Late game Friday saw the Honeybadgers take to the court against a worthy adversary that in the past has caused controversy both on and off the court. A recent run of form meant that the Badgers were feeling confident and knew that if they let their basketball do the talking it would see them smiling in the pub later.
The 47’s started strong inside with Big Andy King, their go-to guy in the low post. The Badgers countered with their guards, El Prez Kerracher and The Deatcher sharing 8 points after G-man had opened the scoring. At the end of the first the Badgers were ahead by 4 (10-6). The 2nd quarter saw the 47’s showing their experience and distributing the ball around the team with 5 different scorers. Deatcher stepped up to the challenge and behind some strong drives added 6 more to his own points tally. The Honeybadgers D was put to the test throughout the 2nd 8 minutes but it stood up well, at the end of quarter the Honeybadgers still led but only by 2 points (47’s 16 – 18 Honeybadgers).
At halftime Coach Holden told it how it was, keep our heads in the game, our hands in the passing lanes and our mouths shut. The 3rd quarter saw the 47’s working the ball inside once again, Andy King opening the scoring, little did they know that this would be his final points of the night. As things started to get a little scrappy the Honeybadgers started slipping back to old ways with a couple of technical fouls getting called. In previous seasons this may well have laid the path to an overall meltdown but the 2015 vintage is a more mature, whilst still feisty little number. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt this season it’s composure on the ball. Behind some strong ball handling and scoring from Hot Heels Hernandez the Honeybadgers kept their noses in front and the quarter ended with a 4 point cushion going in to the final period. (47’s 24 – 28 Honeybadgers).
It was time to pull out all the stops. Coach Holden called for rebounds and strong shooting, the big men crashed the boards, whilst J set up outside the arc to drain a 3 and keep the Honeybadgers heart rates steady. A sweet put back off an offensive board from the G-Hulk forced the 47’s to call ther final timeout 29 seconds on the clock. Coach Holden had 1 order, get the ball, keep the ball and end the game with it in our hands. Step up The Deatcher with a lesson to give from the free throw line. 2 straight free throws saw the game out. HONEYBADGERS WIN!!! Final score 47’s 34 – 37 Honeybadgers.
Next game Plesqnce Pace
Leith Honey Badgers took on Midlothian Madness on Friday night and it was nail biting stuff. Thankfully that was before the match got rolling, as the Badgers showed up late and those present had to take to the court before coach Holden and a couple of others were even in the building!
Perhaps a bit unsettled, the beginning provided little of note. Both teams didn’t get into a flow and despite being familiar with the opposition somehow spent the early stages sizing one another up. Madness took first blood and it wasn’t until a few minutes in that Leith put numbers on the board with Gibson mopping up nicely then Kerracher converting a reversal and drawing the foul. Sadly for the club prez his missed free throw was a sign of things to come as he went just 1 of 7 from the line on his way to a return of 9.
Kerrachers relatively quiet game was of little significance though, as The Badgers continued their recent form of putting in team performances by spreading the points and danger across the squad.
Point guard Hernandez wasn’t shy to attack the basket however was equally comfortable passing and keeping safe possession. The recent additions decision making and smart handles soaking up opposition pressure.
Madness looked the more dangerous of the two teams in the first quarter, quicker to the loose ball and generally pumped up. Their danger man Syme got his game going early with a couple of interceptions through his physical game as well as some smart finishing in traffic.
The Badgers kept to the zone defence in quarter 2, challenging the opposition to shoot. However fortune was on Leiths hands as Madness passed on the perimeter attempts and played through their guards attacking drives into the crowded paint. Credit where it’s due, a number of high caliber finishes came off but the Badgers defence was smart enough to limit the danger posed on a night where we were missing our 2 most physical players.
Badgers began to hit their stride as the the game moved into the second half. Aussie rules playing, ex-rapper McGookin dropped a nice line with 8 points from a couple of threes and a nice up and under lay up. Whilst the only bars he gets on these days might be public houses, he is surely due a few pints for his defensive efforts that matched his confident shooting.
It was neck and neck stuff through the third, with the game breaking into a open pick up affair that over time would have suited the opposition. However coach Holden pulled in the Badgers and got em back on track, ensuring they share the ball instead of run n gun.
In the fourth the game became stretched as some big 3s from the Badgers got to the opposition. J perhaps had the shot of the night, hitting a 3 in the grill of his opposite number. However Scott wasn’t shabby either with a nice hesitation move before taking it to to the rack.
In the dying minutes Connor iced his 2 shots as the line comfortably to ensure the game was now out of sight. However just to make sure there was to be no comeback, Fraz put up the block of the night slapping the oppositions attempted lay up back off the board and away. Somehow the ref called a foul to the disbelief of the HoneyBadgers bench. Maybe it was the ghost off the Bball gods passed or the spirit of Ron Artest but when the free throws went up a gust of ‘hell no’ blew through Westwoods as both shots strayed off and clunked in and out the iron. Ball don’t lie!
The match ended 41-30 in favour of the HoneyBadgers to make it 3 in a row over the Madness and set us up nicely for a big game against 47s on Friday. The match was neck and neck til the 4th and it was consistency, team play, effort and cool heads that saw us across the line. It’s good to play on the winning team but it’s even better when you really play as a team. The points, praise and
performance was attributed equally to all Honey Badgers on Friday, surely filling the team with confidence as the season progresses.
Leith Honey Badgers 41 – Midlothian Madness 30
Scorers: Mike 9, Fraz 4, Abi 6, Scott 7, Andy 2, Mark 2, Chris 8, Jonathon 3