Ashburton College senior boys basketball team ended its winning streak at the hands of Christchurch Boys High School on Tuesday night, losing 88-70 in their last game of the Thomson Trophy secondary school competition.
Coach Brian Kerr said the team had come a long way this season, deserving of its spot in the 12-team top division despite not making the playoffs.
Here’s how he saw Tuesday’s game:
The match started off pretty evenly with neither team being able to take charge. Instead, they went basket for basket with mini scoring rolls made by both teams.
In the second quarter, CBHS started well, however had dropped back to a 2 – 3 zone. College were able to break it down successfully as they started to string plays together to push out to a 5 point lead. However a couple of turnovers that CBHS were able to capitalise on meant the scores were tied 42 apiece at the break.
The third quarter was a real struggle for College. CBHS refined their zone defence to a 1 – 2 – 2 defence and upped their intensity which created issues for the College offence. Instead of getting good shots, College were forcing shots and with CBHS boxing out well, second shots were rare.
They were also able to create turnovers which they exploited to push them out to 14 point lead. At this time the College defence fell away especially on the help defence and more importantly on the boxing out so that by the time the fourth quarter arrived, they were 22 points down.
Once again College were chasing the game. They went to full court man to man and initially it worked well as they were able to turn the ball over and were finally able to get their offence functioning in getting better shots. They drew it back to 14 points.
A timeout by CBHS steadied the ship and from there College wasn’t able to impact on the differential, finally going down 88 – 70.
For College, Liam Sullivan had a good game nabbing 16 points (three 3-pointers). He worked hard defensively and attacked the basket well. Riley Sa added 14 points (two 3-pointers) but found himself receiving more defensive attention every time he got the ball. Thomas Patterson (two 3-pointers), Jacob Swan (two 3-pointers) and Kambell Stills ended up with 10 points apiece.
College played well for periods but were guilty of not boxing out when the CBHS shot went up. This allowed put backs which really hurt College, especially in the third quarter. Their help defence was also sometimes lacking, allowing easy drives to the basket for CBHS.
On the plus side, they continued to fight hard and when they got things right, they looked good. A six-minute lapse in the third quarter left them too much to do in the fourth quarter.
Overall this young College team has come a long way over the season, especially on the defensive aspect. They almost pulled off a massive upset against the top dogs STAC, as well as coming close on another couple of occasions.