Thomson Trophy action: Ashcoll v Middleton Grange

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Ashburton College took on a good Middleton Grange Gators side away in this week’s Thomson Trophy secondary school basketball competition.

Here’s how coach Brian Kerr saw it:

The first quarter was even as both sides worked hard to gain ascendency. It was a little untidy at times, however it was Gators that took the honours with a 25–21 lead.
The second quarter was all Gators as they exploited defensive gaps in the College setup to score at will. College then began to struggle offensively and the score blew out to a 56–35 lead in favour of Gators.

College weren’t done though and a refocus in the third quarter allowed their defence to tighten up as well as getting back on track offensively. A good finish to the last half of the quarter bringing the score back to 78–64.

Last week, College put on a massive push that nearly drew an unlikely victory and they started the fourth quarter with that same intensity as they went on a 7–0 run, halving the deficit and causing an early time out call from Gators. As with any momentum it can swing quickly. A lack of boxing out and a couple of basic turnovers by College allowed Gators some easy points and College were unable to make any
further inroads.

Gators took out the match 103–84 in an entertaining battle.
For College, five players hit double figures with Kambell Stills leading the way with 19 points including a couple of dunks for good measure. Jamie Reid had another tidy game with 15 points (one 3-pointer) in a good shooting display. Also with 15 points was the hardworking Riley Sa (two 3-pointers) and Kalen Tait (one 3-pointer) who had his best game of the season so far. He was very good on the fast break
and drove well to the basket. Thomas Patterson was busy as usual finishing with 13 points (two 3-pointers).

College were aware of the Gators full court defensive options and had worked out a plan to mitigate it. For most part they handled it well.
Unfortunately it was their own defence that was ultimately the problem. They had a bad second quarter where their defence went flat which also impacted on their offence. Because of that, Gators offence found gaps and outscored College 31–14.

There were times when College was good with their help defence inside the paint unfortunately there were too many times when they weren’t and the Gators took toll.
Overall College competed well and again showed some fight especially at the end of the 3rd quarter and early 4th quarter. When they maintained their composure they were definitely a match for Gators.

Still a work in progress but certainly heading the right way.