Owing to someone losing one scoresheet and forgetting another, this is a 3 for one report to get us up to speed.
Game 2: LHB v West Lothian Wolves
Game 2 saw LHB following a loss to the masters with the visit of west Lothian wolves. We continue to be thankful for the expansive squad as we were missing no less than 4 regular starters. The supporting squad members are stronger than ever however, both in numbers and quality so there was an opportunity for players to stake a claim for more minutes here. Leith played exceptional team ball with rugged defence, great spacing and sublime passing. Wolves played a good game but badgers consistency saw them through with a comfortable winning margin (sorry- lost the scoresheet!) What we can say was that rookie Konstadinov rattled in a few points, and J took the opportunity of extended minutes to drop 19 points, with 6 treys in the mix.
Game 3: LHB v Edinburgh Soldier Bears
In game 3 we had a highly anticipated game vs friends & rivals Edinburgh Soldier Bears in what is being whispered as a potential league decider. Still with only one full time big man, and the coach & Doc on the long term sick list we weren’t at full strength but had enough able bodies here to win at our best.
Nerves were the winners of the first half, with an extremely low score of 17 14 at half time – if memory serves…. (I didn’t even remember to pick this sheet up- you can tell my GameDad was still on his holidays and not looking after me!!).
It looked like two teams who respected each other too much, and the first two quarters were reminiscent of a couple of heavyweights cautiously circling- too aware of each other’s knockout potential to risk too much attacking. Both coaches got about their teams at half time however and the game started to hot up. With neither team shooting smoothly and two exceptional defences on show it was a gradual shift in turnovers that saw Leith claw their way back and earn themselves both a tie game and possession in the last throes. Experienced play from Connor saw him turn extreme pressure into free throws, and at 39-39 with 9 seconds to go we had a pair of free throws. Coach called a time out to run through the different scenarios and make sure the last 9 seconds went to plan, but two decent free throws refused to drop. The team saw out their jobs however, meaning overtime at 39-39.
Soldier Bears came out firing better in a 3 minute overtime, and in such a short deciding period it comes down to an odd mistake or a bit of brilliance. Johnny Cloudy of soldier bears claimed he made 6 points in overtime- without the sheet I can’t confirm, but that certainly seems right. Soldier Bears finished better, leaving them with a 4 point win. Certainly not disappointed in this performance, a great game and we’d like to be in the same position every week, so looking forward to the next one.
Game 4: LHB vs Gracenount Panthers
Still bemoaning injuries and excuses, we had no coach, Doc or Piotr, Deatch in Australia, Ian & Ven on the sick list, and Banky & Abi unable to train during the week. What we did have however was Alessandro Picazo, who has had a job offer abroad, thwarting his honeybadger career for the immediate future, but registered and available for one match before the plane leaves!
Panthers went down to a few easy buckets early on and immediately went to a practiced looking man press. Badgers matched this but were unable to match panthers intensity and ability to play against this defence. Badgers clung to a lead that in waves went from reasonable to minuscule. At halftime the team regrouped and after some less that pleasant words from coach went about playing simple ball. This resulted in a more comfortable second half but panthers rallied in the 4th, cutting a 10 point lead to 4. A line change to the 5 likely starters under the current setup saw badgers finish the game ahead 55-50. Make no mistake though, Gracemount made this very difficult, and will collect a few scalps this season. We also have to be thankful that with so many players unable to contribute their usual points through illness/injury, absence or lack of match fitness, Alessandro’s exceptional 22 points kept us on track, however as we wave him off and wish him all the best, the rest of us will need to regain the fitness and sharpness needed to get these points without him.
The season opener ended in disappointment, but leaves plenty of room for improvement.
The Honey Badgers had to watch a 6 point half time lead disappear on the back of a poor second half performance. Credit is due to a Masters team who always provide a tough test, they were able to find an effective offense which did the damage as heidless chicken syndrome kicked in for the LHB on D, and the fourth quarter saw the Masters close out the game easily with repeated trips to the line.
Get ready to sweat like hell at training on Wednesday!!
Period 1 14 – 9
Period 2 11 (25) – 10 (19)
Period 3 8 (33) – 13 (32)
Period 4 6 (39) – 17 (49)
S.Deatcher – 10
A.Hernandez – 4
M.Kerracher – 8
F.Gibson – 9
A.Connor – 3
S.Ramsay – 5
Congratulations to all the nominees for this years basketball Scotland coaching & volunteer awards.
Half of the squad rolled into Gairloch at around 7.30 on Friday night and promptly began their athletic preparations. Deatch proved the coach wrong with some pretty sweet BBQ skills before the stragglers rocked up at around 11.30. Preparations continued, making sure we were all hydrated in the knowledge that a hard days balling awaited us. There was even time for a cultural exchange visit to meet some locals and learn about their pool skills and their beer. We all tried the local delicacy “hector”. Much if it remained unconsumed. A bit like Guinness watered down, filtered through some peat & mixed with ribena. An acquired taste perhaps.
Andy & Mike got the winning underway on the baize, Farooq had his ear flicked and won the poker school sweeping an enormous pot of around £2.50. As it doesn’t appear to get dark up here we – in one sense – got to bed at a sensible time of day (…?). The residents of the crunkhouse(tm) were the focus of much envy as polly the caravan (henceforth to be referred to as the shan-a-van) was a little neater than perhaps expected. There would, one would have to assume having inspected the sleeping quarters, have been some spooning. We didn’t ask. We don’t judge. Cobra, so adept at steals on court turned his skills to bed-nabbing, ousting the old man from his bunk, and then rather rudely refusing to share when the structural capabilities of the wee bunk ladder looked like the coach might test them beyond their limits. Regardless- we slept the sleep of the righteous and woke the next morning to beautiful views, and the sound of birdsong and someone in a bottom bunk apparently trying to start a petrol lawnmower. Hearty breakfast and onto battle.
First up were Inverness City. A well balanced team, fast and eager, this was a battle that swung back and forth. The honeybadgers could be kindly described as ‘clunky’ with low conversion rates and some pretty tired looking play. City were quick and proficient, and the lead changed hands a few times. A coherent third quarter saw the Badgers eek out a lead and assert some dominance but Inverness exploded in the final couple of minutes, blowing away the honeybadgers 5 point advantage to take the game by 3 points. After some lunch, some light napping and some refocusing badgers faced off against Elgin Eagles. Having seen these guys in the morning, we knew we were in for a game- they’re fast, they’ve got handles and there are genuine shooting threats all over the court. What they didn’t have however was genuine size, and the Badgers looked to take advantage of this. The rebounding at both ends was dominant with some outstanding work from Pete & Banky. Holden &
Kerracher were able to bully the opposition on offence and good team D led to a 10 point advantage at the end of the first quarter. Early in the second El Prez finished a raking baseline drive with a reverse but came down at speed on an opponents foot turning his ankle over. He was deposited to the bench to assess and the team moved on. Without Mikes offence, Deatch & Pete kept the scoreboard moving and Cobra stepped up, charging through the entire D on a number of occasions with purpose, earning free throws and finishing layups. With the lead building slowly but Eagles continuing to look dangerous & grow into the game, Kerracher chose to test out his damaged foot. On play one he tore down a rebound, took his defender away from the basket and executed a highlight reel move, reversing his dribble between the legs, spinning and dropping his defender before finishing strong. Leg fixed. Floodgates open. There followed an onslaught from #8 as Elgin tried various defensive options but were completely unable to stand up to the one way traffic as post move after move dropped. With the defence scrambling spaces appeared and the team started clicking, exploiting them with more familiar badger type passing. Banky & Deatch picked some great passes and finished strong, with the full team contributing defensively. A good win for the Leithers, giving us a chance of making a final showdown tomorrow, although Gairloch stand in the way and will have something to say about it. Off to bed now ready for early tip tomorrow.
In the wild the honeybadger can cover a huge range*, spreading its cheeky and loveable brand of gore-fuelled terror far and wide. This innate wanderlust has become part of the genetic code of the Leith branch of the international rattel family. With this is mind, we are pleased to announce the OFFICIAL start to summer as we head off on our annual tradition of going away somewhere and reminding ourselves, and some poor undeserving part of the world just how good we are at playing basketball…. with mild hangovers.
Friday sees a crack unit heading to Glorious Gairloch** to compete in the Claymore Cup. Now spread over two days with the threat of a “social event” (should we be scared??) on Sat night, we’re going to make some bold claims.
Firstly, we’ve every intention of blogging while we’re there. Watch that twitter feed – although I’m not sure how much joy we’ll get re 4g up there ! Secondly we’re being split between a glorious bunk house (it’s already been renamed the crunkhouse. This now remains its name forever.) and a caravan with the slightly ominous description of “uninterrupted sea views”… which sounds nervously like “perched on a wobbly cliff” – but hey – I’ve dibbsed the crunkhouse, so good luck!! Anyway – we plan to act like suave international jetsetters, so we’ll feedback to all in a public service style holiday advisory, and I’m confident we’ll be allowed back …..Finally, we’re not going up there to win the tournament. We’re going to win hearts and minds. Its been a stupendous, rollercoaster season. Time to kick back, loosen up and go full on middle aged, middle class gangsta. We’re taking our posh Edinburgh accents (except weegie Shaq of course), and ..( oh and
spanish J), anyway, we’re taking our posh edinburgh accents, and our hardcore, hardtop game…. (oh, hang on – where’s Pete from? ….. And the old man’s Northern Irish, so that doesnt count…..), anyway – posh accents…(hang on – banky sounds like Andre the giant, that’s no good… Andy’s “frae Gorebridge” – we cant pin posh on that…) …..
OK – El Prez is representing Edinburgh, and the rest of us’ll cheer him on. Y’know, on your behalf… Its highly doubtful we’ll win much, but it should be fun watching us try! make sure you’ve got the twitter feed up and running and we’ll do our best to get some stuff on there as it happens. Happy summer everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!!