SAABL Division 1
A’s v Kings Park Royals by Liam
Ok ***drumroll for Mikes favourite joke about Mike*** excessive length warning.
The pre-match excitement was all for the All Stars and one particular shooting star who broke the mould (kids, ask your parents about that reference) meaning we had little time to talk tactics. Luckily our starting five was set and tactically had some familiarity having played a solid 40 with each other the previous week. They would also be going for the full 40 this week with the same work, back and footy related concerns as round 4 (or game three or whatever).
Lachy noted that the opposition was familiar as mainly the Sturt boys from Tuesday plus a couple of others. This meant we knew their main scoring threats, Tom and Andy, and we then watched on as they top scored for KPR. To be fair, Andy can shoot the lights out so we were pretty happy keeping him relatively quiet. On the other hand, Tom shot the 3, hit pull ups, drove and got to the line, but at least we were aware of the threat.
The start was back and forth with each side hitting threes and getting inside and getting to 7-7 after 5 minutes. We then strung together a few stops and kept scoring to build a mini break. About this time, it became clear to me that every time I walked past Mike I got a bit drunk. I probably shouldn’t have been surprised considering Mike’s pregame insistence on telling me how he got caught in the dunnys without paper and the high jinks that ensued. Luckily his neighbour had a square to spare (trust me kids, Seinfeld was a big deal back in the day partly because we all had to watch *gasp* free to air TV) and Mike was able to exit the stalls and record a not-at-all incoherent video with Palky.
We went into a timeout in good shape and came out of it continuing to build our lead to 18-9, though KPR had broken their scoring drought and we were starting to look a bit leggy. B was playing solid D and was out running the break to give us some easy points, but KPR had started to get back in the game with decent inside/outside play. We took a timeout aiming to recharge and hold a lead into half time. It didn’t really work, as KPR took the lead, but we responded with a late 3 and Lachy getting inside for a three point half time lead.
Coming out of the half our five were a bit spent, Lachy and Mike struggling for fitness - one from illness and the other from life choices (actual shocker about which was which there) and Phill and Liam struggling with getting their zimmer frames around the court. B was great his energy got us our scoring early in the second half, while Phill’s intensity got us another couple of baskets before we took our scheduled rest time out at about the 10.
Personally, I’d had the highly satisfying experience of players saying shooter whenever I was near and not then stepping off as far through the end of the first half and to this point in the second. While I enjoyed this, I had not worked hard enough to get open. They’d switched to a 3-2. This meant we found space at the high-post.
In this space and through this time, Mike continued to drunk drive like Homer after the Duff factory tour i.e. with surprising competence and effectiveness though he may have failed the breathalyser (from 3 min, but the whole clip is quality – kids, this is what the Simpsons used to be like back in the day sharp and funny – once again, ask your parents). His passes found B, and Lachy in particular but dimes were not forthcoming. This felt like opportunity slipping through as KPR were starting to have the balance of the play and looked likely to edge away.
Happily, my realisation that cutting to get open is important and our continued exploitation of the high post and solid inside passing to add to that meant we started to score again. With five to go back to back threes got KPR to call a timeout and a free rest for us with an eight-point lead. Woo Hoo! Mike, B, and Phill kept the scoreboard ticking over including from the foul line after Phill got a kind call on a shot down low. Mike then shot the half court buzzer beater with about 6 seconds still on the clock and the game was over.
Reds A’s go to 2-2 and are good for third on the ladder (third is also equal seventh so let’s take Harvey Keitel’s advice here). It’s a good even league and there’s a long way to go, but it’s nice that right now we’re just a single shot away from being equal top. Now we need to come out hard after the week off and keep it rolling.
Score: Reds 55 defeat Kings Park Royals 42
Points: Liam 20, Phill 13, Mike 8, B 8
SAABL Division 2
B’s v Old Ignatius Wolves by Brandon
The B’s came into week 4 after an ugly but gutsy win over the Spartans and were looking to go 3-1. Up against a solid St Iggies outfit we started off well with a 6-point lead 10 minutes through the game off the back of Gussy’s 16-point half. However, things then started to slow down, and we found it difficult to score whilst also giving up some cheap buckets through a lack of communication on D. A quick timeout after going down double digits midway through the 2nd half was exactly what we needed, as we identified our issues and started to make a nice run. Gussy again being aggressive and getting to the ring and Baker showing some nice hustle on both ends of the floor, managing to draw the game even and head to OT.
After Timmy went down with some knee soreness leaving us with 5, our fatigue set in. We managed to send it to a 2nd OT but were unlucky to see Old Ignatius score a 3 off a broken play and ended up losing by 5. It was nice to see some resolve and great teamwork from the boys after finding ourselves in a difficult position and hopefully we can take some confidence from how we can play if we are able to work together.
Score: Reds 62 lose to Wolves 67
Points: Gussy 26, Brandon 20, Krantz and Kara 5
C’s v RAVSTASS Ravens by Jon
The Cs came up against a veteran RAVSTASS squad on the weekend. The team started off slow falling to an 8 point deficit in the first 10 minutes. After regaining composure the team brought it back with scoring from Dillon and Jon in transition. The team ended the half down 19-21. In the second half the RAVSTASS switched to a man defence. The Cs did a decent job adjusting playing through Dan and Jon and finding shooters / cutters. Dan had a sweet dish for a Cam layup and Dillon got open for a 3 and a baseline 2. While the Cs zone defense was solid the RAVSTASS did a good job getting in the gaps and hitting midrange jumpers. With 4 seconds to go we had a chance for a 3 for the tie. Jon got his man in the air with a pump fake at the top of the key but missed a leaning 3 pt attempt.
Score: Reds 41 lose to RAVSTASS 44
Points: Jon 15, Dillon 9, Cam 6
SAABL Division 3
D’s (All Stars) v Adelaide University Blacks 3 by Palky
An arm wrestle early against the raw yet feisty Uni Blacks 3. The All Stars were blessed with the return of Club superstars Stu MacDonald and Andrew Williams, they were less blessed with the return of Palky ... his jumpshot did not make its way across the border. The All Stars played like the wiley veterans they are - lots of ball movement, great cutting, interior passing, making open jump shots, finishing at the rim ... not a lot of running fast breaks and high flying rebounding and shot blocking. It was a joy to behold - it was like watching guys that have played for 20 years together play basketball together. Madman was knocking his jumper, Stu hitting 3s and getting crafty layups, Lunny dominating down low with post ups, BB playing great D and finishing on the break, Manners jumped on a loose ball with 40 seconds to go when we were up 30, Bishop seems like a veteran head and big body with good b-ball IQ, Big A made an awesome and 1 where he drew contact and made an off balance leaner from 12 feet. Palky went 0-10 from 3, turned the ball over 4 times in the second half .... the boys look relieved it’s his only game for the season. It was a pleasure to play with these old lads - they know the right way to play, it was so much fun.
Score: Reds 49 defeat Blacks 18
Average age 74!
E’s v RAVSTASS Leprechauns by Ollie
This week the PAOCBC Es were up against the RAVSTASS Leprechauns. The other team came out much more physical and began the game with a few easy buckets before we had the ability to contain them in transition. Harrison Crawford coming up huge with some massive defensive efforts in the post which were turned into transition buckets from Tim Sibly and Ollie Fox on the break. The last part of the first half was dominated by a 10-0 run with all points coming from some timely threes and quick pull up jumpers from Ollie Fox which put us up by 12 going into the second half.
Around two minutes into the second half the team was hit with a big loss with Harrison Crawford going down with an ankle that will most likely put him out for weeks if not the season. This was a massive loss for us as Jeremy Pierce became our tallest player on the court. This height difference proved to be tough to overcome as the Leprechauns began their run, slowly breaking the lead down. We did a very good job of managing the pace of the game with some long offences of 10-12 passes each which allowed for open buckets however the lack of height and the foul trouble towards the end of the game gave the Leprechauns the lead. With them winning by 10 points. Credit to all the boys as they played one of their best games of the season.
Score: Reds 45 lose to RAVSTASS 55
Points: Ollie Fox 23, Tim Sibly 17
The aforementioned ankle ... shit I thought I looked bad the morning after
F’s v Top Heavy by RT
Once again the former Gold team struggled for player numbers, with a squad of 5, fittingly for a 5pm game. The opposition, Top Heavy, looked young, fit and in good form. They had two tall and athletic players that we could tell would cause us trouble.
A pretty sloppy centre tap saw us with possession and the first 5-10 minutes were quite promising. We weren’t winning the ball game, but all of our players were in good form. Shots were mostly dropping and we looked pretty good. One of their big guys attempted a dunk, but was solidly blocked by the ring, which was pleasing to see. Their inside penetration was slowed down by solid defence, in fact there was even a charge or two called.
Unfortunately all of our skills couldn’t slow down the onslaught of a much younger team with 6 players, allowing them to rotate for rest time on the bench. It would have been easy to have a blow out, but in the second half we managed to get back within 10 or so points before a spate of threes opened the gap again.
Final score: Reds 46 lose to Top Heavy 62.
Final score: Reds 46 lose to Top Heavy 62.
Points: B-Rad and Nele with 16 each - a really outstanding effort. Hendo with 8 including our only 3 for the game. RT with 4 and Caldy with 2, once again showing his unselfish play. B-Rad with the post game beers.
SACBA Central Men 3
G’s (Rookie Reds) v Seeds Uniting Blue by Noah
This week the Rookie Reds came up against a side which was both a bit taller than us, and considerably older than us, in Seeds Uniting Blue.
The game started with Noah trying to be like Crawf was last week, getting two quick fouls straight off the tip. We were very ill-disciplined with fouls in the first half, allowing the team into the bonus quite early on. The opposition were able to pass well through our zone defence effectively, and some strong offensive rebounding on their end kept the game close. Our opposition were getting a bit seedy (haha), and at half time the game was tight with the Reds down by a point.
However, the half time talk was one of pure inspiration by Martins Lidums, with comparisons to ‘Al Pacino – Any Given Sunday’ heard after the game. A quote that will resinate with the whole team said by our leader Martins was “We are in zone defence right now, gentlemen believe me and we can stay here and get the shit kicked out of us or we can go to man and find our way back into the light.”
And with this powerful message, The Reds came out firing in the second half. With Crawf acting like Gandalf the grey in the paint, and Noah then deciding to go on a tear like his also named counterpart Noah’s Ark, he was finding all the 2s. Matteo (Stephen Ottanelli) Denaro then started to heat up dropping a few average baskets. To finish the game Noah was very selfish and wouldn’t pass. Bouncing back in the second half, the Rookie Reds were able to put together some strong running on the break to put together a convincing win against a tough opponent.
Score: Rookie Reds 48 defeated Seeds Uniting Blue 35
Points: Miles 25, Ottanelli 10, Crawford 9