As the season comes to a close, I’m starting to notice how much my body aches. Muscles are tired, sore and angry at me for the long season and constant pounding I put them through day after day. It will be a relief to complete the next 4 games and head home for some much needed R&R. Thankfully, I have made it through the season without any major injuries (knock on wood). My hips are bothering me, but a quick trip to the chiropractor yesterday put my body back in alignment and hopefully will alleviate my discomfort down the stretch.
Our first game in Stockholm was a success, but not without controversy. After a 5 hour bus ride we were ready to take the floor against a very fired up Järfälla team. Anxious to play a real game for the first time in 2.5 weeks, I was both nervous and excited as I made my Swedish debut. Järfälla opened the game firing and took the lead early. This was short-lived, as 5 minutes into the game we were able to gather ourselves and take it to the home team. After leading by as many as 23 points, we ended up 11-point victors. Being one of the biggest players on the floor who crashed the offensive and defensive glass on every possession had one of the referees taking notice. He decided I was too aggressive, constantly tagging me with ridiculous foul calls. Ironically, with bruises forming on my forearms – I couldn’t get a call to save my life. My emotions were kept in check, but I finally had enough after being obviously hacked for the hundredth time on a power move inside the key. Six minutes into the 3rd quarter I got T’d up, fouling out of the game. I can’t remember the last time I fouled out of a game or got a ‘T’ for that matter, but I’m pretty sure it goes back to high school. I didn’t say anything to the ref, but as I was running back on defense I told my coach to sub me out or I might lose it on the ‘bald guy.’ Too bad the bald guy was 5 steps behind me...and ready to blow his whistle. It was tough watching the last quarter and a half from the bench, but I enjoyed cheering my teammates on and glaring at the ref every time he looked my way. Järfälla shot 35 FTs to our 3 and had 7 fouls to our 23. Draw your own conclusions.
The second of our six games was played 2 days later in Sundsvall. Eager to play without worrying about foul trouble or referees, I ended up having a great game with us winning by 14 in front of a supportive home crowd. Not changing the way I played from the first game to the second game, I was only hit with 1 foul call. Interesting. With my body aching and the team on a high from our two W’s, it was time to hit the town and celebrate. Our American and Serbians decided to stay at home, but not me! I was excited to get out of my usual attire of sweatpants and workout gear to heels and makeup. Besides not being able to get into one bar (23 and over – I was the only 23 year old) the Swedish girls and I hit up a 21 and under club where we had a great time dancing the night away and learning the words to Swedish rap songs.
Tomorrow sees us playing our toughest competition Eskilstuna at Eskilstuna – 8 hours away. I’ll likely be guarding high school rival and former Provincial Team teammate Kelsey Blair in the post. Bring it on!
Sidenote1: Game results can be found here.
Sidenote2: Happy Birthday to Amy and this guy! I wish I could be there to celebrate.