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Coach Brian Kerr talks tactics with his Ashburton College senior boys' basketball side.

Secondary school basketball has kicked off this week, with Ashburton College senior boys taking on Burnside in the first round of the Thomson Trophy competition. The senior girls’ game against Papanui was deferred.

Here’s the boys’ game report and analysis from coach Brian Kerr:

The Ashburton College A team is in a state of rebuilding after losing several of its main stalwarts from last year. There are six Year 11s in this team.

After a scratchy warm-up game on Sunday against Waitaki Boys High School, it was hoped that some of the rustiness in that match would be tidied up in the encounter with Burnside.
The match started off with a high intensity as both teams tried to impose on the other. The defence was aggressive from both sides, which led to some tension as the boys had to be separated a couple of times.

Whilst the college defence was good, its offence struggled. As with most of the match they were able to get plenty of looks at the basket, they just struggled to convert at a rate that would impact on the game. They just appeared to be tense.

College trailed at the halftime break 46–25. Burnside were just able to finish better than their Ashcoll counterparts. They were also able to maintain a high intensity on defence.
In the third quarter, college did make some early inroads with some good defence and finally managed to finish off shots to draw the score back to 16 points, only to allow Burnside to re-settle and extend their lead back out to 71–48.

The fourth quarter was all or nothing for college as they matched up with a full court man-to-man press to try and make a dent in the score. Instead both teams went basket for basket with Burnside running out comfortable winners 91–66.

For Ashcoll, Kambell Stills in his comeback year, scored 16 points and worked tirelessly at both ends. Riley Sa was defensively excellent, however didn’t quite get into his offensive stride.

Willy Joyce had a late fourth quarter splurge to net 11 points (three 3 pointers).
Overall the boys played well but just lacked a little consistency. At times they were able to match Burnside in their defensive intensity, however on a couple of occasions they eased off and Burnside were able to capitalise, allowing them to get on a couple of rolls and create a lead.

At times when college ran their offence they were able to score easily, however they just weren’t consistent enough.

We also didn’t run the ball enough back at Burnside and then were often caught out in transition as Burnside managed to get their fast break going.

The main problem was the low conversion rate of shots made to the shots put up. Plenty of shots were going up, they just weren’t dropping.

So still plenty of work to do.

Next week’s game is against Cashmere High School. It will be a tough one.