Many of you know that our youngest daughter C is a senior starter on our girls basketball team. They made it to the State Tournament this year for the first time in ten years by beating arch-rival Holdrege in the District finals. When the state brackets came out there was Lexington, the #3 seed and our opponent was . . . Holdrege, again, who made it in as a wildcard.
They played what one reporter called an epic game late Thursday night. Each team had a ten point lead only to see it evaporate. Lexington took the lead with a three-point jumper with 25 seconds left. Holdrege retook the lead with a shot with 3.8 seconds left. Lex got a half court shot off at the buzzer, but fell short to lose by 1 point. Bummer.
God's Life Lesson #1: Sometimes the answer is "No, your basketball season is over."
There is no consolation at this point for daughter C that she played the best game of her career that night, scoring a career high 12 points (she is not the scorer of the team), grabbing bunches of rebounds and keeping the lead scorer for Holdrege under 10 points.
What most of you do not know is the story of the rest of the night and further proof that God knows what we need and when we need it.
The dejected girls left Devaney at 11 p.m. for the Holiday Inn to shower and eat. A veritable smorgasbord was set up in Coach's room with the two LARGE boxes of food and two baskets of fruit that were donated for the team to travel to Lincoln with. The girls were moving in and out of Coach's room as they showered and ate.
A team member rushed in and announced "X is locked in the bathroom!!" (Name withheld for many reasons.) The coach's wife, Peg, who is one of the gentlest and calmest souls on this earth went to see if she could talk #1 through unlocking the door. It turned out that she had not locked the door, she merely closed the door and the mechanism broke inside the door.
Hotel maintenance was called and while they were arriving the night manager tried his luck. He slid a hotel keycard under the door and had X try to slip it in the frame to push the latch back, no luck They tried a couple of other things and gave up.
By this time ALL the team was in her room to watch and support X in her perils. You must know this is a team that really gets the team approach. They win as a team and they lose as a team. There are no prima donas on this team. However, if there was a girl who occasionally got over excited in a game and had to get cooled down, it was X.
The seniors who are leaving in a week on a senior trip to Washington D.C. recalled the warnings from their trip sponsor about last year's trip when girls from another school who got locked in their hotel room and had to have a hole cut in the hotel wall to get them out.
The team started to speculate on what type of maintenance man would show up, the large overweight kind who couldn't get down, or maybe one with the standard plumber butt crack. When he did show up he was a normal body size, but when he knelt down to look at the door lock, there IT was. The girls started laughing, but luckily the girl inside was laughing too and he thought they were laughing at her.
He tried a few more ideas, but finally decided he had to cut off the outside door handle to get at the lock mechanism inside the door. Unfortunately this was a solid steel door, so they couldn't just break it down. So at midnight the maintenance man is using a hammer and chisel to break off the door handle. I can't imagine how loud that would have been, especially with a room full of girls watching and giggling.
He eventually got the outside handle off and had X pull off the inside handle. One of the girls remarked "Now we can see you." Of course like any high school girl she didn't take a stitch of clothing into the bathroom with her and she was only wrapped up in a towel. She went screeching into the tub and pulled the shower curtain. The maintenance man told her to calm down, he was married and had girls of his own and had seen everything, X replied that he hadn't seen her.
It then took him quite a bit more time before he was finally able to get the latch pulled out of the door frame and released X from her bathroom prison at 1:10 a.m. A cheer went up and X peeked around the shower curtain to see them all there. And both of them saw the cameras and smartphones recording the entire event. He remarked "I suppose this will be on YouTube." The girls replied it was already on Facebook. They were uploading it as they went along.
God's Life Lesson #2: He knows what you need and when you need it. The pain and frustration of the one point loss was washed away, at least for awhile. Years from now when the girls look back on the State Tournament experience they won't remember the heartbreak loss as much as X locked in the bathroom.
God Is Great!!