The players were nervous because they did not have enough confidence in their abilities, they all improved a lot since the first game, they gained experience and struggled to get here, especially Owen and Luke, Owen who could now attack well thanks to their captain and became one of the best championship centers and Luke reached the level of the team, he was no longer the weakness of the team.
But even so, they knew they did not have the skills to be in that final, confidence that the players who played the championship last year in reaching the national championship were absurd now that they looked at it, they had to beat the Tigers that were much more strong and experienced them.
The only point of courage that all the team had to hope to sell this game today was Jake, a younger player than they and their captain, everyone knew he was a genius, plus he also did well as a captain he supported and even taught the team players, and before when they thought they would lose Jake showed new skills.
It was like Aiden once said in school, his captain was like an onion had layers and more layers, and whenever he peeled one he would look better.
Coach Roy was also nervous, today he would finally meet two of his goals as coach of that school, reach the national championship with a school that does not specialize in sports and trains a player who could be a star in the future.
Jake was also nervous, it was the first final that he considered really important, he hoped to take this medal and the trophy home, this game was a real achievement for him, and he also felt the real weight of his responsibilities in this game, all his team, the coach, the fans who have been following and enjoying his team throughout this championship and the students from his school who came to see the game today.
He knew that if they could win the championship today was in their hands as he became more nervous he turned and looked at the bleachers, and so in the first row he saw his mother, she was anxious looking at him and forcing a nervous smile, she'd been supporting Jake forever, in two whole lives.
Then he started to calm down and with a smile waved to her as if it was a sign the crowd in the stands began to cheer and scream, so Jake got more confidence, that he was not alone, he had his teammates and fans.
Jake looked across the court and saw the other team, or Lions, they did not look nervous and were confident, their team has often won the state championship, and in addition to Owen they were taller than all of Jake's team, in elite teams like yours had a skill requirement and also height, they did not allow low players to play.
Their specialty was the calm in their attacks and the defense in their area near the basket, they allowed few points in layups, thus they could force the errors of the opponents and had the calm to attack.
They did not fear Jake as well, his team would not allow him to use his speed to infiltrate his defense and would press his 2-point shots, the rest of his opponents they were less concerned yet.
Jake asked that the system estimate the abilities of the opponents and they all had media A, and many had block S in their abilities.
The Lions team was very similar in terms of ability, their PG was called John, their SG was called Kevin, their PF was Alan, the SF was Edward and the Center was Trevor.
In them the highest scorers were Trevor and Alan, so Luke would be under a lot of pressure, plus Lucas and Aiden who were weaker in defense as well, so this was a point game if Jake could not cross the opposing defense so the game did not would make more sense.
As the game began and ball possession went to the Lions, John received the ball and moved calmly to the court of attack, Jake had to make room for John not to attempt a quick attack, after all this was not a game in which he could control the rhythm of the game and the opponent unlike them had reserves of the same level.
If his teammates got tired and needed to be replaced the defense would break.
John was also aware of this, but did not accelerate their attacks, they knew they had to be careful about Jake's robberies so better be careful, in the 3-point line he just passed calmly to Kevin, so Kevin who looked like he would give a kick of 2 used a feint and passed Lucas to make the first 2 points with a layup.
Jake, who had hoped to calm his teammates and started his attack, contrary to what he thought the opponent would not press and positioned himself in the defense calmly, they would not mark each individually besides Jake, they chose a zone defense and thus would not allow anyone to invade the key and do an inside scoring.
So Jake could calmly pass the ball and choose who would hit the 2-point shot, so besides Owen, he did not ask anyone to stay in the painted area, and they would just circle the airs of 2 points.
This was a defense strategy that could only work with a weak team like Jake's if it was a high-level team they would only be a 2-point shots practice.
Jake passed the ball to Aiden who made the points to tie the game, so Jake's defense did not have the ability to stop top Lions players from doing their layup shows, and Jake rotated with Aiden and Lucas to hit the 2-point shots.
And so the first period of the game was duller than expected and ended tied.
In the second period, it seemed that the Lions stopped analyzing their opponents and they changed to 2 players to mark Lucas and Aiden besides John that still marked Jake, one of them marked Owen and the other marked in the zone and sometimes made a double mark in Jake.
With increased pressure Jake did not have the same confidence in passing the ball to Lucas and Aiden to take the 2-point shot, and he could not force the pass to do an inside scoring without a foul, so the pressure on Jake's team had increased, and it seemed it was only a matter of time before they lost attacks and fell behind the Lions in points.
So Jake was also forced to risk to get the win, he did a crossover and a hesitation to try to fool the opponent that he would make the pass and try the layup when John made the move to prepare and run to come back and mark the breakthrough, Jake made a step back and got a space and went back to line 3 to give a shot.
The ball made a beautiful trajectory and entered to score another 3 points for Jake's team and to shock everyone, it was Jake's first 3-point basket in the league, many wanted to argue that he was lucky but seeing everything he did until now they could not.
So Jake's team passed the front of the board for the first time in the game.
The Lions team also thought it was a coincidence and kept playing calmly, they did not miss an attack anyway was just a matter of time.
Then it was Jake's turn to go on the attack again, this time John tightened the defense, but Jake did not feel his pressure with his strength statistics, he used his body to make space and gained speed going to the key taking the defense of the Lions unprepared, when Trevor tried to cover the defense, Jake just made the pass to Owen who had been forgotten and was free to make 2 more points.
This was an important basket because it was the first time they managed to break the Lions defense in this game and do a layup, which increased the confidence of Jake's team.
So the game continued in this way with Jake finding ways to not lose an attack, the Lions were also starting to get nervous, and after another beautiful feint and a step back, Jake made another shot of 3 to another converted basket.
By the end of the second period Jake had made 4 baskets of 3 points without missing any and so his team took an advantage of 4 points, even nervous the Lions still did not lose an attack, increasing Jake's strength also increased his confidence and stability, it seemed that his luck was also giving a hand.
So the long-awaited final day, everyone was nervous when they arrived at the place that would be held the match, Jake's team always knew they would not have a chance to win the national championship, so their ultimate goal was this trophy that would be played that time. game.