Friday night saw another victory for the badgers over a well-drilled, young Boroughmuir team, taking the current record to 3-1 and starting our very first win streak! If we can keep this momentum up, then by the end of the season we’ll have more pinkies than an inbred sewer mutant.
The first quarter was a tentative affair with both teams trading blows in the early stages, solid inside play by Fraz Gibson navigating round the extensive height of the Boroughmuir centre to drop in 4 crucial points in the paint and tenacious driving from Mike Kerracher kept the Badgers within touching distance. However, it was shooting that was the difference in this quarter. With everything the Badgers put up falling short, Boroughmuir hit two straight three pointers to stretch to an 11-8 lead to finish the quarter.
With the outside shooting still letting them down, the Badgers looked inside to G-man Watson who was too strong for the Boroughmuir defense to contain adding in 4 of his 6 points for the game. Improved defence created better opportunities but initially the energy from the hustle play contrived to send break passes long or rushed into turnovers, something which could be costly in future games. A connection was finally made when a long bounce pass off a steal found the streaking Minda to get the Lithuanian sharp-shooter in the game with an easy lay-in. The inside defence was holding strong but could not compensate for the outside shooting of the Blaze hitting a further three shots from long range to finish the half with a 4 point lead.
Into the second half and Coach Holden really started to show his worth rotating in the Cobra who single-handedly removed the Blaze’s transition offense and Chris ‘C-Nic’ Nicol offering brilliant positioning at both ends of the court to gather a clutch of much needed boards. With the second chance opportunities limited the Badgers turned the defensive intensity up a further notch switching to man and practically eradicating the previously persistent shooting threat from the Blaze. Holding the Blaze to a mere 4 points the badgers went into the fourth with game tied at 24.
With the game on the line coach Holden turned to his starters and the restrictive man defence which had proven so successful in the 3rd. Blaze’s Ross Paterson looked to be a potential thorn in the side of the badgers driving into the Badger defence with wanton abandon. Despite this dogged play it only earned a single trip to the charity stripe thanks to solid D from the Badgers. With the game there to be won the Badgers finally clicked on offense, the Gibson brothers combined to pour in ten points in the fourth including an unlikely jump-hook as well as a floater off the wrong foot from Doug ‘Hail Mary’ Gibson, and a further 4 for good measure from badger incarnate Mike Kerracher (fuelled by double espresso). With time running short, the Blaze needed the ball but strong guard play and good ball movement kept it safely in the hands of the badgers. All that remained was to keep a cool head, manage the clock and see out a much deserved 38-31 win for the Badgers.
A calm and collected performance and a good win despite never really progressing into top gear. The Badgers continue to improve and find their way without yet reaching their potential, despite this the latest victory lifts the Badgers to a lofty 3rd in the league and hands coach Holden a .7500 record.
That’s almost as good as Phil Jackson….
(.878 with the 95-96 bulls incidentally 72-10).
2. 9-8 (20-16)
3. 4-8 (24-24)
4. 7-14 (31-38)