Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Stretch Run

It's the final week of the basketball regular season and the every game gains in importance. Today, Franklin & Marshall's Sarah Meisenberg shares her thoughts on the stretch run to the playoffs.

Our team mission that we established the first week of the season was to make the playoffs. Everything we have done this season is to make it into the top five. To make the final five would be a huge step for our program, especially because we are rebounding from a 6-19 season last year. We have grown so much as a team and as individual players. We have learned to trust each other and our coaches and to gain confidence and motivation based on our teammates strengths.

Gettysburg and Dickinson are key games for us. Both teams have quality playoff experience and know how to play in crunch time. They are very athletic, talented, hard-working, and well coached. That being said, only a tremendous team effort will pull us to victory. We want to concentrate on doing the little things such as hedging on screens, playing until the last whistle, helping the helper, and making our foul shots.

This year our conference has a lot of parity, leaving many teams an opportunity to take a spot in the top five. Making the playoffs would give us even more confidence and pride because of where we started from in November. Since then, our team has suffered two knee injuries. It’s a heart breaking feeling to see your teammates go down and not get back up. This has made us realize that we cannot wait until next year or even next game. We have to play with heart and hustle play by play, because there might not be a next time to run down the court. Part of our motivation comes from the fact that two of our best friends are hurt and that we need to play for them, because they would give anything to be back on the court.

One of the most important things I have learned in my athletic career is any day, anything can happen. It all depends on who wants the game more and you can be sure that my team will not play any game without everything we’ve got.

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