A Local Basketball Story – Believe it or Not!

Clovis, CA, 30 September 2013 (Associated Press).basketball-up-close-promo

In one of the most memorable games in the history of the Clovis Basketball League, the Terrence/Forbes team pulled of an incredible victory last night over Troy/Wagner, before a huge crowd at Gateway Arena.

The, game, which went, well, almost went, into double overtime is already being called a classic, and absolutely historical, although there are a few that might say it was just short of armed robbery.  This writer sees it more along the miracle lines.

It was a hardcore battle from beginning to end as both teams showed plenty of grit, muscle, and incredible heart.  The TF team was playing a bit light in the sense that they only played six players in the overtime 102-99 victory. The bigger, stronger, angry, criminal, Wagner team had 19 players on their bench for the big showdown game, and used all but one (Jay Leno) of the 24 players dressed for the game.  T/W had picked up, ala the Jay/Weibe team, quite an array of talent to match up close for the evening. (Dennis Rodman, Ed & Mija Madec, Ray Allen, James, “The Rock” Johnson, former Raider Ted Hendricks, and the currently unemployed, Allen Iverson) to help the cause, versus the mighty T/F’ers.

The additions didn’t work out as hoped for T/W as the T/F’ers of T/F, while missing their superstar, Chris Terrence, who was busy making a movie in France, Oregon. While the team still had an assortment of handsome and team-orientated superstars of their own on the floor, led by the Old Dentist with the ferocious shark tattoo, player/manager/owner, Tim Forbes.  Forbes shook off an early game slump going 0 for 22 in the first quarter, from the 3-point line, to drill the Wag’ers for thirty seven points.

What at team effort it was for the TF’ers though!  Led by the young, future Governor of California, Adam Forbes,  proved that he is not just a pretty pair of sneakers, by hitting 21 out of 22 attempted shots on an assortment of three point marvels and left handed drives through the lane to the hoop, with what looked like championship driving in a Grand Prix stunt show.  Then the magnificent all-round play from Chris “Penny” Sanchez, who put on a brilliant performance of one incredible acrobatic drive after another while scoring so many points, that after the game, the US Treasury announced that his nickname will be legally changed to “Silver Dollar”.

In the middle of it all stood a giant oak tree of a man for the TF’ers, by the name Ryan Grant, who did such a great job of keeping the TW Wags out of the key, and off the boards, so he was able to score all he wanted to whenever he wanted to.

Michael Newguy put on an amazing performance himself, especially with a jump shot that gave  a chance to get team of wild and crazy TF’ers into the first overtime.  Mike, came to the TF’ers in a straight up mid-season trade with the Miami Heat, for Lebron James. What? You didn’t read about that?

The Milhouse Boyz, Sam and Michael, made the potion so strong, that it was just too much for the league this year.  Sam, of course, has been injured for most of the season, coming to the TF’ers after breaking his ankle in his last college game and had been on crutches for quite some time. The injury came just as he was completing truly legendary dunk where, unfortunately, his ankle got caught somehow on the rim and in the net.

However as fortune would have it, the slightly older brother Milhouse brother, Mike, another Mike, put out another one of his patented all round team and League MVP performances as he has throughout the last five seasons of play.  Michael out Rodmaned, Rodman and led both teams in rebounds and hustle.  He only had three points, but they came on a last second 35 foot three pointer, to send the game into overtime.

Yes, it was an amazing game, but it was so much more than that.  The TF’ers were spurned on by so many positives on this magical night. First of all their fans consisting of some of the best looking women in the state of California, rooting for them and taking up all of the chairs available in the arena.  Some extras had to be brought in from other places.

But what made this game such an incredible game so amazing was the finish, which was and still is, almost too much to believe.  In the overtime period, which Mike Milhouse made possible by the long three pointer at the buzzer at the end of regulation; both teams had scored 88 points as they went into the OT. And it was a thrilling OT and finish.  For the TW’s, Troy Wagner hit two quick threes, and then a steal and breakaway layup by James, and just like that they had apparently put the game out of reach, 96-88 TW.  Shit.

With a little less than 2 minutes remaining, Adam Forbes hit a three from the top of the key, and then Penny (soon to be, Silver Dollar) Sanchez, stole the out of bounds pass and took a step back behind the 3-point line ala Reggie Miller, and buried the long triple. 96-94, OMG!

At the other end, a cleanly blocked shot by Ryan Grant, and a dive and extra floor hustle play by Michael Milhouse as he dove, slid on his belly like a reptile, and tipped the ball to his brother Sam, who then quickly passed on the fast break to Adam on the left side who went to shoot, but had noticed his teammate (and dad) Tim coming up the court and  alone at the top of the key…and…AND… he passed the ball!… …and boom! Tim/Dad hits a three, and the TF’ers go up 97-96. Oh, the joy of it all!  And with just with 27 seconds to play!

Then Ed Madec, for the TW’s,  quickly yet confidently,  brings the ball up to the frontcourt.  Hurredly, yet cautiously, Madec spots his wife Mija coming off a screen set up by Hendrix, and Ed bounces a pass to……. Mija…who turns back off the pick towards the hoop…and…and  knocks down the three!  In the words of the great Mr. Bill,…. ….”OOOHHHH NOOOOO!.   It’s 99-97 T/W.     Seriously, oh no.

Then with less than ten seconds Mike Newmike, with his wife watching nervously and holding a blood pressure wrap in her hand for her man as he dribbles in between traffic and heads for the hoop, precious final seconds ticking away, and as the defense closed in on him, he gets the ball to Adam who quickly released the shot and the crowd, now sounding like tens of thousands, went crazy as the ball banked in!!!!!   99-99!

And that had set the stage for the miracle. Heck, I’m breathing hard just writing this. What a game!

In the timeout between the first and second overtime, Cindy Forbes’s cell phone rang, unnoticed by everyone but Cindy.

She picked it up and said hello. “Cindy!” the voice said, “Please run over to the scorers table, and put Andrew on the line, it’s an emergency!!”  “Oh hi Chris, how’s everything in Oregon?”  “CINDY!!! Can’t talk right now, PLEASE run the phone over to Andrew!!”     She said OK, and with everyone watching and wondering what was going on, Cindy ran right across the court while holding the cell phone out in front of her, to the scorer’s table just before the second overtime was about to begin.

“Hello?” said Drew, “” Hey Andrew, it’s me Chris!  What the heck is the matter with you?? I just made a three from the corner and it should be 102-99!  Andrew looked up at the scoreboard, was a bit puzzled for a moment…, As good a guy Andrew is,  he did, on more than on occasion, miss shots or just get the score a little mixed up. He thought about it, and then said, “Oh yeah, OK, sorry, Chris”

And then, as the players, the now immense crowd, the kids, the children, the band, the fans, the dogs, the police, the St. Mary’s Alter Guild, and even Bob Dylan who was in attendance incognito, were all completely stunned as every eye looked up at the scoreboards, as the electronic scoreboard flashed the 102-99 now final score appeared, and everybody went nuts, just n-u-t-s nuts. Some not as happy as others, I suppose, but I mean rampage nuts, and that was a great finish to a great game.

The TF’ers were all goofy happy as they left the arena in somewhat of a hurry, as there was a lot of screaming, yelling, and other very loud, very odd sounds coming from in the gym, as the Terrence/Forbes proceeded with their chairs and their harems, moving quickly to the waiting limos in the parking lot and off happily into the night.

Later that very night, while Andrew was still reported to be among the missing, according to the Channel 30 News, Chris Terrence was 617 miles away up north, in Bend, Oregon, and he was thinking about his high school coach, Willie Lobb, who so many years ago, back in Vestal, New York, many more times than once had yelled,  hell, screamed at the top of his lungs at Chris, “…COME ON TERRENCE! MOVE IT!! HUSTLE!!  HUSTLE!! YOU CAN’T PHONE IT IN!!!

So, 50 years later, 3000 miles away from Vestal, a sigh, and a smile, and a toast, for Coach Lobb, as Chris gazed at the gently running, moonlit water of  the Deschutes River, and listening to that gentle late evening sound, he smiled and raised his glass of chocolate milk and thought, “Well, coach, like you also always said, ‘Anything’s possible.”

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