Fife Steel vs Leith Honey Badgers
Fife Steel were Leith Honey Badgers fifth opponent of the season on Friday night at Westwoods. Last season the wins were split between the teams so Leith knew they were in for a game and were also wary of the threat of a 3 point clinic Steel hosted a few weeks back on their way to a big league win.
Banky, Fraz, Farooq, Andy and Mike started the game and as Mike edged the tip, Banky collected the ball and went straight to work with a swift and strong drive to the basket. Taking the big fellas lead, Mike followed suit and took it to the basket a number of times too as Banky, Mike and Fraz fed off Andy and Farooqs foundations to generally wreck havoc inside and gain credit for 15 first quarter points.
Steel were never going to be a simple test however and Hilderslay had multiple choices on offence, the guard taking it to the rack early in the quarter before hitting 2 from downtown including one from somewhere closer to Fife than the Badgers bucket- deep! It was a misfiring quarter 2 for The Badgers as they gave up open shots to try to go to their inside game, forcing passes and showing little of the thirst for buckets they had in the first. The half ended with Badgers keeping their lead but it had been cut to 2, Steel 17 – HoneyBadgers 19.
Shuffling back to the bench with the heads down, the team appeared to forget this is something they choose to do, pay to do and only get to do for 32 mins on a Friday night. So orders were to get the smiles on the faces and the fingers out- they did. Farooq spotted up a nice jumper and the good interior movement got going again to positive reward. But Steel were here to get a job done too and their big man looked to put the game on his back as he went to work in the paint drawing foul after foul with some smart and strong interior play. It was a hard fought third and the Badgers lead was down to 1 point, Steel 29 – Honey Badgers 30.
8 mins to go in the game and a simple call in the Badgers huddle to just go at them. You don’t have to ask Abi twice, as he attacked the Steel en route to 8 4th quarter points. However it was G and Fraz who combined for the quarters big play, an interior handoff in traffic collected and converted as the Steel were sent then in the wrong direction. As the game neared its end the Steel were getting to the line more often than necessary, Badgers foul trouble helping them score 11 that could have been costly. But not this week as the boys from Leith had notched up 18 points to secure a win 48-40.
As always, elements of the match were dissected and concerns raised abut where we struggled. Yet we started with gusto, adapted when necessary and had a killer instinct when weaknesses emerged. For a couple of the guys it may have been disappointing not to maintain their recent scoring form but teams pick up the slack. Teams allow some individuals to have a quiet night, as others will step up and we know that the next week the individual will be back wrecking havoc. And teams play defence as one, every player giving every last to ensure nothing is left to chance. This was a team performance and a team win. Next up Pleasance Pace and then the unbeaten 47s. Both will ask different questions so let’s swot up on Wednesdays to prepare the answers.
Dunfermline Steel 40 – 48 Leith Honey Badgers
Scorers: Mike 17, Fraz 8, Abi 8, Banky 6, G 4, Scott 3, Farooq 2