The Ashburton College A boys took on St Thomas College at Oxford Street on Tuesday and again the emphasis was on their help defence with their man-to-man defence, which had improved markedly in the last few games. Here’s the game from coach Brian Kerr:
The first quarter started evenly as both teams sized each other up. College then went on a roll as they managed to execute their game plan. They managed to pull away from St Thomas forcing a time out to be called. This settled St Thomas somewhat as they began to repair the damage. They ended up trailing 30-22 at the break.
The second quarter started off well for College as they were able to continue to run their offence as well as restrict St Thomas with their defence. However it wasn’t long before things began to break down. The defence dropped off in intensity and St Thomas started exploiting gaps to claim the lead 46–43 at the halftime break.
At the start of the third quarter St Thomas upped their defensive intensity and College turned the ball over easily which gave St Thomas the momentum. The score blew out to 20 points until College finally managed to finally reset and finished the last two minutes of the quarter well to only trail 77–63.
So the fourth quarter was all to play for and College were focused. They chipped away at the lead with smart plays on the offensive end whilst working hard to shut down the St Thomas offence. Through that hard work they’d dragged it back to a seven-point differential until a number of unforced errors plus some very poor shot options allowed St Thomas to stem the flow and regain parity.
They controlled the last two minutes to take the game out 93–83.
For College, Riley Sa showed excellent skills at both ends of the court. He was good on the drive, causing problems for the St Thomas defence. Sa was also tireless on defence. He finished with 27 points (three 3-pointers)
Kambell Stills was good on the boards and chimed in with 14 points, whilst Jamie Reid also had a good game finishing with 14 points (two 3-pointers)
For a good part of the game College played well. However a lack of discipline on their offence and the issues around their help defence re-emerged. This allowed St Thomas to not only overcome a deficit but to also put a 20-point spread on the College team meaning once again they had to play catchup basketball.
However to the College team’s credit they fought back really well and were back in the game halfway through the 4th quarter. That was until a series of poor shot selections were taken which lost them the momentum and ultimately the match.
Simply a frustrating loss when again this game was for the taking.