Owing to someone losing one scoresheet and forgetting another, this is a 3 for one report to get us up to speed.
Game 2: LHB v West Lothian Wolves
Game 2 saw LHB following a loss to the masters with the visit of west Lothian wolves. We continue to be thankful for the expansive squad as we were missing no less than 4 regular starters. The supporting squad members are stronger than ever however, both in numbers and quality so there was an opportunity for players to stake a claim for more minutes here. Leith played exceptional team ball with rugged defence, great spacing and sublime passing. Wolves played a good game but badgers consistency saw them through with a comfortable winning margin (sorry- lost the scoresheet!) What we can say was that rookie Konstadinov rattled in a few points, and J took the opportunity of extended minutes to drop 19 points, with 6 treys in the mix.
Game 3: LHB v Edinburgh Soldier Bears
In game 3 we had a highly anticipated game vs friends & rivals Edinburgh Soldier Bears in what is being whispered as a potential league decider. Still with only one full time big man, and the coach & Doc on the long term sick list we weren’t at full strength but had enough able bodies here to win at our best.
Nerves were the winners of the first half, with an extremely low score of 17 14 at half time – if memory serves…. (I didn’t even remember to pick this sheet up- you can tell my GameDad was still on his holidays and not looking after me!!).
It looked like two teams who respected each other too much, and the first two quarters were reminiscent of a couple of heavyweights cautiously circling- too aware of each other’s knockout potential to risk too much attacking. Both coaches got about their teams at half time however and the game started to hot up. With neither team shooting smoothly and two exceptional defences on show it was a gradual shift in turnovers that saw Leith claw their way back and earn themselves both a tie game and possession in the last throes. Experienced play from Connor saw him turn extreme pressure into free throws, and at 39-39 with 9 seconds to go we had a pair of free throws. Coach called a time out to run through the different scenarios and make sure the last 9 seconds went to plan, but two decent free throws refused to drop. The team saw out their jobs however, meaning overtime at 39-39.
Soldier Bears came out firing better in a 3 minute overtime, and in such a short deciding period it comes down to an odd mistake or a bit of brilliance. Johnny Cloudy of soldier bears claimed he made 6 points in overtime- without the sheet I can’t confirm, but that certainly seems right. Soldier Bears finished better, leaving them with a 4 point win. Certainly not disappointed in this performance, a great game and we’d like to be in the same position every week, so looking forward to the next one.
Game 4: LHB vs Gracenount Panthers
Still bemoaning injuries and excuses, we had no coach, Doc or Piotr, Deatch in Australia, Ian & Ven on the sick list, and Banky & Abi unable to train during the week. What we did have however was Alessandro Picazo, who has had a job offer abroad, thwarting his honeybadger career for the immediate future, but registered and available for one match before the plane leaves!
Panthers went down to a few easy buckets early on and immediately went to a practiced looking man press. Badgers matched this but were unable to match panthers intensity and ability to play against this defence. Badgers clung to a lead that in waves went from reasonable to minuscule. At halftime the team regrouped and after some less that pleasant words from coach went about playing simple ball. This resulted in a more comfortable second half but panthers rallied in the 4th, cutting a 10 point lead to 4. A line change to the 5 likely starters under the current setup saw badgers finish the game ahead 55-50. Make no mistake though, Gracemount made this very difficult, and will collect a few scalps this season. We also have to be thankful that with so many players unable to contribute their usual points through illness/injury, absence or lack of match fitness, Alessandro’s exceptional 22 points kept us on track, however as we wave him off and wish him all the best, the rest of us will need to regain the fitness and sharpness needed to get these points without him.