Round 15 – Mighty Kites vs Flashbacks

This week on the Fred Caterson courts we took on the competition top dogs Flashbacks.

The game was frustrating with our baskets not sinking, rebounds not being secured, the team not playing as one and the referees not calling a heap of fouls. For the most part we played as individuals on the court, this was quite evident as the ball carrier would often drive themselves when there was plenty of better options available. In addition when an option was eventually taken but then foiled by Flashbacks defense, we tried to make it work anyway, rather than resetting or looking for an alternative. I think the main weaknesses here are lack of vision and communication coupled with a lack of confidence.
Defensively I thought we weren’t making enough effort to apply pressure and hanging back to stop the shot when it was being taken rather than prevent the opportunity for the shot, something that I think should be done especially against a high percentage shooting team.

Final score was 24 vs 43 in their favour

I thought my game wasn’t all up too bad, applied pressure well, carried the ball down the court a few times, making some plays when I did and I also scored a basket. It was quite an impressive basket as well, not wanting to speak more highly of myself than I should, James had mentioned a 1-2 play as we started coming down the court, me with the ball. I pulled up at the top of the key, sent the ball left to James and then headed through the key towards the basket, with a slight left to my path. Ball came back from James and I went for a layup, drawing a couple of defenders who couldn’t pass up the opportunity of blocking the smallest man on the court. Unfortunately for them, I had a nice little trick up my sleeve and drew the ball back down, and then looped it up after they had had a swat, sending the ball sailing into the basket, kissing the glass for an NBA worthy layup with plenty of airtime…

Next week we take on Grantham at prime time 8pm. Come along and watch our majestic ballet.


Round 14 – Mighty Kites vs Team Beerfest

After last weeks bye, the Mighty Kites took to the court against Team Beerfest. It took some time for things to kick off as they only had 2 players ready to take the court at game start. This slowly bumped up to 3… And then finally 4 (the minimum required to take the court) and it was time to tip off.

Nima took the tip this week, sending it onto Gareth who fired it down to James for an attempted basket which missed. Beerfest came away with the rebound, as they would do for most of the game, despite our height and strength advantages, however they missed their shot too, leaving the opening points for us, which I think Josh put in.

As the game progressed there were plenty of opportunities to score, but many of them also resulted in opportunities for rebounds.
Tonight’s performance on the court was pretty average. We picked up well as a team, but we weren’t eager or active enough in going for the ball or baskets… The final score was 38 – 31 in our favor.

I felt a little sluggish on the court tonight, however after about a quarter on, things started to pick up. Still very keen on running down the ball carrier up the court and it was worthwhile doing so as a few steals and turnovers resulted from it. On offense, 1 attempted layup on the break was unsuccessful, and that was about the extent of my offensive game, so I do need to pick that up better, run the ball up the court and command some plays for the team.

A thanks to our supporters tonight; Birthday girl Nat, Aimee, Rach & Kim for coming to watch and cheer. You can do likewise next week when we take on ladder leaders Flashbacks at 7pm next Thursday.


Round 12 – Mighty Kites vs And Far Away

A great chance tonight to put us back on the path for a successful season as we took on And Far Away.

We had a full roster with 9 all fired up and itching to play. Nimas’ tip lead to some early points and it was run after run for a solid first quarter, resulting in 18 points. Things quietened down after that as we went a little too fancy and they step up their defense a bit…

Despite our efforts to fire up for the third quarter things were still a little sloppy, luckily this was the case for both teams and we managed to break out and away with plenty of strong defense leading to numerous steals and turnovers. I’m unsure of the final score, but it was something in the vicinity of 41 to 12…

The whole team played well. Gareth tipped a couple of balls in off the rim, he and Nima also had a couple of dunk attempts, unfortunately they both weren’t able to sucessfully stuff the ball through. Ethan blocked a couple of shots, and a couple of the guys hit some three pointers too.

I enjoyed my time on the court, applying defensive pressure whenever I could. That resulted in quite a number of steals and interceptions. I do need to work on my layups and free throws because I only made 1 of 4 free throws and missed about four or five layups. I’m feeling quite sore now as well after being heavily fouled on a layup attempt, I think the refs called an un-sportsman-like foul because the guy was sent off… I landed on my right side and it seems that my elbow may have broken the majority of the fall hence it’s current pain.

Next week we’re off on a bye before taking on Team Beerfest at 10:15 in Round 14.


Round 11 – Mighty Kites vs Bruins

This week in a return to the season the Mighty Kites took on Bruins in an exciting match. The jump was taken by Gareth this week as a change of pace who tipped it to me. I sent it on to John who went to put it in but missed. Bruins ended up with the ball and slowly made their way down, but John was still lurking and managed a great steal to pocket the opening points of the game. The remainder of the first half remained in the hands of Bruins, they played strong in the key and managed to secure a slight lead.

The second half saw plenty of calls from the refs; I think total foul calls in the half was 17!! A few of the calls were questionable, but there isn’t much use complaining, something that a few of the Bruins should learn. It did mean that we had some time to breath though which helped, especially since the majority of our points came from points on the fast break.
Towards the end of the game, points were really close in the mid 30s when Bruins hit 8 team fouls, sending our fouled player to the free throw line for 2 shots each time a foul is committed, not a good situation to be in with a few minutes left on the clock in a tight game. This proved crucial in the final score as Geoff went to the line twice in the dying minutes of the game to sink four free throws. Final score 41 v 37 to us.

All the guys played well this week. I think I did well, enjoyed the game and scored a few points after being sent to the free throw line about three times with a 50% strike rate. I got a few drives in, but nothing successful. Still need to work on confidence in bringing the ball up and commanding the plays.

Next week is a late one, at 10:15, against wooden spooners And Far Away. Hoping for a showtime game.


Round 08 – Mighty Kites vs Xtreme

This week seemed like a showcase game as we took on Xtreme. In normal fashion Nima went in for the tip to Garth who then sent the ball to James for an easy in basket. Momentum just kept on building in offense as Garth sank 3 points on the next run down the court. Defense was also xtremely strong as we applied plenty of pressure to the ball carrier and locked down the key limiting Xtreme to 7 points for the first half, running our own tally up to 21.

The second half felt like a more physical affair with quite a number of fouls flying about, a number of which weren’t picked up by the refs. Our passing got quite sloppy as well with a number of no-look passes ending up in our competitors hands, perhaps deserving a good glance at least. Xtreme actually won the second half by way of points, however it wasn’t enough to rival our early efforts. Final score being 31 v 20.

A great game for Gareth this week with plenty of fast breaks, almost dunking all of them, paired with some great defensive intercepts and good pressure on the ball. I took a bit of a beating physically, being knocked over on a couple of occasions. Once again a strong defensive game, with a couple of steals and forcing a number of turnovers…. Still need some support on that front though. I ran into quite a number of screens without warning from the team… Again, nothing much on the offensive side, a couple of breakaways down the court without a connecting pass, unfortunately…

After the game, we were mucking around, warming down and what-not when no other teams showed up after us to play, so we ended up playing a 15 minute full-court 5 on 5 ‘training’ game. It was plenty of fun and a good way to build the team up a bit more. Some of the guys seemed to open up heaps more than during normal games, now we just need to keep them that way!!

Next week the Mighty Kites take on Midnight Gamblers at 10:15pm. Sadly this will be my first game missed as I will be abroad in Hong Kong…. I don’t think there’ll be a match report, but the guys shouldn’t have a problem getting up against them.


Round 07 – Mighty Kites vs WK

Still in last place at the start of the round, we had our first encounter with league new comers WK. The tip-off was taken by Geoff for a change, although the results were the same. The game picked up quite furiously after that, somewhat reflected in the scoreline which showed 5 v 6 around the quartertime mark. There was much to and fro between the teams throwing away silly passes, losing control of the ball and shots just not falling. For the rest of the match, the lead seemed to change hands a number of times and blow out by a fair number of points. In the last 3 minutes however, we managed to claw our way up to a three point lead, subsequently followed by some time-consuming dribble and pass play before an eager play landed the ball in their hands for a two point momentum builder. We weren’t able to make use of the ball from there, however with the clock dripping away, WK were a little too eager to make a play, controversially making a 3 point basket and claiming victory whilst the other ref called our subs in from the bench. All this occurred as the clock ran out, and the refs ruled the basket as not counting, handing us an ever so narrow victory 31 v 30.
The game felt nice, we banded together well in defense, yet upon reflection it wasn’t that crash hot…. And paced ourselves in offense. Rebounds were again a problem with our tall guys losing them over our shorter rivals.

I felt like it was a nice run, coming away with a number of steals, a couple of rebounds as well as a few assists.

Next week we’re up against Xtreme; 715pm. Hoping for an interesting match and a win.


Round 07 – Mighty Kites vs Grantham

Tonight The Mighty Kites took on newcomers Grantham in a fairly fast paced game. As of the end of round 06, we were stuck on the bottom rung of the league ladder after a few losses and the dreadful forfeit….

The game started off in the usual fashion with a sweet tip from Nima to James for the opening basket. This was quickly answered by 3 points from beyond the arch. Again James sunk 2 points and was answered with another 3 points from Grantham. We quickly learned to shut that down and the game just seemed to flow naturally from there…. There was plenty of movement in and around the key, with plenty of space left by the defenders and we played patiently for things to open up. In defense, we pressured the ball well with a few double teams and talking out the screens. They were very hesitant with the ball, although I applaud the efforts that they made.
At half time we were up 23 to 12 and the damage had only half been done. The rest of the game was a little showtime-ish, Gareth and Nima both getting some rim on layups, not quite dunk-worthy, we had plenty of fast breaks including an almost tip in off a James to Nima pass… Final scoreline was 46 vs 21. A worthy margin that should get us back into the competition.

No points on my behalf tonight, not enough time with the ball near the hoop and always seeing better opportunities when I did have possession…. Defense was great fun crowding the ball carrier, and avoiding the screens, although the refs could have called a few moving screens and arm-pushes at times….

Well done to the whole team on a great game played, Ethan did quite well in his late entry to the court as well. We should play like that every week!!! Next week is early season kicking off at 7:15 against Xtreme. Looking like a tough game especially with several players out…..


Round 06 – Mighty Kites vs Flashbacks

This week saw Mighty Kites come up against Flashbacks for a tough match. We played pretty well, but alas, hurried plays and shots combined with blind referees lead to our defeat: 17 v 34.

If only the tip was an indicator of how the remainder of the match was to play out with Nima pushing the ball to James for an easy layup. As the game moved ahead, I didn’t think we played too poorly, certainly upsetting their rhythm with an aggressive defense resulting in a number of steals. A new rule where a foul on a shooting player in a one on one layup draws 2 shots and possession afterward was particularly frustrating, especially since it’s such an awkward and seemingly unfair ruling. Garth felt it the most with a ten minute “sin bin” session at the start of the second.
The second half was just plain painful in the scoring department with hardly anything willing to sink…. We even had a rebounders galore session with at least four attempts to put the ball in, collecting the rebound each time it missed…
All in all it was good to see players improving: Gareth on the warpath, slotting in a few layup against 2 or 3 players, plus getting in on a team steal, Josh getting a couple of shots away and stepping up some nice pressured defense, Garth sinking a couple of three pointers, and Geoff with a couple of big blocks.

Personally I played well defensively; applying plenty of pressure to the ball carrier and just getting in their face, although it was frustrating when they managed to find open players to pass to. On the offensive side, I still need to work on confidently pushing the ball around and positioning, but I did score a nice little 2 points.

There was a point during the match where things got a little heated over the new ruling and just the general response and reaction to Flashbacks and the referees throughout the game. I feel our reaction as Christian men could/should have been better. Rather than acting out and complaining as we did, to politely question and accept the response. In all things it is a friendly competition and I think the better thing to do is be an example of a Christian.

Next week sees us hit the court at 9:30pm against competition newcomers Grantham.


Round 05 – Mighty Kites vs Team Beerfest

A bittersweet (or sweetbitter??) victory in my eyes for the Mighty Kites over Team Beerfest: 44 v 32. Considering that Team Beerfest only had a 4-man team, compared to our 9 man team, it was quite a miserable difference to have come away with…
Before the game had even commenced, the height difference was already noticable with their guys asking me to step in for the tip off rather than Geoff, yeah right….
Our points seemed to come thick and fast with plenty of connecting passes, strong drives and effective communication whilst at the other end, strong defensive pressure forced them to take majority of shots from the outer perimiter, something they weren’t reluctant to do, however they lacked accuracy from that range so most shots were hopelessly thrown away. This resulted in us quadrupaling their score at one stage…
As the game progressed things started to lax on our behalf, as they seem to have in the past, with rebounds not being taken, lazy defense and easy turnovers gave them plenty of oportunity, which they capitalized on; dropping a greater percentage of outside shots in with little to no obstruction on our part. There was even one fast break of Team Beerfests where one of their players got a shot off against three of our boys which missed, but he managed to grab the rebound and convert it to 2 points.

Personally I think I played well, a bit more confident in bringing the ball up, although there’s still some work to be put in on calling and making plays. Defensively I had fun chasing the ballcarrier down from about halfcourt, but again lacking sufficient backup when this fell through.

Next week sees a return to the early slot of 7pm against Flashbacks, a challenging match to ensue.


Round 03 – Mighty Kites vs And Far Away

This weeks shameful performance by The Mighty Kites was by far THE worse since the teams inception…. At tip-off, we had a grand total of 3 players…. The minimum required to take the court and play a game is 4, they must be there within the first half of the first half before the dreaded F- word is used: Forfeit. Phone calls were flying between the team to rally support, but alas it was hopeless, frustratingly we were beaten, much to our surprise, and theirs, being the first game they’ve won…. We had 3 players show up… One 15 minutes after the game had started and the other two with 8 minutes left on the clock for the second half… Not happy at all. I expect this to be the first and only time that we are beaten by that horrible F-word ever.

After admitting defeat, we did play a friendly game against And Far Away with one of the guys from the Flashbacks; Ron and their coach; Lawrence. And Far Away are definitely building a better game as they go, so it was good practice… Highlights for me were stopping a 2 on 1 break, stealing the ball on their dribble, collecting a couple of rebounds and numerous great passes. Hopefully I can imitate the same in real matches.

Next week sees a bye, but we’re back in action on the 13th against Team Beerfest at 930. A Cheer squad would be much appreciated!!!