To the economists and politicians there are lies, damned lies and statistics. But to the baller the numbers count and when all was said and done Friday night they added up to a huge 26 point victory in what proved to be the Honey Badgers deadliest kill against a respected and highly accomplished opposition pack.
Upon suffering their first defeat in the previous match and now facing a team that featured ex-internationaists, there was a tentative start from the Badgers as the Masters put down a three then a deuce to take a 5 point lead. With Badgers player/coach Mark Holden still on his way to the match the boys from Leith raised the tempo and started to find success with a game plan that combined high velocity hussle with a composed execution that was missing in the previous match. As the coach made it to the game midway through the quarter Air Lithuania stepped up to drill a big 3 pointer and put the Badgers up by 4. This was the first of Minda’s three treys as the ice cold assassin had another 20 point plus performance.
Ending the quarter 20 – 5 up the Honey Badgers, now under the tutelage of Holden, went into the second quarter looking to finish the opposition by the end of the half. With more itchy trigger fingers than a bad guy in Rambo the Badgers kept banging down the buckets on their way to a 16 -10 second quarter. This was by no means just a shooting show, as the big men at the back led by G-man Watson, kept the man machine Cameron King under control. Limiting this colossus to a still impressive 13 points the Badgers big’s formed a solid unit on D and went hard in the paint when the guards threaded the needle.
A team of high pedigree, the Masters looked more settled at the start of the third and began to work the ball well to find the open man. With Mike and Minda taking a breather the Cobra took his turn to stifle the Masters as the Badgers looked to stop any chance of a Masters comeback. And stop they did, as D Gibson extinguished the fire in their hearts with a beautiful jumper for 2 and then Minda put a dagger in it for good measure hitting a mega 3 point bomb from well beyond the perimeter.
This 10 – 7 win in the third meant the Leith Honey Badgers had the job finished as the fourth quarter began. However they kept doing their thing and when Graham rewarded C-Nic’s fluid movement with a lovely dish, Nicol finished well at the rim to record his first points on his debut outing. The fourth ended with the Badgers taking it 10-7, sealing a 56 – 30 victory to take their record to 2 and 1. This was a massive win for the team in it’s first season and a demonstration of what they can do when they combine composure to the raw hussle. Never discount the absurd, as with a number of nice link up moves just a fraction away from clicking, there could actually be more to come from the Leith Honey Badgers as they continue to gel as a unit.
If this is only week 4 for the team then a few more practices could see this standard of performance as the benchmark for Honey Badger basketball.