The clock showed 14 seconds remaining. Shane's team had the ball and was bringing it down the court.
One of Shane's teammates, Jared, took the last shot. The ball bounced off the rim and onto the backboard. For a moment it looked like it would go in. But it fell wide. The referee blew the whistle and it was over. Shane's team had lost.
Still full of excitement from the game, Shane skipped over to Jared. Jared's head hung low. Shane nudged him with an elbow and told him it was a good shot. He said he thought it was going in. Jared nodded. Shane knew his words didn't mean much. But he felt good saying them.
Shane's dad was waiting for Shane after the game. They exited the gym together. Shane was making his way to his car when he noticed Jared standing there beside a rain puddle. Jared wore his hood up and had the game ball tucked under his arm. Shane's dad checked with Jared to make sure he had a ride. He said that he did.
Shane hopped over a puddle and stepped into the parking lot. He opened the car door and was about to get in. Then he heard someone call his name. It was Jared. He was looking over from under his hood. "Good game," he said.
Shane nodded. "Yeah," he said back. "Good game."