Archive for Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Carroll’s shot brought out best in athletics

February 5, 2008

Mill Valley junior basketball player Max Carroll was surrounded by his fellow students immediately after a 60-59 win over Bonner Springs on Friday.

They couldn't get enough of him.

Carroll had delivered a victory when most fans were leaving the Bonner Springs gymnasium, looking ahead to the weekend and starting to discuss a loss.

The basket and scene finished a remarkable basketball game that featured a memorable final sequence.

In the Mill Valley versus Bonner Springs boys basketball game, the Jaguars trailed by two points. There were less than six seconds left to play. It looked like it was over.

Players were prepping for another losing locker room. They were going to have to question things: why they didn't win, what they could do better.

But then, a pass went in to Carroll. He took a dribble and made a basket from half court.

The coaches and players said they practice those kinds of shots in practice once or twice a week for that type of situation.

I can believe that, but they can't expect them to work. They can't expect so many shots to go in.

This isn't the Packers sweep, but the shot of a lifetime. A shot you can run 100 times and have it work twice.

That was what made it so phenomenal. That is why the students cheered so hard. That is why they stormed the court.

I have wondered what is said during a post game court rush. I discovered that most of it is indecipherable cheering.

When fans went to that game on Friday night, no one had any idea what would unfold. They didn't know that two teams would battle for four quarters, back and forth, basket for basket and then into two overtimes to a down-to-the-wire finish.

As a sports fan, you never know when greatness is going to happen.

You never know when a player is going to make a play so phenomenal that it is etched in our minds forever.

You never know when a forgettable game is going to become unforgettable.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning made such a play on Sunday night. In the fourth quarter, he dodged a slew of defenders when it looked like he was going to be sacked. He spun away and then stepped into a throw, launching in 39 yards down the field to a receiver who made one of the greatest clutch catches in history.

I watched, more stunned than I was at the ending of "The Sopranos" finale.

I couldn't believe what I had just seen unfold.

Manning had just left us all with an immortal moment, a moment we will not soon forget.

The beauty of sports is that success can feel so good, an unbelievable feeling. You can't tell me that after Carroll made that shot, and Mill Valley fans rushed around him, and the scene inside Bonner Springs High School unfolded, that any athlete anywhere could have felt any better.

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