Leith Honey Badgers 51 – 19 Gracemount Panthers

Leith Honey Badgers face Pleasance Pace in their season finale tomorrow night having dispatched of The Gracemount Panthers last week in convincing fashion. With Club prez Kerracher still injured he took on coaching duties for the second week running allowing regular coach Holden to take his mind off running the bench and instead run wild on court.

From the tip it was typical as cobra controlled the one allowing Deatch off the leash to go at the opposition with a couple of aggressive early drives and scores. With Holden picking up the high post the ball was worked in and out spreading the floor, creating openings and baskets across the team. The defence was even better, characterised by Farooqs season long hard hustle the
loose balls were pounced on, communication flowed and personal responsibility taken on stopping the opposite number. Panthers hadn’t scored a point when Hernandez came on late in the quarter and jumped on them for a quick 6 including a lovely steal and Coast to Coast bucket. Q1:16-0 Badgers.

The second quarter was more of the same, Connor controlling the ball and directing the movement across the floor as he has done so well of late. A lively looking Sanchez popped in for a sweet post move, something he’s been doing week in week out in addition to his high Percentage 3pt shooting. Fraz was relentless in the paint as always mopping up spillages and pouring the waste back in the bucket, whilst G teamed up with him creating the openings whilst denying penetration and boards at the back to lead the D. It was D that done it again as the Panthers managed just 3 points and the Badgers continued to pride themselves on playing hard defence all game. Q2: 13-3 Badgers.

26-3 up at the half, the Badgers faced a more intense and determined Panthers who stepped up rather than shrunk walking out into the 3rd. Their number 10 shone, taking his chances and remaining aggressive forcing the Badgers to make harder decisions at the back and chase the ball as Panthers worked it better. That’s not to say Badgers didn’t have their own way on the opposite end, Fraz hitting a few sky hooks and Holden draining a 3 after the ball moved around the team to find him ready and waiting. The third remained tight but Hernandes and Deatch’s ability to change gears proved the difference as they both scored off typically speedy drives and finishes. Q3: 11-9 Badgers.

The game may have been done as the fourth got under way but Panthers continued to work the Badgers with stronger defence and The boys from Leith gladly responded, both contesting the quarter hard. Treys from Abi and Jonathon were the difference in points scored but as has been the case it was the team defence that limited the opposition scoring and let the Badgers remain calm on offence even if things weren’t always clicking. Q4: 11-7 Badgers.

Final score Leith Honey Badgers 51 – 19 Gracemount Panthers

For the seventh match in a row the Badgers took victory and what’s emerged this season is the equal worth all have on this team. The usual suspects will still have big point scoring games but defence, hustle, ball movement and smart decisions are the platform that allows that to happen and gets us over the line over the course of a season. Today, coach Holden, Fraz, Deatch and Abi scored the majority but the boys on court know it is the team effort that is getting us results in enjoyable fashion. Season finale tomorrow, can we make it 8 wins and take 3rd in the league or will this finale be tainted by a spoiler? Whatever the result, the group is moving forward and already thinking about next seasons opportunities with new players to come in and injured regulars Banky and Kerracher waiting to get back in fully fit. But first Friday..

Scorers: Deatch 15, Abi 13, Fraz 8, Mark 7, J 5, Cobra 3

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