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Basketball Diary: Ending on a high note of achievement

Men%27s+Falcon+Basketball+Team+huddle+in+what+was+to+become+their+final+game+in+the+NCAA+Division+II+championship.-+a+Cinderella+story.+They+were+not+invited+to+the+finals%2C+but+earned+their+%22way+in.%22+
Men's Falcon Basketball Team huddle in what was to become their final game in the NCAA Division II championship.- a Cinderella story. They were not invited to the finals, but earned their

Men's Falcon Basketball Team huddle in what was to become their final game in the NCAA Division II championship.- a Cinderella story. They were not invited to the finals, but earned their "way in."

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia

Men's Falcon Basketball Team huddle in what was to become their final game in the NCAA Division II championship.- a Cinderella story. They were not invited to the finals, but earned their "way in."

Ana Ruth Lugo Mejia, Multi-Media Managing Editor

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The sky should have been the limit.

After a long weekend, I feel like I can finally put into words what I could not do so a week ago.

The sky should have been the first sign telling us that something was not right, that something was not really going to go the way we wanted it.

After a long bus ride from West Odessa, Texas, we had finally arrived at our destination: Golden, Colorado. It was a very exhausting ride, we had parted on Friday the March 17 at 11:00 p.m.

I had been the last one to arrive (to my embarrassment), but nothing could prepare anyone for a ride of about 13 hours or for the experiences that were about to unfold.

I don’t think anyone was able to sleep during the bus ride. Even though everyone was able to have two seats for themselves, the seats are no place to properly rest. In addition, they were a little uncomfortable. I was surprised when I woke up during the night and some were using the floor to rest. We stopped so many times along the way I lost count, I was beginning to think that we would never get there on time. But we did. Tired and hungry, we finally arrived at our  hotel.

The weather (since we arrived in Colorado) hadn’t been the best. Cloudy and it looked like it was about to pour like never before. It was not extremely cold, but it was not hot either. Ms. Teresa Sewell gave us the key to our room and once again I shared a room with three other girls. This time I knew the other two, Cassie and I got to share a room with Sarah and Maritza from MyFalconRadio.  We had less than an hour and a half to get ready for the game.

I was not feeling really good because of allergies. So, I was not as excited about the game. We finally got to the place where the game took place and as soon as I entered I felt nervous. The other team was practicing and as I looked at their faces they looked determined. We [the Falcons] had played against them before and we had won. On the other side of the court the men, our team, were warming up. The look on their faces said it all: “We are here to win.”

The game finally started. Both teams were playing to win. But the other team fared better. The first half was a disappointing one. We were down by 9 points…

The second half started and the Falcons woke up. There was hope. They finally tied the game and it looked like anyone could win it. Both teams wanted the victory and you could tell by the looks on their faces. None of them would accept a loss. But one of them had to lose. That’s the game. Those are the rules. With 24 seconds on the clock we were tied 71, another time out with 4 seconds on the clock and nerves were at the highest. Anyone could win this game. And the unthinkable happened, what was not supposed to happened, happened. In a miracle buzzer-beater Kingsville defeated UTPB 74-71.

Our side was shut with a 3-point shot! Just like that, the cheers stopped. Time stopped for our side. It was frozen for minutes until we could make sense of what we were witnessing. We had been eliminated. We were going back home, so soon, so quick…

No one could believe it. It hadn’t yet registered in our minds.

I saw the players and some were screaming in anger They could not look at each other. Some of their faces were unreadable. Others read disbelief.

From someone who was an athlete in high school, losing is tough—especially if it’s something you love. I cannot understand what it is to play at a college level. But I know what it is to lose when you are number 1, what it is to lose knowing that the game means everything to you, when you dedicate every single fiber of your being to something that you are passionate about—and that’s what I saw.

These players do not accept defeat and that’s when I realize this had just been the beginning.

Losing is part of the game, part of life. You learn more when you lose, because you learn how to keep going.

But really was there something to regret?

In my opinion, no, they gave it all out there on the court.

Was there something to be sad about?

Yes and that is that we will not have basketball games until next season.

After all, they wrote history this season with a record of (26-6) they won the program’s first-ever regular season conference championship, the first ever post season championship when they won the Lone Star  Conference tournament, AND they have the most wins in a single season in program history, and this was our first NCAA tournament.

This was a season to remember, some great memory that we will cherish forever those that were there cheering from week 1. They were many great moments from the student billed: “Big Nasty” cheering on the stands to Daeshon Francis ¾ court, buzzer beater shot at the Lone Star Conference Tournament and for those that travel to Golden, Colorado how can we ever forget the 13-14 hour ride to and from?

So we will wait for next season and we will look forward to more curtains of distraction but most of all we will look forward to great amazing basketball games.

After the game we went out to wait for the bus. And there it was. The bus and a shining sun on the horizon just above a beautiful set of mountains. Perhaps a promise, a sign telling us that great things were indeed reserved for us later on in the way… maybe next season.

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Basketball Diary: Ending on a high note of achievement