–The whistle blows for the start of the match.
The first jump ball was easily taken by an opponent who was taller than Takayuki.
Then, when his opponent took the ball and launched a quick attack, he was able to easily score first.
After all, this was a school that was a regular participant in the top four of the regional tournament, and their level of play was different from their first round opponent.
“Don’t worry! Let’s return one by one!”
Takayuki smiled at the seniors, who seemed a little intimidated by the difference in level, and told them to return one at a time.
When Takayuki said that, the seniors regained their spirits, saying that he was right.
If they lost this game, their summer would be over.
This was not the time to be scared of a single play by the other team.
However, when I looked at the other team playing defense, I saw that their average height was too different from them.
It may seem like only five centimeters, but in the sport of basketball, five centimeters makes a big difference.
The tallest player on our team, Takayuki, was marked man-to-man by the tallest player on the opposing team, which prevented Takayuki from taking advantage of his height.
The members on the bench and the rest of the team were not happy to be up against such a superior but merciless team.
–But Takayuki was a different story.
The player who marked Takayuki was the player who played the center position for the other team.
Takayuki, on the other hand, despite his height, is a small guard.
This means that Takayuki is the best technician on the team, and the position is played by a member of the team who can use his speed and technique to get past the opposition, rather than using his height to excel at post play.
Takayuki immediately received a pass and, with a light feint, cut inside.
The opposing players, who usually defend the center of the field, were unable to keep up with his quick movements, and Takayuki easily unmarked his opponent and shot with ease.
The opponent was a seeded school, and since it was the first game against such a strong high school, there were many people from other schools in the gallery, but Takayuki’s play was met with cheers of “Oh!” The crowd cheered Takayuki’s play.
“Hey! He’s a freshman? How can he play against a guy like that in the first round?”
The captain of the opposing team was surprised to see Takayuki’s one play, and raised his guard.
However, Takayuki and his team were unable to stop their attacks, and even though the other team was a strong school, it was a seesaw game with both sides scoring points.
As the game unfolded, the gallery grew and grew.
Before I knew it, it was the last quarter and Watanabe came out from the bench.
–Watanabe had been assigned to play man-to-man against Takayuki.
“I didn’t expect him to go this far against your team.”
“Didn’t I tell you? I won’t lose”
Watanabe, who seemed a little impatient, said something sarcastic to Takayuki, but Takayuki didn’t seem to mind at all and replied in a normal manner.
Watanabe looked even more uncomfortable at Takayuki, who still had such a relaxed expression on his face.
From then on, Takayuki’s inexhaustible physical strength did not stop his attacks.
Even Watanabe, who had just come out, could not keep up with the speed of Takayuki’s drive.
To be honest, after all the grand gestures, the appearance was just plain lame.
But that’s because Takayuki is too good at it, rather than Watanabe being bad at it.
When the opposing team decided that Watanabe alone could not stop Takayuki, they added another defenseman to him.
This meant that even Takayuki couldn’t cut in easily, and he was stopped in his tracks.
–However, basketball is a five-on-five sport.
If two people are marking Takayuki, then one of the players is always free.
So when Takayuki is stopped, he passes the ball without looking.
Takayuki’s tricky play caught his opponent off guard and he was unable to react at all.
The player who received the pass was a senior center player who had been marked by Takayuki’s opponent.
The senior player received the pass completely free and shot, finally taking the lead for the first time in the game.
If the team had been Takayuki’s one-man team, as it had been in junior high school, the current strategy might have been effective.
However, the current team has many players who can score goals besides Takayuki.
So Takayuki simply passed the ball to his teammate, who he could leave in peace if he was stopped.
The opponent couldn’t help but call a timeout.
Takayuki’s opponents had been trying to counter him, but he had managed to evade all of them and kept scoring.
It was not only Takayuki’s achievement.
When the opponents focused on Takayuki, he would pass the ball to his teammates to score as a team.
And when the opponents’ focus on Takayuki weakened, Takayuki would pass the ball to his teammates and score.
I, Saegusa-san, and Shimizu-san were amazed by Takayuki’s raging performance and were glued to the game as it unfolded.
He is really cool, Takayuki.
When Takayuki got serious, nothing could stop him.
On the opposing bench, where they were having a strategy meeting, Watanabe had a look of regret on his face.
Even I, who wasn’t tired at all, couldn’t even control Takayuki, who had been in the game for a long time, so he must be very disappointed.
The score was 87 to 86.
The score was quite high for both teams, and it was a battle of points.
There were only two minutes left in the game.
To be honest, it could have gone either way, and the attention of everyone around us was raised to a new level.
The game resumes.
The opposing team started the game with the ball, and they were determined to score, so they carefully carried the ball to the half line.
And the opponent is steady and makes free players on set pieces.
As a result, Watanabe escaped from the defense with a screen and became a free player.
He received the pass and quickly cut inside to shoot a layup using his height.
However, it was Takayuki who reacted to Watanabe.
Takayuki ran up to Watanabe with great speed, jumped on the ball from behind, and knocked it straight down.
A teammate of his caught the ball as it rolled away and took it away from the opponent’s offense.
That one play sent the crowd into a frenzy.
There were even loud cheers of “Caw!
When I looked, I saw that Takayuki was playing such a hot game that the girls from the other schools were holding hands with each other and cackling as they watched the game.
There were not just one or two of them.
Shimizu-san noticed the situation and stood up with an annoyed look on her face.
“Hang in there, Yamamoto-kun! Don’t lose!”
She shouted in defeat and did her best to give Takayuki a shout.
Shimizu-san, who is usually a shy person, did her best to cheer him up, but it seemed to have reached Takayuki’s ears as well.
Takayuki struck a small gut pose and received a pass from his senior to create a 1-on-1 situation with Watanabe.
The remaining time was already less than a minute.
This meant that if Takayuki scored a goal here, the opponent would be in a desperate situation.
The defender, Watanabe, seemed to be well aware of this, and his expression showed no room for error.
Takayuki smiled at Watanabe and cut into him with a drive.
But Watanabe was determined not to be overtaken, and tried his best to hold on.
However, Takayuki remained calm even in such a situation and made a bold play.
He immediately stopped his driving foot.
Watanabe, who thought Takayuki was going to cut inside because he only needed to score one goal, was unable to keep up with the sudden stop and lost his balance.
When Takayuki stopped, the 3-point line was drawn at his feet.
Takayuki stops, grabs the ball, and goes into a shooting stance.
His teammates and opponents were surprised to see him go for a risky 3-point shot when all he needed to do was score one goal.
However, this play was not just about taking a risk.
Takayuki’s 3-point attempt would have put him four points ahead of his opponent, making a comeback impossible, even if his opponent were to make another 3-point attempt.
Takayuki was probably aiming for that, and boldly shot the 3-point shot.
The ball was released in a beautiful arc and —- found its way into the net.
Takayuki’s score was the deciding factor, and our high school won a huge victory against the seeded school.
The seniors came running up to him, slapped him on the back and praised him, and he smiled happily.
I guess the seniors didn’t expect to win against a seeded school.
They had been prepared for their summer to end here, and there were tears in their eyes.
I couldn’t help but shed tears of joy at the sight of such a beautiful man.
On the other hand, the opposing school, which was seeded but lost the first round, was stuck there for a while with a look of despair on its face.
Watanabe, who was sitting on the floor, slapped the ground in frustration while shouting that.
Then, when his eyes met with Shimizu-san who was sitting next to me, Watanabe immediately broke his gaze as if he was uncomfortable.
I knew that I couldn’t ask Shimizu-san out in this situation.
To be honest, I felt relieved when I saw Watanabe.
Thanks to Takayuki, this must have been a good medicine for him.
As I was thinking about this, Saegusa-san, who was sitting next to me, suddenly stood up.
Then, Saegusa quietly took off her sunglasses, which she had been wearing for a long time, even though there were many people in the room.
“You did it, Yamamoto-kun and everyone! Congratulations!”
She then walked over to the members of our high school basketball team, who had won the game, and gave them words of praise with an angelic smile on her face.
The venue was suddenly buzzing with excitement at the sudden appearance of Shiorin of the Angel Girls.
Even though they knew that they went to the same school, the basketball team was equally surprised by her sudden appearance.
“What …… huh?!”
Watanabe, who had been drooling, was also surprised by the sudden appearance of the super idol Shiorin.
After giving a few words of encouragement to the basketball team, Saegusa-san returned to us with a satisfied look and sat down next to Shimizu-san again.
Shimizu-san, who was sitting next to me, seemed to be in a panic, not knowing what to do in this situation.
“What? Shimizu-san, you know Shiorin?”
Watanabe-kun came to Shimizu-san’s side, looking surprised.
“Saku-chan is my friend, you know.”
Before Shimizu-san could reply to Watanabe-kun, Saegusa-san replied with a smiling face.
“Oh, really? I’ve been a fan of the Angel Girls for a long time, and Shimizu-san and I were classmates in junior high school.
To my surprise, Watanabe started talking to Saegusa-san instead of Shimizu-san.
I honestly thought to myself, ‘How much is this guy?’
But Saegusa-san smiled and kept her idol moves.
Watanabe’s face turned red and he looked happy, as if his disappointment from earlier had been a lie.
“Oh, hey! I–“
“But Yamamoto-kun is also an important friend to me. So, you were saying strange things to Saku-chan and Yamamoto-kun just now, weren’t you?”
“Oh, no, that’s …….”
In the face of Saegusa-san’s smiling face, Watanabe stammered, unsure of what to say.
“I don’t like people who can’t think about the feelings of my dear friends.”
When I said that, Saegusa-san said, “Let’s go.” She pulled Shimizu-san’s hand and walked out of the gym.
Watanabe, who was rejected by both Shimizu-san and Saegusa-san, just stood there with his face distorted in frustration and embarrassment.
I finally understood why Saegusa-san did what she did, and I became even more proud and fond of Saegusa-san for exposing herself for the sake of her friend.