Thursday, November 25, 2010

Another exhilarating victory for Eisenhower HS

At this pace, I might have to drive to the Chicagoland area to watch Coach Mike Curta and the boys' basketball team at Eisenhower HS, based in Blue Island, Ill. They simply are doing amazing things so far in their first season with The System, and as always, I'll allow Coach Curta to fill you in on Game 3 of this magical start (I've taken the liberty to edit it a bit, I don't believe he will mind):

Coach Curta: "Wednesday night was Game #3 against our other district rival and we go double overtime for a 115-113 victory.

The total of 228 for both teams ranks #15 in Illinois state history for combined score for two teams. Our opponent now ranks in a tie for seventh in state history for most points in a game by a losing team. We combined to score 57 in the fourth quarter to also squeeze into the top 20 in state scoring for a quarter by both teams. We tied the state record for threes in a game with 21. The combined total of 28 threes now ranks second in state history. In our second game of the tournament we broke the state record for three's attempted with 67.

"I will have to check the stats on film because our trainer, who does a great job of keeping shift stats, had to take care of a player who needed stitches for a cut to the head. He missed about 3 1/2 minutes of the third quarter while taking care of the young man (who is fine).

"Please forgive me for rattling off the numbers but our fans, kids and parents are going crazy for this kind of basketball. We are getting absolutely killed on layups and easy baskets vs. our press right now because the kids' legs are like lead after these three games. To their credit they have found a way to hang in games and do just enough to get the win. Tonight we trailed throughout the game until our sophomore shooter nailed a 3 to tie the game at 87 in regulation.

"We went back and forth in the first overtime and led by 2 with :13. We had a breakdown defensively in the halfcourt and our opponent scored the basket to lock it up at 95 going into the second overtime. Our opponent went up 6 immediately and got it to 9 with 2:14 to go in the second overtime. In the past we probably would have broke down and packed it in for the night, but not playing System Ball!

"Down 106-97, we came back to take a 111-107 lead with :28 remaining in double overtime and possession. Our intention was to salt the clock and win the game at the free throw line. What I did not take into consideration was the short amount of practice time in implementing The System and concentrating solely on the basics. We programmed our kids to shoot when open so well that one of our preferred shooters decided to launch a three with us up four and trying to kill clock. He canned it to go up 7 and the game was over.

"Sorry for the diatribe, but in these three games we have done more for our school, community and program than would have been possible without converting to The System. Alumni are talking and the stands are starting to fill with people curious to see what we are doing.

"As I told our coaches and kids after tonight: When our kids from this team are sitting around with their families many Thanksgivings from now they will be able to tell their own kids that they achieved something significant that no team had ever done before in our state's history. How great is that?"

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