Owen, Jared, and Nathan played basketball this year. Jared and Owen played YMCA ball, hoping to have friends from school on their team. Jared had a few good buddies, but unfortunately Owen didn't get any classmates on his team. It's most unfortunate for Owen since he is a very social kid and the main purpose for him was to hang out with his friends. He didn't get any of his requests and no kids from his school were on his team. I think he still had a fun season, although he wasn't very aggressive. If he did get the ball, he passed it off quickly or dribbled outside of the 3 point line, where the other team was not allowed to steal it.
Jared had a fun season, playing with a few good friends from school. It was a little more exciting to watch than the first graders, as the older kids were more aggressive. Jared got some good shots, and it was fun to watch him smiling out there. He had a big smile on his face with every shot their team made. I could tell Jared was having fun out there. They won about 2/3 of their games.
Nathan played in a more competitive league in town. The teams in his league were drafted, so he didn't have any say in who was on his team. Nathan definitely got on a better team this year. Last year, his team didn't win any games. This year, they only lost 2 games out of 9 in the regular season, coming in second in the league. Their first loss was a close one, only losing by 3 points in overtime. Nathan made a shot in the last minute of overtime to put their team up by 2. He thought it was going to be the winning shot, but the other team scored a 3 pointer and one more shot. They had one more good look at a 3 pointer to tie it up, but it just rolled out.
Their last regular season game was against the other top team in the league, with which they were tied for first, both only having one loss. So it was essentially the league championship game, with the winner claiming the title of season champs. It was a great game to watch, and Nathan scored 8 points that game (his season record). Nathan's team got down early on, but came back to tie it up 48-48. They ended up losing 50-48, but it was by a controversial call at the end. With 3 seconds left, the refs called a foul on Nathan's team, but it was a really poor call because the other team charged into Nathan's team (sending 2 of Nathan's teammates to the floor). The guy wasn't shooting (not even close to the basket), but their team was in the 1 and 1 bonus, so they got to shoot free throws. To their credit, they made both free throws, winning the game by 2 points. It was heartbreaking to lose on such a controversial call. That game should have been determined in overtime.
They were hoping to get redemption in the tournament, but unfortunately they lost in the first round. Surprisingly, the season champs also lost in the first round. Nathan's team lost to the tournament champions, a team which only won 2 games in the regular season. I guess that team had a post season surge. Anyway, Nathan had a good season, and he still has a pretty sweet shot! One amazing thing - Nathan was one of the tallest guys on his team (they were a little lacking in height), so Nathan got to guard the big guys and got most of his team's rebounds. Who would have thought that Nathan would be doing tip off and playing the post position?
(The teammate in the bottom right picture and number 0 in the top right was their point guard and MVP. He's a really good player - we'll be watching for good things from him in the future. If Nathan's lucky, they'll get to keep playing together...)
(Except for the team huddle, these were good pictures - because I didn't take them! I bought them for $2.50 each.)