A Weekend Of Motivation: Chloe Kerr's Recap and Reflection
Dec. 6, 2006
I cannot believe that it's December and we're already six games into the season. It's my favorite time of year as Christmas is near and Pac-10s are approaching abruptly. And as a senior, the emotional high continues to rise as the next few months are my last at USC. It seems as if yesterday I was a boney little freshman, trying to fit in and adjust to the life of a Division I student-athlete. Time has passed so quickly and the experiences that I have gained are irreplaceable (to the left, to the left). But luckily, I have a few more months of college basketball left and each day seems to be more exciting than the last.
This past weekend, we went on a road trip to Colorado and Utah. The Rocky Mountains were as beautiful as always and our opponents were as hungry as ever. No matter who we play, it's guaranteed that our opponents will play their A game against us. The University of Colorado was no different. Although the altitude didn't seem to be a problem for us, right away our team racked up a number of fouls and the tone was set - it was going to be a long night for the Trojans. The first half of our game seemed to last forever, and it was going to take a collective willpower to finish strong. At the start of the second half, we came out and set the tone for the rest of the game. It was going to take the entire gymnasium to beat any five Trojans that stepped out on the court. We came out and played one of the hardest halves we've played this season. There was nothing that the Buffs could do. Everyone contributed with tremendous effort. Soon, I looked at the scoreboard and we were up by 20 points. After the first half, we not only wanted the victory, we wanted to win big. We needed this win to boost morale and our team record; we beat the odds and obtained a good win for our team. It was a good start to the weekend and we hoped this attitude would carry over to Utah.
Our next feat was the University of Utah. Beat the Utes! They were tough, coming off a trip to the Elite Eight last year. It was a road game that if we won, it would instill tremendous confidence in our team and add to a decent list of nonconference wins we have. The first half, again, was brutal. Our shots couldn't hit the side of a barn, and our defense was slacking, to say the least. We dug ourselves in a hole that was going to take a miracle to get out of. We went into the locker room at half time and the mood was grim. We had no explanation for the way we played in the first half, not to mention a 16-point deficit. The only way to get back into it was to chip away a little at a time. At the beginning of the second half, they came out and hit back-to-back shots, and before we knew it, the Utes were up by 23 points. At this point, we all came together and demanded of each other that we get back into the game. Thereafter, slowly we chipped away and when we looked up there were nine minutes left and we were only down by 12. Slowly, slowly, we kept chipping away. The game seemed within reach, and at eight minutes we were down 8 points. We put up a good fight at the end and had the game within two points. One basket. All the lay-ups and open jump shots that we missed in the first half all gained significance at this point. We had a chance to tie, but we missed; they rebounded, we had to foul, and the game was over.
We looked back and thought to ourselves, `We wish there was more we could have done.' The lack of intensity in the first half truly cost us the game and all we can do is learn from this experience. But that's life. We can't go back in time, and for the seniors we lost the last nonconference road game of our careers. It's unfortunate, but we have persevered through worse situations and this one isn't any different. It's up to the seven of us to structure this team and devote our last few months to achieving greatness. Yes, the season has not started the way we planned, but it's not the start, it's the finish. Never say die. We have three more nonconference games left on our schedule and then Pac-10s begin at the end of the month. We can still achieve all that we set out to gain; we just made it a little hard on ourselves to attain them. The future has always been bright for us Trojans and no matter what, we will always finish fighting hard to the end. This trip was an experience to utilize for the rest of the season. We had positive aspects as well as negative, but it's the changes we make from here that will determine our future.
On a brighter note, even though we are in a slump right now, I do hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday season. I wish all of you a safe and blessed Christmas as well as a Happy New Year. To my families (The Kerrs and Team), my friends, administrators, and fellow Trojans, I love you all. Students and Trojan athletes, good luck with the finals and I wish you all the best in competitions. We are soon to rise again, and continue the tradition of excellence that our university embraces.
Fight On and God Bless.