December 21, 2009

Team that lost 100-0 ... finally gets a win

MORE: Minn. girls HS team dealing with 65-0 loss | Ailing girls BB player pushing for concussion law

The Dallas Academy girls basketball team won the respect - and sympathy - of millions after losing a game 100-0 with class and dignity last winter.

It then won spots on morning and evening talk shows - and special invitations from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.

Last week, it finally won what it really wanted: A game.

Lost in the debacle of the 100-0 defeat - a game that cost the opposing coach his job because of sportsmanship issues - was the fact that Dallas Academy hadn't won a game since the 2001-2002 season.

No one is sure how many games were in the streak. But the team certainly understood the significance when it defeated Johnson County, 34-33, last weekend.

"We had just been waiting to win one game," senior Teodora Palacios told the Dallas Morning News (read its story here). "We broke it."

Not that anyone saw it coming.

The game began like so many others, with Dallas Academy falling behind 9-0. Then the team found its game. It was trailing by only seven with seconds left in the half when it got its biggest basket of the game: Lauren Oelke threw in a half-court shot at the buzzer.

"When I made the half-court shot," she told the paper, "I lit up."

The team was competitive in the second half. In the final minute, it found itself in a most unusual position: Tied, with Oelke going to the foul line.

Oelke, the team's best player, scored 31 of the team's 34 points. None, however, were bigger than the foul shot she made to give her team a lead.

It was just a matter of holding on. Dallas Academy got a defensive stop then managed to run out the clock.

"That was the best minute they ever played," head coach Deanna Civello told the paper.

It has never really been about wins and losses at Dallas Academy, a school that's renown for its work with students with learning issues such as dyslexia.

In fact, after the 100-0 loss, the school dropped out of league play in the Texas Association of Private and Parochial Schools.

But while learning life's lessons are nice, let's not forget - these kids are competitive. They want to win.

After doing so last week, the girls celebrated as if they had won a state championship.

For this program, it may as well have been.

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