Honeybadgers vs masters nov 2014

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No school like the old school

Leith went into Friday nights early game as one of only 3 teams boasting a single loss for the season. As we know from iceman and maverick though, being top of the class doesn’t mean you’re going to win the dogfight.
Leith were prepared and ready to go on Wednesday night despite being without our talismanic post fortification Big G, but a few last minutes glitches dented this preparation further. Farooq was touch and go right up till tip off, Andy tore his calf practically lacing up and our kit supplier let us down badly, filling someone else’s order before ours, meaning our depleted team couldn’t field a further 2 players. This all contributed to a bit of a dampened start, but the players on the court were still more than capable of facing off to a masters them with similar numbers and difficulties.
What transpired though was a sit-down-take-notes-thank-me-later lesson from the boroughmuir team living up to their moniker with some style. Leith failed to commit fully to their philosophy, particularly on offence and as a result handing out more turnovers than a liquidator at a broke patisserie. New faces McCormick and Hood (looking pretty sprightly for a 40 year old…!) demonstrated that a short time was enough to understand and execute offences accurately and repeatedly. Well worked screens and excellent floor spacing led to crisp passing and good offensive looks which the masters simply converted much more efficiently. Leith by contrast were sloppy with their passing and didn’t move with enough energy or purpose to move the masters and create their customary openings.
The real damage was done in the post though, with one stat telling the whole story: low post maestros Cammy and McCormick combining for 29 of the masters final total of 40. Down low defence from leith was pretty solid in truth, but when you come up against players that can genuinely dominate the paint, if their team can space the floor and feed them effectively, there’s little that can be done to shut them down. Even a couple of big blocks and plenty of physical resistance didn’t deter the machine and the onus was then on the badgers to outscore their opponents which they simply failed to do despite some excellent team breaks and finishes and a bit of a late flurry from some of our own old heads.
End of the day though this is a game we look forward to, and the disappointment in the badger camp is down to lack of performance on the night rather than the result. A great game to be involved in, played in great sporting spirit (LOTS of contact always a feature under the rim in our games, all given and taken in the course of the game, and lots of muttered apologies and backslaps on the way back up & down the court!!) and a well deserved win for the masters. Lessons can be learned directly from this from our point of view: know your job, fulfill it and just because something’s working you don’t need to change it!! Onto next week badgers, the records still excellent, our job now is to look at what these guys did so well and see how we can be better next time out.

Final score masters 40 badgers 32
Scott 8
Mike 12
Farooq 4
Banky 3
Coach 2
And a mystery 3 pts missing… I’ll take em!!!

Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

Leith Honey Badgers vs Pleasance 47’s Match Report

Leith Honey Badgers vs Pleasance 47’s

‘If I thought they were coming by bus I’d send the bus fare’, Alex Salmond.

Friday 7th December saw The Leith Honey Badgers play their fifth match of the season as they squared up to the Pleasance 47s. Entering the match with a record of 3 wins and 1 defeat the Badgers were confident in their ability yet aware of history. Last season saw a couple of ill-tempered matches against the 47s with our very own Coach Holden rocking the boat as he questioned their sportsmanship in the book of face. Regardless, the book of records showed Leith were yet to beat the skilled Pleasance old boys and with 3 regulars out for the Badgers, a bystander may have foreseen history to repeat itself.

Following a rousing locker room speech and a desire to have no half time hair dryer treatment, Fraz, Mike, Scott, Farooq and G braced themselves for the tip. Pleasance got the nod and it was on, with both teams showing nice motion on offence but 47s the only of the two converting their early chances with some excellent jump shots that set the mark for their entire performance. 26 and 32 may not be youthful years in the NBA but in the LBA you’re a puppy dog, so when Scott and Mike were let off the leads mid quarter, their pace dogged the opposition as a dunk began the 8 Badger points they notched up- grrrrrreat. Regardless, Pleasance continued to shoot excellently and their purebred danger men Falconer and Muir connected for 9 to give them a 1 point lead at the end of the 1st.

After the break, the furious five went on with the message, play pure, play your own game and the rest will take care of itself- Basketball is the truth. Often easier said than done, but the Badgers stuck to moving the ball, striking when openings emerged and ultimately supporting one another. Sanchez helped keep the machine oiled, slick passing around the perimeter whilst Big Fraz, Holden and G motored in the paint to clear the road for the cutters to convert. But Pleasance done their thing too, nailing the well worked jumpers with superb technique. This was no brawl, both parties went out to play ball and so it continued as Badgers took the quarter by 2 and lead the game by 1 at half time.

Styles make fights and the 47s sharp shooting against the Badgers pass and move play led to a heavyweight 3rd quarter. Mike showed some iron dropping 10 whilst G. Muir of the 47’s coulda done with lending us his headband as we sweated watching his 8 nicely stroked points drop. Yet this was no individual duel, as the Badgers constant moving and passing created opportunities across the team and on another night there could have been an extra 10 points on the board with a little sharper execution. No worries though, as whilst the temperature got cooking some ice cold defence from the Badger big’s stopped the internal threats and the 47s mustered 2 less than the men from Leith.

Let us never forget, Leith said Aye. Aye we want to determine our own future, aye we will make our own choices and aye, I would rather do my own thing and live or die by it. Leith Honey Badgers took no notice of the other party and continued their own vision for a brighter future, if only they had some white papers to offer the opposition. For out of the grassroots emerged 2 new leaders, Farooq and Cobra Conner. As things went back and forward between the teams, Farooq sank 2 big shots on consecutive plays to maintain the slight badger lead. Then Cobra got a steal and assist for Mike, followed by a huge rebound off a gut busting full court run that led to a foul and free throws. The man from Midlothian was sure High flying as he converted the first of his shots to create distance between the Badgers and chasing 47s. Just like in weeks gone by, the Badgers remained composed and worked the ball to keep their lead ending the match up by 6, Leith Honey Badgers 45 – 39 Pleasance 47’s.

The three cheers for Pleasance were heartfelt as this was an honest game in which both parties went out to play honest basketball. On another night, it might have went 47’s way but it could also have been a bigger win margin for The Badgers as Leith missed a number of nice chances. For The Honey Badgers the result led to a unanimous YES as they left the court and headed to The Brass Monkey to settle for Peevo Max!

Break it down:

Q1: Leith Honey Badgers 8 – 9 Pleasnce 47’s

Q2: Leith Honey Badgers 9 – 7 Pleasance 47’s

Q3: Leith Honey Badgers 15 – 13 Pleasance 47’s

Q4: Leith Honey Badgers 13 – 10 Pleasance 47’s

Final Score: Leith Honey Badgers 45 – 39 Pleasance 47’s

Scorers: Mike 20, Scott 10, Fraz 10, Farooq 4, Andy ‘Cobra’ Conner 1

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