Honeybadgers v Buccaneers Nov 2014
Leith continue to start without Gibson (jr) and Conner due to injury, and also expected to be playing without Deatcher (ankle) Luque Sancez (rib) and Kerracher (inability to read a calender :-p). The team was boosted by registration of Chris as a reserve who was immediately required due to the injury (and calender) issues.
The team was also disappointed by the overall performance last week against the masters, although we can’t know whether we could have stopped them even had we played well so powerful was their post play. As a result lots of hard work went inon Wednesday night with the welcome inclusion of some of our regular and some new training buddies helping the project to keep moving forward.
We turned up ready to fight hard, considering we’d be missing no less than 4 guards and that Buccs had been putting in some good results this season, but last minute arrivals of Deatcher and Kerracher changed the game plan completely. While the rest of the team were prepped and ready to put in 40 hard minutes we were largely able to revert to our natural positions, and the added energy as well as the fruits of the last few weeks training sessions proved devastating.
The first quarter saw a 22-0 period with 4 players (banky, G Scott and Mike) combining for the total. Looking at the names on the scoresheet it’s not rocket science to say that pace and power were the main weapons on offence, but the most pleasing aspect of this is the zero point shut down on defence. The team continued to do their job throughout the rest of the match, with the breakdown of scores below. Coach Conner made some good tactical calls which stopped the buccs from getting rhythm and made sure that the players rotated well to keep the intensity up. We’re not going to go through the rest of the game in detail, save for a few honourable mentions, the final score is shown below.
At half time with the scores 30 points to 2, the game looked like it was only going one way, BUT there were issues at both ends that needed to addressed and also there was a good comment made in the half time huddle: the buccs were playing as hard as they could; they’d chased every lost ball and contested every shot; they didn’t deserve the disrespect of us ‘taking our foot off’. They looked capable of getting hot at any stage and then bringing the scores back – in fact they’d held the badgers to 8 points in the 2nd quarter – if a few of their long range bombs had started to drop we could have found the scores tightening up quickly. Also – and I have to put my hand up for this – we all thought that points difference mattered in the league standings. The league has been brilliant in the last couple of seasons and looks better than ever this year: it looks like its going to go all the way, and we made the decision at half time to sort out some of our tactical and technical sloppiness and improve our execution. The scoreline at the end looked pretty emphatic but it never felt easy. we got the better of most possessions but every one was hard fought and well contested.
We thoroughly enjoyed our basketball lesson last week at the hands of the masters. We’re learning as a collective that we’re here to play – not just win. We were equally impressed with the Buccs – albeit for different reasons. In the post game breakdown, there was a lot of sympathy for the opposition, as they really didn’t look as far away as the scoreline suggested, but they won quite a few hearts from our side. More than one of us mentioned the dignity and spirit they showed and as we discussed it and looked at each other, we weren’t sure that we could have handled ourselves in the same manner. A few hot heads in our team would not have come out of a game like that with as much credit as Currie did, and we recognise that. Their never quit attitude was incredible – evidenced by one stat in particular; despite being down 56 – 4 they came back to have their best quarter in the 4th. Also there were 6 fouls in the ENTIRE GAME!! I could probably manage this in a half myself – if the ref doesn’t get me off the court quick enough after the 5th one!- so it was great to be involved in a game played so honestly. All we can ask for on a Friday is an honest game against a team doing their best, win or lose and the Buccs gave us that absolutely. I personally hold attitude and effort in higher esteem than talent, and if my team fell apart tomorrow, I’d be knocking on Curries door asking if they’d have me.
Well done badgers – job done. The final score was a result of simply executing what you’re supposed to, and using the advantages we had on the night.
With the Tigers coming up in the cup gameon Wed night its important for us to recognise that there’ll be days when you’re the hammer, and days when you’re the nail (!) and when we find ourselves on the other end of a result like that, I hope we remember the Buccs and measure our response against theirs.
Final Score Leith 81 Currie 8