Finals are finally here - it is always the best time of the year. We had 6 contests - 2 teams in the A Grade - one in a Semi and one in an Elimination. 2 teams in the B Grade facing off to get into the Granny in 2 weeks. 2 teams in the C Grade - one in the semi and one snuck into to the Elimination and the Lady Reds trying to win to extend their season for another week.
Before we get to the reports - REMINDER: Club Lunch is on Saturday October 11th at The Seven Stars. There will be a drink and food package - usually around the $50 price range. This is where we hand out the season awards - the team MVP and Best Team Man, Best Club Man, Sean Heylen Medal for Best Player at the Intercol and Club Champion. We also do the NBA Auction later in the day. If you want to RSVP please do so now.
Keep the deposits coming for the Microbrewery Bus Tour on Saturday November 22. You should have the bank details - $30 will secure your seat. Seats are limited and we have already locked in a few.
To the reports:
A’s v SPOC A - The winner goes straight into the GF … the loser to face the winner of Gateway and the B’s. As they do the A’s jumped out of the blocks - Orks and Corey scoring inside, Phil hit a 3 and some FTs and Jack getting to the basket. A’s up 14-2 early when Orks got a faux-dunk over Kong. Saints settled - Proctor was getting to the line and Gilmartin got to the basket for 2 and hit a 3. Reds kept the pressure on and went into halftime up 27-17. The 2nd half was a closer contest - with Saints getting the lead back to 6 before Jack and Phil settled the team with some FTs and Orks was hitting jumpers and scoring at the basket. When Tauny hit a 3 it was all over. As he does when the pressure is off Good hit a couple of late jumpers to bring the score back a bit. Reds won 48-37 to make their 10th straight A Grade Grand Final. This has been their easiest entrance into the GF in years (maybe ever). Orks had 14, Jack 13 and Phil 12.
B’s v Gateway A - The one thing you can’t do against Gateway is let them get off to a fast start or let them take open 3’s … actually that is two things … and the B’s let them do both of those things. Jo and Joel both got open 3’s, got out on the break and the B’s struggled to contain them. Mike was scoring inside, Manners hit a long j … the B’s put up a few points but they couldn't get the stops they needed. B’s down 16-33 at halftime. The 2nd half Gateway got up 20 and it was looking all but over. Step up … Jono Self. The B’s started to get stops, Jono started getting out of the break and making basket after basket. Gus, Phil and Lachy were crashing the O glass and the Reds mounted a comeback. They were chipping away, chipping away and then suddenly it got down to 9 points. The Reds supporters were getting into it and the B’s were “up and about” to steal a totally over-used footy term. The B’s got a crucial stop and Gus had an open 16 footer to cut it to 7 … it rimmed out … Gateway went down and hit a 3. The shot deflated the B’s and the run was over. In the end Gateway got it back out to 15 - winning 44-59. They just couldn’t get the stops when they needed them. They outscored Gateway in the 2nd half. Jono had 17, Mike 8, Gus and Phill 6.
It has been an amazing run for the B’s - to think over the last 3 years they have finished 3rd, 3rd and 4th - I think this achievement sometimes gets overshadowed by the A’s dominance but it is a remarkable effort. If they were in the B Grade they would be winning every game by 20-30. The mix of veterans and youth in this team is the key to their success and I think we have unearthed the future of the club in Jono and Gussy … with Mike and Lachy that is a solid 4 to carry on the legacy.
C’s v D’s - I was not nervous before the game, probably the only final I have never been nervous for. I guess for 2 reasons - at least one team was making the GF and the sense of dread and loathing that we had to play each other, was higher than the fear of not succeeding. Some guys in the club love playing against each other, I am on record on saying I hate it. Having to guard guys I like and hoping to see them fail is contrary to everything I want for the guys in the club and as individuals. Oh well - we are victims of our own success ... so bring it on.
The C’s have beaten the D’s every game this year - by 20, 16 and 7. The C's traditional man D has caused the D’s trouble - the D’s knew what was coming and they had talked about what they needed to do to beat it. The 1st half was close - Stu, Sime and Brendon all made 3’s for the D’s - Goody was battling inside - he was scoring at the rim and even made a FT and a long jumper, BB and Brad scored on the break, Madman hit a long j and G hit a 3 on his only open look for the half. The D’s got the C’s in foul trouble and were able to get the line and convert. Half time D’s up 18-16. Highlight - BB blocked the absolute crap out of Palky on the break … it hurt Palky’s feelings. The 2nd half the D’s got the lead out to 8 points - Stu was getting the basket and scored on 3 crazy layups, and Jon scored inside. The C’s, the worst FT shooting team in the club, did something unusual and made some FTs to keep the score close - G hit a long j and scored on an inbound play to get the score back tied. Palky made a 3 and Brendon hit a jumper to get the D’s another 2 basket lead. The D’s were up 3 with 30 sends left - C’s had the ball - the D’s sent two guys at G and he hit the stupidest 3 I have ever seen - it was a chest pass from 27 feet with both guys in his face … swish … tie game! The D’s wound down the clock to 7 seconds with the ball in Stu’s hand - he rolled off a high pick and went to the basket - he was met at basket and he handed it off to Jon with 3 seconds, 2 seconds, BUZZZZZER … 1 seconds … Road Train laid it up and made a tough 2. D’s win! BUZZZZZER!
Wait …what???? Two buzzers.
The buzzer from the other court went off - as Road Train was making his move to the basket. I am not really sure what happened - I think Steve blew his whistle for time but then realised it was the other court. Jon made the basket and they counted it. The C’s protested - the D’s celebrated. I am not sure if the C’s stopped guarding Jon when they heard the whistle. It was a strange end. Should they have blown for inadvertent whistle and played the last 2 seconds again? Probably. Would Jon have made the layup anyway? Would the D’s have scored if they played the last 2 seconds? What would have happened in overtime. Who knows? It sucks that it happened … if it was not my team that got the perceived benefit I would have been irate. A couple of guys were irate. D's won 39-37 - Stu had 16, Frangers 9 and Road Train 5 for the D's and Goody had 11, G 10 and Brad 5.
The C's fight on for another day - they play Unley Park A this weekend. Unley Park are good - they have arguably the best player in the league, they have good shooters and a decent big inside. It will be tough - they fight hard. The D's beat them 3 times this year and the C's got them
E’s v SPOC C - This was going to be a battle. The two best teams in the league - they have played each other twice - they have won one each. It was going to a tough contest for the E’s - this is the team that pushed the C’s to limit in Intercol.
The E’s started in man and it was all about getting the match ups correct - for some reason Saints had their 2 best scorers coming off the bench. The Reds started well - Bubs scoring inside, Max hitting a 3 and scoring on the break - Dillion came off the bench when Foo picked up 3 quick fouls and hit a long j. Saints couldn’t score - they were able to get to the line and hit 6 of 12 FTs but they only scored one field goal for the half. Bubs hit another basket inside and hit some FTs and Pritch came off the bench and banked a 3 - E’s up 20-8 at halftime. The E’s were keeping Saints at arms length - for most of the half and then they had a sudden offensive onslaught - two 3’s from Minarelli, Tegan-Andersen was posting up Foo inside and scoring and the E’s scoring dried up. Pritch came on late and hit another 3 and it was the score that just kept Saints at bay. The E’s won 26-22 - Max and Pritch had 7 and Bubs had 6.
The E’s scored 26 points and won - they looked in charge the whole time because Matt Just is the best defender ever. Roughie didn’t score and was still the most dominant player on the floor - he drew charge after charge, got multiple steals and more deflections. He kept Saints from ever getting into their offence and then controlled the Reds offence. Bubs did a great job on Saints best player - Sedsman. He matched his athleticism and then he, Brad, Cam and Dillon kept Saints to one shot. It was a great display - one more efforts like that and they will be holding that yellow piece of plastic in 2 weeks.
F’s v Hope A - I wrote a report and Lenny wrote a report so I have merged them. We all know what happened last week with the F’s out of the C Grade Finals and then with some smooth talking they were back where they deserved to be.
The F’s were absolutely committed to: -
a) maintaining their defensive pressure on Hope A
b) sustaining it throughout the game
c) and keeping a tight lip on umpiring calls
There was one objective to stop Sresh (#9) and Tone was given this assignment. The first 8 minutes were a complete defensive display from both teams and there was no scoring. The fouls were raining like proverbial cats and dogs (mostly on us and mostly ticky touch wood but the guys maintained their discipline and a tight man defence). Hope got in the bonus early and Hope were able to get to the line - they went 6/14. Tim started to penetrate and make a couple of J’s from the top of the key, but the scores went bucket for bucket for the whole half. And Bjork was hoovering up some huge boards at the defensive end. Toma collected one in the snout and became Mister Tissue Nose as he looked to stem the bleeding. At the end of the half Reds were 11 (Tim 10 and Bjork 1). 2nd half The F's started to pull away - Orks Jr was getting out on the break and scoring and crashing the glass. Tim kept his scoring onslaught going and Tone was keeping Pepsi super quiet. The whole F's team kept reaching in on D and the refs were calling everything - Hope again found themselves in the bonus early and shot 20 FTs for the half.
With 5 minutes to go the F's were up 25-21 and had the game in hand - Pepsi then got a steal and went out on the break - Orks Jr was 10 metres behind him and sprinted down the court ... as Pepsi went for the layup Orks blocked him out of bounds, it was an amazing play ... then the refs whistle blew - Tone had reached in for 5th foul. Orks thought the foul was on him and screamed "WHHHAAT" - the refs blew a tech. So what should have been an awesome play by Orks turned out to be 4 free throws for Hope and the ball back, Tone fouled out and Orks picked up his 4th - and that changed the game. Hope made 3 of 4 then scored 2 on the inbounds - they were up 1. Pepsi then got free on the next offense and hit a 3 and that was pretty much it. The F's didn't score again and lost 31-25. The F's only had 2 scorers - Tim 17 and Orks 8.
The F’s were pleased to get to where we got to and would like to go several steps more next season (and know we can do that) – as a team we have gelled and everyone was proud of our efforts for much of the season. It has been great playing with each other.
Lady Reds v Dunn A - Dunn are solid without being spectacular, they have one good player and then some decent players ... and as it turns out the decent player wasn't playing. Lady Reds got out to an early lead - Jordy and Loz both hitting a couple of early 3's and the Reds got out to a quick 14-2 start. Dunn slowly pegged it back - Jordy scored on the break, Georgie inside and Emma hit a long jumper - Reds up 20-12 at halftime. The 2nd half was dour - Reds couldn't make anything - they got out to a 24-12 lead with 10 minutes to go and didn't score again. Dunn started chipping away and got it down to 3 points with 10 seconds to go. Dunn got a long rebound and ran the break - #7 for Dunn went for the lay-up and was fouled ... the shot went up but thankfully didn't drop. 2 seconds left on the clock - made the 1st, missed the 2nd, Reds got the board and the fell over the line. Win 24-22. Loz and Jordy had 8, and Georgie 5. The girls controlled the game, they played solid D and Wans and Georgie did a great job on the boards. They are playing Unley this week. Jordy played her last game on Saturday - good end to her season and she will be missed for the next 2 games.
13th SEPTEMBER 2014
*Marion Leisure Centre
C's v Unley Park A at 6:00
Lady Reds v Unley Park WA at 7:00
Unley stand in our way!