Opening my week 3 write up to paraphrase/aid the writing process, I noticed our week 12 game was a re-match of our week 3 blockbuster with SA Church Stars. That game ended with a 40-35 point win leading into the notorious pub crawl for some well-earned drinks. Unfortunately, our week 12 game came after the Tanunda Drinking Carnival, which had everyone in high spirits but low in energy.
Over the last couple of seasons SA Church have been the easy beats of the comp, but a quick look at the results showed they have had 3 wins on the trot; maybe not the easy win we were hoping for after Tanunda.
The game started out at frenetic pace with Maddi scoring a quick basket. It was all Church for the next five minutes, pushing the score out to 2-9.
We picked up our game trying to claw our way back into it, with some spark coming off the bench thanks to Chloe and Roxy, and a great backdoor cut from Tash leading to a layup. However, it seemed Church couldn’t miss with a couple of their girls showing shock and excitement with the long shots they were hitting, one even hitting a three from two foot beyond the arc – ala Steph Curry. At quarter time, we were down by 9 points, 7-16.
Quarter time called for more effort and aggression, which was provided with a quick 4 points from Zoe, however Church seemed to have all of the answers scoring the next 9 points, taking the score to 11-26 – a 15 point deficit. We had our opportunities but couldn’t seem to convert. One play we had 4 offensive rebounds with 4 missed put-backs, leading to Coach Dickie “placing” his glasses on the ground in frustration.
A timeout was called with 3 minutes to go in the half. “Shut down the shooters” was the message, with some great play from Kebbie leading to an 8-2 run, the half-time score being 19-28.
With the momentum in our favour, and Church running out of puff from the fast pace of the game, the third quarter was our time to shine. Our natural fast-break game style came into its own. Our defence also lifted cutting out their scoring with some solid efforts from Ella and Liz shutting down their shooters. A 16-5 quarter, with some of our best play all season, had the Coach asking the bench “are we really in front?!” We went into the break with a narrow 2 point lead: 35-33.
We knew Church were going to come out hard after relinquishing their lead so we tried to stick to our guns and keep running the fast breaks that had worked so well in the third. However, it seems the long weekend at Tanunda was catching up with our girls, and the Church team had switched on to our fast break game plan, resulting in a real arm wrestle of a final quarter. We managed to stay on top of their main shooter, but they had a couple of other girls keep their score ticking over. Luckily, we managed to play some nice offence as well and kept looking inside to the talls and driving guards.
The final quarter remained extremely tight, as we just couldn’t shake the Church attack. The final three minutes resulted in Church getting desperate to score whilst we managed to hold onto the ball to wipe some time off the clock.
We ended up winning the game 44-41 on the back of the solid third quarter performance.
That takes us to two wins from two hard fought games against Church.