Wednesday night’s basketball games at the Oxford Street stadium producted plenty of action, with College getting up over competition leader Team Donkey.
Here’s how Brian Kerr saw it:
The first game was equal bottom-placed College taking on the equal top-placed MSA Team Donkey, who were again light on numbers.
College started the better of the two teams, however MSA Team Donkey settled and were able to get back into the game quickly. College held a narrow 22–21 lead at the end of the quarter.
College had matched up against their senior counterparts with a half court man-to-man defence. Whilst that worked reasonably well in the first quarter and early in the second quarter, their defence lost structure especially on the help defence.
MSA Team Donkey exploited this to create isolations and went into the break leading 46–38.
College started the half this time with a full court man-to-man defence. It paid dividends as their help defence improved markedly which put pressure on the MSA Team Donkey scorers.
This in turn seemed to enable their offence as they sped the game up and began finding some gaps in the MSA Team Donkey defensive line. College reclaimed the lead 68–62.
At the start of the fourth quarter MSA Team Donkey came back hard at the young College team, however College managed to absorb the pressure and this time they were able to control the last few minutes to take out a 93–81 win.
For College, Thomas Patterson continued on his good form with 24 points (four 3-pointers). Kambell Stills was very good on the boards claiming a number of rebounds and finishing with 23 points in a good display. Riley Sa with a tidy all round display finished with 15 points. Henry Hobbs chiming in with 10 points (two 3-pointers).
For MSA Team Donkey, Pip Johnston led the way with 32 points (two 3-pointers), again strong on the drive and defensively good. Fotu Hala was strong on some inside plays and netted himself 20 points. Cam Butler was again tidy with his 18 points.
It turned out to be a good result for the College team after their two-point heartbreak loss against Rangiora the previous evening. This time they managed to keep their composure in the fourth quarter. The pleasing part was that they managed to reapply their defensive intensity after it had dropped a little in the second quarter allowing an opening for MSA Team Donkey.
Offensively they were good against MSA Team Donkey’s zone defence and man-to-man.
As far as MSA Team Donkey goes, they had good periods in the game especially the second quarter. Unusually they missed some easy put backs which could’ve had an impact. They are also missing the services of the Hunt brothers which would bolster their ranks and offer some more options.
The second game was Newlands against Nomads. Newlands was out to reverse the last second loss to Nomads in the first round.
The first quarter started fairly evenly as the teams went basket for basket. Newlands lost a key player early in Nick Fechney who went down with a bad ankle injury. Despite this setback, Newlands then found another gear and took the lead 23–16.
The second quarter started evenly, however Newlands was able to get their break going and stretched the lead to 48–36.
After the half, Nomads struggled offensively as the Newlands defence were able to pressurise the ball carriers. They were also tidy on their own boards limiting Nomads second shots. By the end of the quarter they’d streaked away to a 75–52 scoreline.
Nomads were unable to make any inroads in the final quarter as Newlands finished the job 95–61.
For Newlands it was the Marc Juntilla show. He was everywhere and Nomads just could not shut him down. He finished with 49 points (four 3-pointers).
He was well supported by Randy Buenafe who finished with 22 points. Sam Rodgers played well also, grabbing some good boards as well as finding the basket. He finished with 14 points.
For Nomads the pickings were sparse with Pete Kirwan and Nick Ross both hitting 13 points. Sam Moore and Jamie Smitheram both with 10 points.
Overall, Nomads just struggled offensively again. They were missing three of their starters as well which didn’t help. What they didn’t do was manage to shut down a Newlands team also devoid of a couple of their main scorers in Fechney and Marvin Agacer.
For Newlands, the bench guys stood up, got good minutes and overall did a good job. However Marc Juntilla was excellent as mentioned. He pulled
off some audacious drives that left you wondering how.