[A/N: If you want to know the title go to the comment section.]
"What is happening?"
"What's going on?"
Baron kept on trying to chase the SG of the blue team who kept on trying to shoot threes but failed to stop him. Although almost most of the attempts never got into the hoop, the rebound will always be picked up by his teammates and score for the team blue.
[A/N: I have decided to call the second string team as team blue and the first string, team red. SG means shooting-guard.]
The feeling of being shackled is always appearing in the minds of the red team Not just with Baron, but also with his teammates. Not just in defense but also in the offense, they couldn't seem to play like they used to.
60 - 65
Extremely tired, Fin looked at the scoreboard and looked at his teammates. Each and every one of them is panting and heaving in exhaustion. When he looked at the opposing team he saw that they are just sweating completely different from the current state of the red team.
It is not because of the tremendous stamina of the blue team. Actually, the blue team has run around more than the red team throughout the whole game; the only difference is that unlike the red team who has to keep all its best players with Fin, Claude, Baron, and James, the blue team has brought in substitutes all the time to keep the players in a good shape.
Running around for the whole 2 quarters and a half has drained a lot of the red team's stamina. They did all they could to defend and rack up the score but the opposing team's tactics still got the best of them.
"Why can't we close the gap?"
Time and time again.
The Blue team's SG always took the ball with him outside the arc and became the pivot of the game. He would always shoot it regardless of being contested or blocked. When he misses the defense wouldn't be able to react fast because of being disarrayed and the blue team will ultimately get an offensive rebound almost every time.
The red team has changed its tactics many times and failed to create a solution to the problem.
Claude tried to force a turnover by reaching for the ball and tapping it out of the dribbler's hand but committed a foul in the end by accidentally bumping the small forward hard.
They headed to the paint as a free throw was conducted.
Claude wiped his sweat with his forearm and looked at the scoreboard.
"What can we do? Their tactic is troublesome. With the frequent opposing team's off-ball movements, we couldn't even defend well... They are running around too much which makes us run too to follow them. And then when we don't they get to have more scoring opportunities."
He looked at his legs as he felt them getting heavier.
"It's tiring us out."
When the free throw fell into the net. Claude immediately went outside the line to throw the ball in.
Fin quickly ran to the other side waiting for the ball.
When Claude was about to throw it his eyes landed on the clock and froze.
Baron noticed this and stopped in his tracks when he was about to shout at Claude the whistle resounded.
Claude snapped out of his daze and passed the ball to the referee.
Turnover. Claude failed to throw the ball in within 5 seconds.
Baron was pissed.
Fin found it strange. His teammates felt the same.
They saw how gloomy Claude looked. It seemed like he gave up.
"Hey! What are you doing? You're giving up when the gap is not even big!!!"
"Hey!" "Baron." His teammates began to stop him as he walked towards Claude. He has been holding his temper since the beginning of the game and Claude's mistake pissed him even more. His fist began to curve as he took a punching pose.
"BARON!" Fin shouted as he glared at Baron.
Behind Baron, James was ready to stop Baron along with their small forward.
Baron looked at Fin and turned around before shouting very loud to vent his anger. He was extremely frustrated.
'...' Leonard just watched from afar as Baron glared at him. He acted like he didn't notice and sat down on his chair.
Fin took a deep breath and looked at Claude. He kept being cool-headed different from his usual easy-going demeanor. This is his way to control his temper and frustration. Actually, he is frustrated just as how Baron felt very frustrated but kept being level headed despite his frustration.
"Claude... Are you o-"
He looked at Claude and remembered the time when they were utterly crushed by the Citadel High during the exhibition game last summer. Claude's eyes completely gave up.
The referee blew his whistle and passed the ball to the blue team for a throw-in.
"Come on team! Defense!"
Fin spoke with a serious tone and ran to his position.
When the blue threw in the ball, their SG quickly came and got it. Strangely, the offensive team did not continue their tactics and just walked around the court casually.
'Are they tired?'
It seems like the Blue Team did not intend to continue their tactics of stirring up the defense. The red team also found it strange. But one thing is clear.
In their movements, they don't seem to be planning to make another basket for some reason.
Beside James Brent came up to him and casually stretched his hand forth. His next words made James' pupil dilate.
As if the world slowed down. James dazed as he heard Brent crystal clear.
The whistle immediately came after as the SG threw the ball to the basket with an overhead throw.
Now they understood why Claude seemed to have given up.
Now they realized why the blue team did not move around anymore in the last possession.
It is because there is no time to catch up to the score.
Fin finally realized as he looked at the clock and back to Claude who is also looking at him.
"How could this be?"
"How did the Second string won?"
"Why did the First String lost?"
"Aren't they the varsity?"
"I didn't notice the time!"
Everyone who was watching the game exclaimed in disbelief.
"Is it luck?"
"It should be right?"
Fin immediately looked at Leonard in disbelief. The latter saw and just smiled lightly.
It is as if he had been expecting such a result.
In the background...
Lance sat on his bench without a hint of surprise. Since the first 5 possessions, Lance has already noticed what is happening. He had expected that the blue team might just win the game.
He had been taking note of every detail in the game and understood what Leonard wanted to do.
In the current, Era such plays are rarely seen wherein the flow of the game heavily leans on the strategies employed especially in an era where big men and athletic players dominated the game.
But from the Era where Lance came from, such things are heavily relied on and are designed to neutralize star players, so it is nothing new to his eyes.
Still, he is still surprised to see such play in the era. Somehow, he even felt nostalgic about his previous life.
Nathan suddenly shouted while holding his notebook.
Everyone looked at him and asked what happened. Nathan seemed to be quite surprised as if something big happened.
Nathan looked at everyone and showed them his notebook.
"Look! ... Look at the stats."
When they saw the stats they where all surprised as well.
Listed in the top five best stats are mostly from the blue team (Second String).
Second String's Center (Brent) 28 points, 15 rebounds, 9 assists, 3 blocks
First String PF (Fin Stee) 20 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists
Second String's SG (Unnamed) 16 points, 5 assists
Second String's SF (Unnamed) 5 points, 7 rebounds, 8 assists, 1 block
First String Center (James) 11 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block
"They even dominated the stats!?"
"That center... with that stats! How can he not be the varsity's center?"
They exclaimed in surprise as they looked at Brent from afar.
James noticed them and felt down but brent cheered him up.
Brent was not acting haughty because he knows why they won.
When the ones on the bench are chatting, Allan suddenly spoke.
His cold voice resounded in their ears and irritated them.
Lance looked at Allan who in turn also looked at him.
He understands what happened. Lance looked at the court and replayed what happened in the game.
'If you looked at the field goal percentage. The first string still trumps.'
First String's FG% (Field Goal Percentage) 38.5%
Second String's FG% 24.8%
The blue only thrived and won due to their rebounding capacity that came from the strategy devised by their coach.
The new coach recruited by the school director...
Though by sacrificing the team stats, he managed to push the Second string team whose players are inferior to the first string into victory.
He seemed like a genius general who could strategies his way to victory despite all kinds of situations.
"Leonard? I do feel like I heard it somewhere before."
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