It's Never Over
Nick, Age 13, Doylestown, PA

The game was on the line. All I could see were sharp flashes of loud purple. No green. I hoisted the shot up as the buzzer filled gyms for miles around. It was the semifinals, and we were playing our nemeses, the Perkasie Knights. We had not beaten them in two years, but it was always a battle. Struggling and fighting, we were down all game until the moment came. Shoes squeaking, we fought for thirty-two minutes. We made a few quick baskets before I noticed we were back in it. The fans, a bellowing lion of fury, were yelling and screaming at the brightly lit court. Although we had been losing all game, we never lost hope. We huddled up. We were down two with five seconds left. My coach instructed, “We need to get the ball to Nick on the left side.”

I was surprised when my coach drew up a play for me. I began to feel a rush of adrenaline; I felt like an NBA player. Although the play was for me, I was not scared. It was a good nervous, one that rushes through your body, yet I was still trembling. Sweat dripping, I took a big gulp of my piercing purple Gatorade. But panting, sweating, and stumbling, we took the floor. The referee, a tall man with large black shoes, blew his tar-black whistle. The ball was inbounded and bobbled for a second. Without looking, he immediately got the ball to me. I could hear the fans, and the clock, and my team buzzing in my ear. Just like all game, I was surrounded by purple jerseys. I could not see or think straight. The fans were counting down. I could hear “Three, two, one…” echoing throughout the gym. Arms shaking, I hoisted up a shot with one second on the clock. It seemed as though the ball rattled on the quiet, stiff rim for an hour. Everything was still, frozen in my mind, until the ball, flat and unforgiving, fell through the stringy white net. It fell into the referee’s hands, and I was immediately swarmed by my teammates. Feet pounding, they rushed towards me. I earned the chance for overtime. It gave us the boost to dominate, and we clinched the victory and a trip to the finals. In that moment, we never lost hope and were rewarded by our actions. But for me, that moment is still frozen in time, where the ball hung on the rim waiting to slice the net.

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