Last night in the final regular round of the winter competition, Mighty Kites took on Bruins; the third time we’ve played them this season having lost to them on the previous 2 encounters, we were hoping for a win. Bruins are currently sitting second on the season ladder just below Flashbacks and above us. The team was lacking ‘Napoleons’ with Garth and WuDan out, as well as Arthur.
As the game got underway, each team paced out the other to see what worked and what didn’t. Their offensive play was very effective against our zone, at first. Their point guard would throw the ball through to a cutter who was between the top two and the bottom three who would then drive from there. If this option wasn’t there then they’d swing the ball out wide for a long shot, most of which they didn’t hit all night long, or drop it again for a baseline drive.
Offensively we were a little rushed at the start, but we settled ourselves early on and waited for opportunities to come. Positioning also helped out well, Hamish was especially good at that, landing several baskets for being in the right place at the right time. James Moore seemed unstoppable as well with plenty of breaks and sweet shots dropping all night long.
With about 2 minutes to go I was fighting my way down the court with the ball when all of a sudden one of the referees went down and thumped the back of his head on the court. He was down for a long time and when he finally got back up there was a nice little red patch seeping through his hair. That was the end of the first half, scores locked at 23 each and an entire half left to be played.
The second half remained competitive, each team edging forward. We kept our cool where as they seemed to get frustrated as bit more. By this time we’d adapted to their offensive plays so I’d cover the point much tighter and earlier as he traversed down the court, and we’d pick the cutters and cover them, reducing the number of options open to them.
In offense Nima shot a number of three pointers which dropped most of the time and there were numerous breaks which were 3 on 2, and even a 4 on 1.
The game fished closer than I’d expected; with a minute left on the clock we were up 45 to 43. So the team went through a time wasting exercise pushing the ball around. After a good 30 seconds of that I got tired of it and when I got the ball I went for a drive which was met with some adversity from both Mighty Kites and Bruins who ended up fouling me in the process of shooting, sending me to the free-throw line for a pair of shots after the final siren sounded. Of those two shots I sunk one leaving the final score at 46 v 43, an exciting win that brings us to equal point standing with Bruins, unfortunately not usurping their position as their points scored percentage is better than ours…
Personally I quite enjoyed the game; mainly the second half as I started to take more control myself whilst players tired out and wound down… On defense I pushed further out of the key to meet the ball carrier and try to stop the ball, as well as defend closer to the carrier. On offense I started to drive through the cracks and either dish off or lay a shot up after a timely stroll through the air, which I managed on two occasions.
Next round match in the preliminary/semi finals will again be against Bruins at 8:00PM. If we beat them then it should mean that we advance to the Grand Final!!!!