Basketball wrap for July 2

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Ace basketball coach Brian Kerr runs his eye over the first games in the Mid Canterbury men’s A grade on Wednesday night, and his Ashburton College side’s latest Thomson Trophy game.

Mid Canterbury men’s A grade

Wednesday night was the start of the local men’s A grade competition.

Nomads took on College, whist the newly introduced Wildlife took on a Newlands team boasting a new lineup.

First game was Nomads against a seven-man College team hit with injury and sickness. The game started at an up-tempo beat as both sides look to assert ascendancy.
It was tight as College took a tight 18–15 lead into the second quarter.
College increased their tempo as they looked to run it at Nomads.

By doing this they found gaps in the Nomads defence to push out the lead 48–33.
The third quarter was more of the same as College continued to run at Nomads, who began to tire. The lead was extended out to 70–44.

Nomads offered a fightback in the final quarter but the game was already gone. College comfortable winners 85–63.

College played well and looked good when running their break. Defensively they were very sound generally controlling their own boards whilst managing to pressurise the offensive boards.

Nomads’ first hit out for the season looked just that. They will be better for that run.
Liam Sullivan played his best game in the College uniform in finding his shooting touch. He
ended with 25 points and his defensive effort culminating in a player of the match display.
He was well supported by Riley Sa who not only played well defensively but started to find his way offensively, netting himself 16 points. Kambell Stills was a bit quieter on the scoring front however he was able to claim numerous rebounds at both ends of the
court.

For Nomads, Nic Ross found early shooting form and bagged 19 points including five three-
pointers. As mentioned it was the first hit out for Nomads so there was some rustiness about their display especially finishing the shot. That will improve.

The second game was an anticipated match between the newly-created Wildlife team and
Newlands. Newlands have recruited several new players including three from the defunct
Farmers Corner team. As expected the game started off with a lot of pace, each team trying to work on their combinations on the court.

The first quarter went to and fro with Wildlife taking a slender 23–19 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter was also a tight affair as neither team could take charge. However Wildlife were able to hold on to a 45–42 lead into the half.

The third quarter was telling as Newlands’ defence improved and negated Wildlife driving to the basket. In return they managed to run an offence that presented opportunities to their shooters. Newlands was able to get on a roll and led 62–55 going into the final quarter.

Newlands started well and went on a 10–2 run which extended their lead out to 72–57. They took control of the game holding onto the ball forcing Wildlife to need to get turnovers.

Newlands spread their offence and were able to penetrate and dish off for a spate of three-pointers by Nick Fechney to end the resistance. A late flurry by Wildlife was too little too late. Final score 85–72 to Newlands.

For Newlands, Nick Fechney had a massive game top scoring with 22 points including four three-pointers. But it was the number of rebounds he secured at both ends of the court which was a man of the match performance.

Marc Juntilla was the best guard on the court, working hard on defence and being a constant threat. He ended with 19 points including three three-pointers. Randy Buenafe finished with 18 points with a good overall display and was also great on the break.

Team Donkey will be back in action next week after a first-round bye.

For Wildlife, Emiliano Guerra was a real handful on the offensive end netting himself 19 points. Sean Hunter grabbed himself 14 points and shot well from the floor. Sam Pearce worked hard for his 13 points including two three-pointers.

Next week College take on reigning champs Team Donkey whilst Newlands have Nomads.

Thomson Trophy: Ashburton College v Cashmere High School

Ashburton College took on Cashmere High School at Cashmere. Both teams are in rebuild mode.

The game started off briskly with both teams trading baskets early on. However Cashmere were able to get some benefit from applying a 2 – 2 – 1 zone press as College
began turning the ball over. A timeout stopped that issue, however Cashmere bagged a couple of 3 pointers which pushed them out to 28–18 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter was tight with College making some good inroads offensively, however
Cashmere reintroduced its press and made College turn the ball over. Cashmere extending their lead to 56–42.

The third period was crucial as College needed to get back into the game. Unfortunately Cashmere was able to exploit holes in the College’s zone defence especially through the centre and scored some easy baskets pushing the lead out even further. Once that
was remedied, Cashmere had to work harder to score but the damage was done.

Going into the last quarter down by 21 points meant College had nothing to lose. For the next six minutes College upped the pace of the game as Cashmere struggled to match them. College was able to drag the score back to a 12-point differential and it looked like
College would push close.

Cashmere regrouped and were able to string a couple of baskets together to put a finish to the College fightback taking the game 92–75.

The College boys had some issues in dealing with the zone press applied by Cashmere as well as having some defensive lapses in their zone which allowed Cashmere some easy baskets. Whilst these lapses occurred only a couple of times, this is primarily what hurt College. It was more about reassuring the College boys in having the confidence in how to
break the press.

Once they began dissecting Cashmere’s zone press they were able to counterattack more easily resulting in some easy baskets.

Overall though it was an excellent effort from College who were fielding only a nine-player roster due to injury and sickness. They never gave up trying and at times they played some terrific basketball.

Kambell Stills had another good game, working hard at both ends of the court picking up numerous rebounds and continually being an offensive threat. He top scored with 27 points. Jacob Tallentire showed his “garbage man” attributes as he constantly got himself
into great position to pick up offensive rebounds and put them back in, finishing with 16 points.

He had a great game. Thomas Patterson hustled well on defence and managed to bag himself 10 points. Riley Sa was again defensively excellent and began to show off his attacking prowess on the drive whilst Jamie Reid battled through a back problem with some good drives to the basket. Both ended with 9 points.

Next game is a home game on July 21 against Christchurch Boys High at Oxford Street, Ashburton.