. Who can always get her shot, open or not, from anywhere.
Once the shot goes up, the other phase of the Game starts to take shape. At best, I have seen about 10% of the shots actually Go in the Hoop! The ten girls will be drawn closer together under the rim, until they become a rugby like scrum! Then the ball will eventually appear from this melee! Sometimes airborne with the appearance of a shot attempt. The odds of it hitting net, backboard, coming back into the scrum or going over the end line, are about equal. The basketball will usually end up rolling out of bounds (with three to four girls chasing it), a three second violation will be called (on one whole Team or the other) or a foul will be called on the one standing nearest to the girls entangled in what appears to be a wrestling match on the floor of the Court.
A rebound is a Highlight. A score happens about once a quarter for the losing Team and as much as two times a quarter for the winning Team in a "Blow Out" Game (her Team lost 17 to 10 in the last Game I attended).
My Daughter has a big lump on the right side of her forehead (She called to come home from practice early that day, because she felt a little queasy) Slightly swollen sprained fingers on her right hand, a sore left ankle, knee and elbow. I have bags of blue ice in our freezer and many rolls of stretchy bandages to apply the ice with.
I listen to the Blazers, thru ear buds, when they have played early on the East Coast, at her Games. She still has that goofy smile of hers on her face as she runs up and down the court. I always think she's the fastest runner but she tells me she isn't.