Yup, that’s right we won not one but all three games !!!!!!!!!! I don’t think there are enough words in the dictionary to describe how I felt after my game. But I will try my best to describe it….
Let’s start with game one of the weekend:
To start off our journey of capturing three titles, Alex and I coached the under 20s team for our club. I knew if we played to our potential the game wouldn’t be close but I was feeling nervous about how I would react if it did come down to a late game situation. Luckily, the Golden State Warriors – the nickname I gave to my team – did what they needed to and cruised to victory winning by a little over 20 points. I was excited for the girls and it was a great way to kick the weekend off. This was my first championship as a coach but for some reason I was in a weird zone. I was there physically but my mind could only think about playing on Sunday.
The following morning I was a spectator as I watched the under 18s team cruise their way to a title. Throughout the game we shouted back and forth with “Glanmire” the team we would be playing the next day. The under 18 game wasn’t as intense, I think we were just using it as a way to throw jabs at each other. When the final buzzer went off my heart began to beat really fast . It was starting to finally hit me, tomorrow was the day that I was going to be playing for a National Cup title.
Nervous!!!!!!!!! Scared!!!!!!! Anxious!!!! Excited!!!!!! Every emotion you could think of was running through my body. I couldn’t sleep that night. I was talking to my best friend through text message and she said, “Tiff you just gotta play your game. Don’t worry about mistakes and things you can’t control, just do you.” Sounds easy, right? But try telling that to a person who’s wide awake at 2:30 am and whose heart is beating non stop with anticipation and excitement. After what felt like hours, I finally fell asleep.
It was GAME DAY ‼️‼️ All of my family was excited, especially my mom. The game would be airing live on TV here in Ireland and all of my family and friends back at home could stream it. It was time to warm up. As I usually do I had my Beats on, listening to music while going through our normal warmup routine. My hands clammy, heart beating, and legs shaking, it was game time.
I won’t walk you through step by step but at the end of the first quarter we were up 19-15 I believe. We went on a run and extended the lead to 8 but in the final four minutes of the second quarter Glanmire stormed back taking the lead by 2 heading into halftime. The third quarter saw a bunch of traded baskets and they would lead by 5 going into the fourth quarter. This was it, now or never! It all came down to this quarter. A few offensive rebounds and stops on the defensive end gave us a one point lead with a one minute and 50 seconds left. A steal by Alex and a flagrant call on Glanmire would put us up 4 with a 1:20 left to go. We got this, right?! Then they scored a basket to cut the lead to two. We would get another chance to score but not succeed. With 33 seconds left I fouled their best player but she would go 1 for 2 from the line. There were now 20 seconds left!!! 20 seconds left to win or lose it all. Still up one, we tried to take the ball out only to have it stolen. At this point all of our parent’s faces were in complete shock. Glanmire shot but missed and we got the rebound. They tripled teamed me but I somehow threw the ball down court to Alex, and she passed it to my teammate Brognah. But Glanmire stole the ball again!!!! Now with 6 seconds left they were running down the court with the ball. One pass, two pass…
It felt like the longest shot of my life. Glanmire’s best player who was 5 for 6 from the three that day just shot a three to win the game. A feeling of sadness began to enter my body. We fought hard but it just didn’t go our way. I looked away and closed my eyes. My heart was in my stomach as the screams let out. The screams sound familiar, like people I knew. I did know these people, the screams were ones of excitement from my own teammates! She missed, she missed the shot!!! We won!!! OMG we just won the National Cup by 1 point. I ran around the arena in excitement, I couldn’t believe it. My one teammate had been waiting 15 years for this moment! I wanted to laugh, cry, scream, and jump. It had been a while since I last won a championship. Amazed, grateful, proud, blessed, relieved, ecstatic. Those are just a few of the words to describe how I was feeling at that moment. I put that gold medal around my neck. For my teammates, my family, and my supporters, we did it!!
It’s been a few days and I still can’t believe it … I won a National Cup title.. I’m an Ireland champion.