Last night, I watched one of the most exciting and physical youth basketball games I have ever seen. And believe it or not it was between two 4th grade girls teams vying for a win in a quarter-final game of the city championship. Both teams wanted to win badly and they went full speed at each other for the entire 20 minutes of playing time. I was keeping score and the ref came up to me during a time-out. He said, 'This is intense. I thought that this was going to be an easy game to ref.... I never would have guessed that I would be berated by the fans of 10 year old girls..... These girls are playing some good basketball, I could call a foul on every play."
My daughter's team fell behind early and limped into half-time down 17-6. The opponent had a very athletic and tall center who dominated the boards. The opponent also played a 2-2-1 trapping defense on a really small court which gave our point guards fits. My daughter, CC, was one of those two point guards who struggled to find passing lanes the way our offense typically runs.
The coaching staff made some half-time adjustments on offense and defense. Remarkably, the defense was able to hold the historically high scoring opponent to 1 point in the second half. The coaching staff also moved a player up to the high post and CC started passing over the 2 front defenders.
This opened up the offense which generated 13 points in the second half. CC's team won 19-18 on a steal and a layup with 4 seconds left. CC hit a critical 15 foot jumper late in the game to put her team in position to win. I was never so proud as a parent. The basket was great, but it was the will to win and the tough play that I was so proud of.
The Main Point
Girls are tough and that toughness starts when they are young.