Newlands and Team Donkey were the winners in men’s A grade basketball action at Oxford Street this week. Here’s how analyst Brian Kerr saw it:
First game was College against Newlands, the schoolboys backing up from the previous night’s win against CBHS.
It all started to plan as College went out on a 10–0 run before Newlands were able to strike back. From there Newlands were able to stay close and trailed 23–20 at the end of the quarter.
College got off to a good start in the second quarter as they scored at will whilst being able to restrict the Newlands danger men. They took a healthy 50–39 at the break.
The third quarter was where things began to go awry. A good start was followed by a drop off in defensive intensity and loss of structure on the offensive end.
Newlands began to pressurise the ball and College began turning the ball over. They also got their fast break going as the young College team failed to recognise the danger. Even a time out did not mitigate the problem and Newlands took the lead 67–58 going into the final quarter.
Finally there was a refocus on the defensive effort as they looked to attack the lead. However every time they threatened the experience of the Newlands team was able to keep them at bay. Newlands winning 91–85.
Newlands was led by Marc Juntilla with 29 points (two 3-pointers). He was a real threat to the College boys whether on the drive to the basket or defensively as he was able to create a lot of turnovers.
Sam Rodgers shot really well managing to hit shots when needed, finishing with 17 points (three 3-pointers). Marvin Agacer started to find his range in the second half scoring 14 points.
For College it was Riley Sa who led the way with 21 points (five 3-pointers). He was strong at both ends. Kambell Stills netted 14 points. Jamie Reid finished with 11 points (one 3-pointer)
Coach Brian Kerr wanted to use his bench due to the minutes played by his starters the previous night and to be honest College played really well for most of the game barring a telling three minutes in the third quarter where Newlands utilised their experience to create turnovers and intensify their defence whilst nullifying the College offence.
The second game was the anticipated matchup between Wildlife and Team Donkey. The first quarter was a bit scrappy as both teams were guilty of missing some easy baskets. Team Donkey took an 18–12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Wildlife had matched up with a man-to-man defence which at times put pressure on Team Donkey, however they were still able to find ways to score. In the meantime Wildlife continued on with their woes on not finishing which meant they trailed 47–28 at the break.
In the third quarter it was more of the same with Wildlife working hard on the defensive end but struggling offensively as Team Donkey extended the lead 66–44.
By the fourth quarter it seemed that the game was all but over, however Wildlife staged a mini-comeback and dragged the score back to 13 points. Team Donkey however know how to close out a game and they controlled the last 4 minutes taking out the game 82–64.
For Team Donkey Pip Johnston was massive. Even though he received some close attention from Emiliano Guerra in an entertaining match-up, he was able to find his way to the basket, finishing with 40 points (five 3-pointers).
Cam Butler continued on his excellent form with 31 points (three 3-pointers). He was relentless on the offensive end and Wildlife just could not shut him down.
For Wildlife Emiliano Guerra finished with 21 points (one 3-pointer) in a tidy display. He had the unenviable task of marking Johnston for most of the game. That’s a tough ask.
Sam Pearce had another good all-round game finishing with 17 points (three 3-pointers).
Wildlife had their opportunities but didn’t take them and they left a lot of points out there. Team Donkey like they always do, tightened up their defence, boxed out well and restricted Wildlife to single shots especially in the second and third quarters.