Brian Kerr was courtside for the two games of men’s A grade basketball played at Oxford Street on Wednesday night:
First up was MSA Team Donkey against Nomads.
MSA Team Donkey started well against Nomads and went out to a 9–0 lead early on. Nomads struggled for much of the quarter as Team Donkey eased to a 28–14 lead.
Nomads found themselves performing better at the start of the second quarter as their offence began to function as they chipped away at the lead to draw the score back to 28–24.
A couple of quick transitions from defence to offence by MSA Team Donkey stopped the Nomads roll. From there they got back on track and through some crisp passing and good fast breaks, they broke away from Nomads extending their lead back to 51–32 at the break.
The second half was no different as Team Donkey continued on their way. Again Nomads tried to work their combinations but came up short as they just couldn’t get the ball in the basket with any consistency. MSA Team Donkey cruising to victory 99–73.
For the Donkeys, the scoring was led by Pip Johnston with 27 pints (six 3-pointers) who controlled things well. Also with 27 points was Cam Butler continuing on with his solid form. Fotu Hala hit 20 points (two 3-pointers) and Brad van der Eik finding some shooting form finished with 13 points (three 3-pointers).
For Nomads, Nick Ross led the way with 22 points (two 3-pointers) whilst Kody Stuthridge netted himself 16 points (three 3-pointers).
Nomads’ disappointing run continued as they failed to convert scoring opportunities. Considering that halfway through the second quarter there were only four points behind, things just fell away badly.
They were unable to shut down MSA Team Donkey’s fast break which was damaging. To add to that MSA Team Donkey seemed to find holes in the Nomads’ man-to-man defence with ease.
The second game was Wildlife taking on College.
College matched up and their defence worked well as they were able to manage Wildlife’s offence well. In the meantime they worked their own offence well enough to take a 20–14 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The second quarter was messy for both teams as they failed to convert scoring opportunities into points. However College began to fall off their defence a little allowing Wildlife to grab the lead 32–30 at the halftime break.
The third quarter was again scrappy as Wildlife upped their defensive intensity. College struggled again with their defence, especially their help defence. This seemed to affect their offence as they struggled to make any sort of impression at the scoring end. Wildlife pushing out the lead 52–43.
In the fourth quarter College went to full court man to man. It pay instant dividends as they managed to restrict Wildlife’s scoring whilst managing to score with smart plays. Back to a one point game 56–55.
However Wildlife reset and sped up their game which spread the College defence allowing one on ones to occur. Within three minutes Wildlife had pushed the score back out to 10 points. From there Wildlife controlled the quarter and shut College out winning 82–62.
For Wildlife, it was Sean Hunter leading the way with 22 points. He was a handful to defend especially on the drive. Liam O’Connor had a top game as he defended well and found his shooting range scoring 21 points (five 3-pointers). Sam Pearce continued on his good form with 14 points with Jase O’Connor adding 13 points in a hardworking display.
For College, Kambell Stills scored 22 points in another good display with Riley Sa finishing with 11 points (three 3-pointers).
Wildlife played with a lot of intensity. They also put a lot of pressure on the key College players in Stills and Sa by trying to limit their attacking options. They pressurised the ball well and managed to create turnovers which was the turning point in the fourth quarter as College were coming hard at them.
College again were guilty of not setting up their offence to at least give them a starting point. When they got it right, they scored. Defensively they had moments where they were very good, however again too many flat spots that allowed Wildlife to take advantage.
Certainly still a work in progress.