“The real glory is being knocked to your knees and then coming back. That’s real glory. That’s the essence of it” –Vince Lombardi
Well…at least that’s what Coach Chapman told the boys before the tip-off of yesterday’s game. The game, against the basketball powerhouse West Essex, was only hours after the Cougars first lost of the season.
The focus of Chapman and Pacheco’s pre-game message to the boys was the need to return to playing “Cougar-Ball.” Over the past few years, MKA has developed the reputation of being a very difficult and unpleasant team to play. Their physical play, highlight by: a game long full-court press, non-stop fast breaking style and pressure defense, often times causes their opposition to quit and run to the bus. Unfortunately for the boys of West Essex, this seemed to be the case yesterday (MKA 60 West Essex 34).
The Cougars shared the ball unselfishly (28 assists, with Asante G getting 9 of them). They were led in scoring by Max N (15 points) and rebounding by Nic H (15 boards).
There was one play though that seemed to highlight the teams’ return to “Cougar Ball”. With the Cougars up by many points and the clock ticking down to 2 seconds left in the contest, something happened. A guard for West Essex drove to the basket for a wide open lay up, a sure 2 points. But that didn’t happen…Instead, David K raced across the floor, jumped across the lane and tried his hardest to block the shot. He was given a foul on the play, but the message was clear. Nobody gets a wide-open lay-up in “Cougar Ball”…no matter what the score is.
P.S. The stands were packed with intense fans…the best turnout for a game Coach Chapman has seen in his brief tenure as coach. Bravo Fans!