Umpqua 69 Mt. Hood 68

While the game is in progress, being on the winning end of a 30 point blowout is a lot more fun and a lot less stressful than being in a one point nailbiter, but in the long run it's usually not as productive. When the score is lopsided, both players and coaches alike have a tendency to either ignore or gloss over "minor" mistakes and instead take on the attitude of "We blew them out so we must have done everything right!"

After gut wrenching nail biters, every possession is scrutinized in hopes of discovering those weak areas that need to be strengthened. Every decision, whether it is made on the bench or on the court, is analyzed to determine whether or not it was the correct decision for that particular situation. It is a time consuming, painstaking, and often times painful process. But it is during this process that growth and improvement are born.

The first time we played MHCC we jumped out to a 17-1 lead to start the game and then literally cruised to a 30 point fun and stress free win. Last night the two teams went back and forth for the entire 40 minutes until we found ourselves behind by one point with 6.1 seconds left and the ball out at half court. As we gathered around a small whiteboard during a timeout to draw up the next play, the girls confidantly assured each other that we were going to win the game because we work on this kind of stuff all the time in practice. They were right. Two passes and exactly six seconds later. Miranda Holenstein scored right before the buzzer sounded and we won the game.

In the standings the blowout and the nailbiter look exactly the same but they are not. With the playoffs right around the corner, winning a close game like this helps prepare us for future battles, while at the same time increases our confidance and brings to light some areas that we need to improve. A win like this can help us get a few more when it really counts.

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