Ashburton College lost 92-90 in a thriller against Rangiora High School this week.
Here’s how coach Brian Kerr saw it:
Ashburton College took on Rangiora High School in front of a parochial Rangiora crowd.
Ashburton started well as they mitigated the zone press easily imposed on them by Rangiora.
They also worked hard on their own man-to-man defence which had been lacking some cohesion in the last couple of games.
Rangiora exploited a couple of turnovers and looked to be getting on a roll until pressure from College gained turnovers to take them into the second quarter trailing by only five points, 23-18.
The second quarter was a tough battle as Rangiora came hard at them. The College team had to work hard against the taller Rangiora boys, however good help defence and good boxing out allowed College to break and they finished the quarter strongly taking a 51–44 lead into the half.
College had a dream start to the second half as William Joyce lit up hitting three 3-pointers to extend the lead to 18 points.
At 64–46, College were in a great place. A time out by Rangiora and some passive College defence on the dangerous Rangiora shooters allowed them to claw back to seven points at 75–68 at three-quarter time.
The momentum had definitely turned. Rangiora came out in the fourth and hit a 3-pointer which pulled them closer only for College to reply twice in kind. It looked like College had steadied the ship, however Rangiora kept chipping away until they were tied at 87 apiece.
Jamie Reid hit a 3-pointer for College and it looked like that would be enough. However a foul allowing Rangiora to score from the line and the failure to box out defensively allowed Rangiora to go up by two points.
There was still 11 seconds left to allow College to get the ball up and get a good look at the basket from 3-point range only for it to be fractionally short of the mark.
Rangiora took out a thriller 92 – 90.
For College, Riley Sa worked tirelessly at both ends of the court finishing with 26 points (three 3-pointers). Thomas Patterson had an excellent all-round game finishing with 23 points (four 3-pointers) and finally William Joyce knocking down 14 points (four 3-pointers) in a third quarter burst.
Kambell Stills claimed a load of rebounds finished with nine points as did Jacob Swan who had a good game.
The College defence was vastly improved from the previous couple of weeks. The help defence very effective in minimising Rangiora’s inside game. However this can come at a risk if the outside shooters begin to find their range. This Rangiora did as they hit eight 3-pointers in a row in beginning their fightback in the third quarter. This was assisted by some passive defence by College as they failed to push through
screens to put pressure on their shooters.
Unforced turnovers at key times in the fourth quarter did not help the cause either.
In saying that, there were times when College were excellent and the second and third quarter runs were no exception. When they ran their set defensive break or their offence they looked in control. This was a game for the taking, however Rangiora showed a lot of determination in getting their win.