A tight contest goes a long way in promoting the value of hard work, drive, and all around persistence. And in every game there will be one instance where the ball will take a funny bounce (off of a teammate, the rim, or even off of an opponent's head) to offset or highlight the logistics of all of those traits. Yet even with those traits in tack, a team cannot guarantee a victory. In the case of Port's junior varsity, the hometown fans were able to witness all of the above with the added bonus of a victory. The hustle and fast break alacrity permitted the Junior Vikings to move easily to their big gun, Ira James who had nine first half points. Port's young guns held a 32-24 first half lead, but as play progressed the second half theatrics made the finale worth waiting for as the junior varsity held on to surpass the JV Eagles.
The Valley Stream Central JV had some tricks up their sleeves as they went to the inside post-up in the second half. But their character as well as their reserve was tested on defense as their full-court attack forced Port to push the ball up without any outlet awaiting the pass. Port looked too edgy and nervous as their basis executions were stifled by too many travel violations (three alone in the second half). The JV Eagles took advantage of these Port mishaps and went on a subsequent 13-2 run in the third quarter. As the clock was ticking away in the period, Ira James hit a 20' bomb to lift the Vikings back up by three as the buzzer sounded. Needless to say a 43-40 lead heading into the fourth was tenuous at best and with each side showcasing a tightly-wound zone it was a wonder just how much scoring or if the score itself would change as a result.
Each club retaliated with bombs and tip-ins, including a couple of put-backs by Andrew Levy and a critical three by Brian Moran. With all of Port's resources, Valley Stream hung tight via three-point deficit or less throughout most of the period.
As I mentioned earlier, you sometimes need the lucky bounce, and Port got it. If you flip a coin 10,000 times, it will turn up heads roughly 5,000 times and tails 5,000 times. In some freak occurrence, it may actually land on its side. The same could be said that if you take 10,000 shots at a hoop from six feet out in the heat of battle, it will fall through 5,000 times or fall short via the rim or the backboard 5,000 times.
On this given occasion with the Eagles looking to take the lead, one of their forwards attempted a shot that landed atop the back of the rim and did not rebound off or fall through. It just lied there along with the rest of the crowd waiting for a ruling. Well the rules in this case state that if the ball doesn't fall through or rebound off the rim, the opponents receive the ball out of bounds. The luck of the bounce and some of that hard work at the foul line with clutch free throw conversions in the closing seconds by Jared Levine and Chris Cosolito stayed off a Valley Stream comeback and put the Vikings in the win column on this Tuesday afternoon, 64-63.