Some big names and formidable frames of the Lothian league lay before the Honey Badgers last night as we faced up to the Boroughmuir Masters. Masters came straight off the back of a 3 game winning streak but Leith have also recorded a couple of recent wins although were stepping out for the first time after Wednesdays big cup loss to The Blaze.
With G-Man unavailable, Holden had the unenviable task of guarding Cammy King from the tip off and he took to the role with venom; managing to hold the big fella to just 6 points in the match. However it was on the other end where Cammy caused early problems, swatting away a couple of Dom’s attempts and locking down the paint. However the Badgers remained composed and managed to score 10 in the quarter to the Masters 8.
The second quarter maintained the same calculated tempo as both teams seemed to feel one another out and look to find their optimum approach to the match. For the Masters this became operation D – Mac as he used the screens well to get open and torch the Badgers for 10 in the quarter! But the burned badgers hot footed it on the opposition end and with elite ball handler Dom taking some uncalled big knocks the ball got distributed and the team combined for 10 points in the quarter to the Masters 12.
Halftime and it was a 1 point advantage to the Badgers, in a game where the lead had already changed hands numerous times. Mackenzie came out strong again with a couple of buckets but a big 3 from Sanchez and a couple of long range jump shots from El Prez punished the Masters limitations in covering the perimeter. Mackenzie took a knock and went to the bench, coinciding with the badgers turning up the dial and playing with more pace as Dom, Doug and Mike carved, dished and served some delights. It wasn’t all from running though, as smart ball movement and a couple,of particularly nice passes from Holden resulted in big buckets at a crucial time in the match. The quarter ended with 16 for The Honey Badgers to the Masters 11, as the scores sat 36-30 to Leith.
Tensions were high between the teams but careful not to be Masters baiters The Honey Badgers smartly avoided conflict and just sought to put the game out of sight. In his second appearance The Deatcherator upped the tempo and said Hasta La Vista Baby to his opposite number as he swiftly converting a nice break, soon followed by a hard hustling Fraz taking a board and putting up the lefty hook. The Badgers began to pull away further and added a little flair with some nice assists on the break, but it didn’t stop possibly the leagues greatest shooter from scoring 7 in the quarter to keep the Badgers on their toes as the clock ticked down. Regardless, Leith led by 11 with just 10 seconds left when Mike and Doug combined for the play of the game as Prez launched the ball from deep and Doug popped the cork on the Oop as we toasted a big win earned by some serious bottle.
52-39 in favour of Leith which means we have done the double on the Masters this season but the real victory is over our previous tendencies. Just like our last 2 wins, we didn’t panic, stayed composed, moved the ball, moved for each other, stuck to playing hard man and involved everyone. This was a team effort with everyone contributing. Our recent increased numbers have allowed everyone to play harder, as everyone knows there is cover there when you need a rest, options if things aren’t working and a responsibility shared amongst all the guys. As things develop the strength in the team is growing through the different attributes everyone has, joined by the connectedness we play with. Elements of experience, size, speed and creativity are spread throughout the team and no one possesses them all, but what we all have is a togetherness and when the components are assembled then mecha-badger is one destructive machine.
Leith Honey Badgers 52 – 39 Boroughmuir Masters
Q1: 10-7 Q2: 10-12 Q3: 16-11 Q4: 16-9
Scorers: Mike 12pts, Fraz 10pts, Doug 8pts, Dom 7pts, Jonathon 7pts, Mark 4pts, Scott 4pts,