Men's Premier League Pre-Season Tournament
North Adelaide Men’s Premier League side competed in the BSA Pre Season Tournament over the weekend of the 28th of February and the 1st of March. On the Saturday, first up we played a young Woodville team, running out comfortable winners by 11 points (60-49) and later in the evening played Eastern and managed to come away with a solid 15 point victory (58-43). The boys were adjusting to the new season, some new faces and in particular the inclusion of our American import Aric Miller, who at this stage had been in the country for only one week and been to two on court sessions with the team. But despite the short preparation and two games within a very short space of time, things were looking good.
Sunday saw an early game against the Southern Tigers, who are also expecting a big year as they too have several new faces in the camp, but a big game from Aric with 23 points saw us cruise to a 14 point victory and gave coach Nathan Hawkes the chance to make sure everyone got on the court, with every player managing to get themselves in the scorebook. That left us with a 3 and 0 win loss record, in the preliminary round, and a chance to meet Sturt (also undefeated) in the final, early Sunday evening.
The final game saw the momentum shift several times with the Rockets having the best of the first quarter but Sturt, with some excellent outside shooting managed to keep themselves within touch. Scores remained close for the entire game until Sturt got away to a 10 point lead half way through the last quarter, and things were not looking good. A time out to the Rockets saw the defensive intensity turned up and we managed to get back into the game, only to see a couple of misses and the lead once again stretched to 10 with less than 5 minutes to go. But, some great team defense, forced Sturt to make some critical turnovers and miss some shots and the lead was once again pegged back until we hit the front in the last minute. The result however was not clear until the final siren, with Tom Rowe having to convert from the foul line and we hung on to win by 2 points 59-57.
A great result for the boys giving them some reward for what has been a very tough pre season, with a demanding running session every week for 6 weeks, and two on court sessions per week since early in the new year. As they continue to adjust to what is required, get better at executing what the coach demands, and adapt to the addition of our import, things can only get better and we look forward to the Premier League season proper, commencing Sunday the 15th of March with an away game to Eastern, then our first home game at Hillcrest, Saturday the 21st of March at 8:15pm, v Woodville. Hoping to see you there.