Seems like Adidas have thrown down the gauntlet and responded to Nike and Under Armour’s current dominance of performance hoop shoes with a Bouncy and supportive new Rose model. Adidas D Rose 6 have been getting mad feedback from sneaker aficionado Night Wing and could well tip the top performing Curry’s and Jordan xx9’s from the Bball shoe podium. Not content with letting their sneaks do the talking, adidas have fuelled the fire with the classic comeback, attack, talkin smack statement.. ‘Yer Ma’. Adidas Rose 6 Yer Ma ID edition available at adidas online for £160.
Fife Steel vs Leith Honey Badgers
Fife Steel were Leith Honey Badgers fifth opponent of the season on Friday night at Westwoods. Last season the wins were split between the teams so Leith knew they were in for a game and were also wary of the threat of a 3 point clinic Steel hosted a few weeks back on their way to a big league win.
Banky, Fraz, Farooq, Andy and Mike started the game and as Mike edged the tip, Banky collected the ball and went straight to work with a swift and strong drive to the basket. Taking the big fellas lead, Mike followed suit and took it to the basket a number of times too as Banky, Mike and Fraz fed off Andy and Farooqs foundations to generally wreck havoc inside and gain credit for 15 first quarter points.
Steel were never going to be a simple test however and Hilderslay had multiple choices on offence, the guard taking it to the rack early in the quarter before hitting 2 from downtown including one from somewhere closer to Fife than the Badgers bucket- deep! It was a misfiring quarter 2 for The Badgers as they gave up open shots to try to go to their inside game, forcing passes and showing little of the thirst for buckets they had in the first. The half ended with Badgers keeping their lead but it had been cut to 2, Steel 17 – HoneyBadgers 19.
Shuffling back to the bench with the heads down, the team appeared to forget this is something they choose to do, pay to do and only get to do for 32 mins on a Friday night. So orders were to get the smiles on the faces and the fingers out- they did. Farooq spotted up a nice jumper and the good interior movement got going again to positive reward. But Steel were here to get a job done too and their big man looked to put the game on his back as he went to work in the paint drawing foul after foul with some smart and strong interior play. It was a hard fought third and the Badgers lead was down to 1 point, Steel 29 – Honey Badgers 30.
8 mins to go in the game and a simple call in the Badgers huddle to just go at them. You don’t have to ask Abi twice, as he attacked the Steel en route to 8 4th quarter points. However it was G and Fraz who combined for the quarters big play, an interior handoff in traffic collected and converted as the Steel were sent then in the wrong direction. As the game neared its end the Steel were getting to the line more often than necessary, Badgers foul trouble helping them score 11 that could have been costly. But not this week as the boys from Leith had notched up 18 points to secure a win 48-40.
As always, elements of the match were dissected and concerns raised abut where we struggled. Yet we started with gusto, adapted when necessary and had a killer instinct when weaknesses emerged. For a couple of the guys it may have been disappointing not to maintain their recent scoring form but teams pick up the slack. Teams allow some individuals to have a quiet night, as others will step up and we know that the next week the individual will be back wrecking havoc. And teams play defence as one, every player giving every last to ensure nothing is left to chance. This was a team performance and a team win. Next up Pleasance Pace and then the unbeaten 47s. Both will ask different questions so let’s swot up on Wednesdays to prepare the answers.
Dunfermline Steel 40 – 48 Leith Honey Badgers
Scorers: Mike 17, Fraz 8, Abi 8, Banky 6, G 4, Scott 3, Farooq 2
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.