Leith Honey Badgers took on Midlothian Madness on Friday night and it was nail biting stuff. Thankfully that was before the match got rolling, as the Badgers showed up late and those present had to take to the court before coach Holden and a couple of others were even in the building!
Perhaps a bit unsettled, the beginning provided little of note. Both teams didn’t get into a flow and despite being familiar with the opposition somehow spent the early stages sizing one another up. Madness took first blood and it wasn’t until a few minutes in that Leith put numbers on the board with Gibson mopping up nicely then Kerracher converting a reversal and drawing the foul. Sadly for the club prez his missed free throw was a sign of things to come as he went just 1 of 7 from the line on his way to a return of 9.
Kerrachers relatively quiet game was of little significance though, as The Badgers continued their recent form of putting in team performances by spreading the points and danger across the squad.
Point guard Hernandez wasn’t shy to attack the basket however was equally comfortable passing and keeping safe possession. The recent additions decision making and smart handles soaking up opposition pressure.
Madness looked the more dangerous of the two teams in the first quarter, quicker to the loose ball and generally pumped up. Their danger man Syme got his game going early with a couple of interceptions through his physical game as well as some smart finishing in traffic.
The Badgers kept to the zone defence in quarter 2, challenging the opposition to shoot. However fortune was on Leiths hands as Madness passed on the perimeter attempts and played through their guards attacking drives into the crowded paint. Credit where it’s due, a number of high caliber finishes came off but the Badgers defence was smart enough to limit the danger posed on a night where we were missing our 2 most physical players.
Badgers began to hit their stride as the the game moved into the second half. Aussie rules playing, ex-rapper McGookin dropped a nice line with 8 points from a couple of threes and a nice up and under lay up. Whilst the only bars he gets on these days might be public houses, he is surely due a few pints for his defensive efforts that matched his confident shooting.
It was neck and neck stuff through the third, with the game breaking into a open pick up affair that over time would have suited the opposition. However coach Holden pulled in the Badgers and got em back on track, ensuring they share the ball instead of run n gun.
In the fourth the game became stretched as some big 3s from the Badgers got to the opposition. J perhaps had the shot of the night, hitting a 3 in the grill of his opposite number. However Scott wasn’t shabby either with a nice hesitation move before taking it to to the rack.
In the dying minutes Connor iced his 2 shots as the line comfortably to ensure the game was now out of sight. However just to make sure there was to be no comeback, Fraz put up the block of the night slapping the oppositions attempted lay up back off the board and away. Somehow the ref called a foul to the disbelief of the HoneyBadgers bench. Maybe it was the ghost off the Bball gods passed or the spirit of Ron Artest but when the free throws went up a gust of ‘hell no’ blew through Westwoods as both shots strayed off and clunked in and out the iron. Ball don’t lie!
The match ended 41-30 in favour of the HoneyBadgers to make it 3 in a row over the Madness and set us up nicely for a big game against 47s on Friday. The match was neck and neck til the 4th and it was consistency, team play, effort and cool heads that saw us across the line. It’s good to play on the winning team but it’s even better when you really play as a team. The points, praise and
performance was attributed equally to all Honey Badgers on Friday, surely filling the team with confidence as the season progresses.
Leith Honey Badgers 41 – Midlothian Madness 30
Scorers: Mike 9, Fraz 4, Abi 6, Scott 7, Andy 2, Mark 2, Chris 8, Jonathon 3