As I left the office this afternoon, it hit me. I had not coached my team in 23 days, and in a few hours I would coach them against the school that I coached at for the last five years Oviedo. I was introspective, and didn’t have the normal energy I feel ahead of a game.
Oviedo had performed unevenly coming into the game, and thought too much was placed on a recent poor performance against Hagerty, a team they had beaten earlier in the year. I believed they would play well tonight, and they did. We were down 21-13 at the end of the first quarter.
I jumped on my team when they came to the bench and told them they were playing with the energy of a freaking corpse. We were getting beat on the glass, settling for jump shots and not hitting any. Our first possession out of the break we take a 3….but hit it. The key to the quarter was our defense. We held the Lion’s to three points for the quarter and held a two point lead at the half.
I felt good believing that we shot as bad as we did and still lead. The second half was entertaining and frustrating. We would pull ahead by five or seven points and immediately concede a basket to keep the game tight. On the upside we continued to push the ball up the floor and play aggressive. The later stages were notable for Oviedo tying the game, but we responded with a great run of transition play to close it out. There were several times where I was literally in the process of calling a time-out as we looked to be out of sorts, but each time someone would make a play and keep or grow the lead. It felt great to let them play and make plays.
In the end, we won 62-53. We are 10-5. We aren’t perfect, but fun to watch….and coach. That’s where it’s at.
I did not feel any particular glory or vindication in beating Oviedo, just the quiet satisfaction of being back where I belong.