Like a Girl

"She hits like a girl. She runs like a girl. She throws like a girl." Maybe she does these things 'like a girl' because she is a girl. Can gender stereotypes be overcome when a girl joins the senior boys basketball team? Or will their season and dreams come crashing to an end before they start.

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5. Silvercreek vs Pittleheads

Devon had butterflies in her stomach all day thinking about the game, but when she was sitting in the boy’s change room waiting for Coach Adams to talk to them, she felt like she was in a dream. ‘Snap out of it Peters, you’ve got a game to win’ she thought to herself.

“Ok team-“

That was the last thing Devon remembered. In a daze she walked onto the court with the team and took her position behind the jump shot. David won the jump shot easily and threw the ball back to Devon. She dribbled past center line and to the top of the key, her eyes searching for Brock or Jason to get open. The point guard for the Pittlehead team easily had a few feet over her and immediately got right up in her face.

“Hey Butch, good luck getting through me tonight. The only thing you’ll be seeing is my backside, #22 all the way” His breath reeked of fish and as Devon leaned backwards, the large point guard pushed past her as he knocked the ball from her hands.

Devon raced after him and got in front of him just as he was making his layup. As he came down, #22 changed his trajectory and landed close to Devon, pushing her to the wall in the process.

“Oomph” Devon grunted as she slammed against the wall and then fell to the floor. She heard the visitors’ side of the gym laugh and she cringed.

Suddenly she felt a pair of strong arms lift her to her feet. Devon looked up to see David and Jason holding her arms, looks of concern etched on their faces.

“Thanks” Devon muttered as she heard a whistle blow and the referee calling a time out for Silvercreek. When she got to the bench Coach Adams patted the pine beside Wyatt, a second string shooting guard.

“I think we’ll let Cooper practice up a bit and throw you in if we get behind Peters” Adams said with a straight face. Devon plopped herself on the bench, ashamed she let the team down in the first few seconds. How will they trust her to take them to the playoffs now?

As the game went on Devon saw how bad the Pittleheads were. Even with a second string point guard on the floor, they were still ten points behind Silvercreek. Suddenly #22 got smart. Devon and the rest of the bench watched in horror as he flew past Wyatt play after play, doing the same thing he did with Devon and scoring point after point. By the beginning of the last quarter Silvercreek was the one down by ten.

Coach Adams turned to Devon, his face strained and his hand rubbing his chain anxiously. He looked down at Devon, “Think you can show these Pittleheads the real Silvercreek team Peters?”

Devon took a deep breath and nodded. “Put me in coach” She said with a smile. She stood up and walked to the center court line for a substitution. 

“#34 subbing in for #12”

“Good job Wyatt” Devon said as she gave #12 a low-five and ran on the court. She saw the apprehensive faces of the rest of the team on the court and gave them all the thumbs up; she knew what she had to do.

“Back for more cutie?” #22 from Pittlehead asked with a snear on his face. Devon just smiled and ducked under his arm to receive the inbound from Brock. Devon dribbled the three-point line and easily put the ball in the net.

The crowd erupted in cheers. Devon jogged lightly back to her position and smiled sweetly at #22. As the Wolverines were jogging back on defense after scoring yet again, Jason extended a hand to Devon “Good job, shutting him up Peters” She smiled and gave him a low-five. As the counter went down Devon’s smiler grew wider and wider.

“3-2-1” The crowd counted down with the clock and erupted in a massive cheer when the buzzer sounded. The Wolverines won!

The team congregated together in the boy’s locker room so Coach could do a post-game talk.

“Well it wasn’t the prettiest game and we have a lot of work to do before the away tournament next weekend but good job everyone.” Coach Adams’ said to the team. “See you all shortly at my house. Remember no alcohol or jean” He reminded the team sternly and then left the locker room.

Devon made her way to the girl’s locker room and found herself changing beside Natasha and Lauren. The girls changed in awkward silence until Devon cleared her throat.

“So what are you guys wearing tonight?” She asked hesitantly.

Natasha and Lauren looked at each other for a moment before Lauren answered, “We went into the city last weekend and picked up some cute dresses from Forever 21. I’m wearing a cotton candy pink chiffon and Tash is wearing a red sweetheart style.”

Devon nodded, “Those would look beautiful on you two!” She looked down at her shoes before adding, “I haven’t really been to a semi-formal event like this before”

Natasha and Lauren exchanged a look once again. “Did you want to get ready with us before the party? We can drive past your house so you can pick up your stuff?”

Devon smiled, “I’d love that thank you”

“Perfect!” Natasha said, “Now how do you want your hair tonight…”

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