Men's Premier League Report v Norwood
MEN’S PREMIER LEAGUE TEAM ARE STILL THE CARDIAC KIDS!!
Well what a finish. The Men’s Premier League game against Norwood on Saturday night was on a knife edge, 1 point down, 1.5 seconds to go and Alex on the foul line for two shots!! Those of you that were there know that he hit both, putting us a point up, with Norwood taking a time out and blood pressure rising through the stadium. Some excellent defensive pressure, firstly on the in-bounder, then on the shooter saw the boys win the game by the barest of margins at 78-77, with the big crowd enjoying the moment.
This week Aric led the scorers with 22, Leroy had 19, Alex 18 and Brad Jonnek 9, so good to see that opposition teams will have to cope with different players stepping up each week.
Starters were the same as the previous week with Adam, Leroy, Darcy, Alex and Aric taking the floor. The game started tentatively, with both teams missing shots, but of more concern for us was the fact we had 3 turnovers in the first two minutes and there was a definite lack of rhythm. The first basket wasn’t until the 7 minute 40 seconds to go mark when Leroy hit a nice jumpshot on a pass from Darcy. Then Alex had a big dunk on a pass from Aric on an out of bounds play and we were up and about. Leroy then had a great patch where he hit 3 jumpshots in a row, but turnovers continued to plague us with 5 for the quarter, giving Norwood more opportunities than we would have preferred. John Wernham (in his 100th game) came in for Adam and had an immediate impact with a nice tip in off an offensive rebound, a blocked shot, a strong defensive rebound and he went to the line for a couple of free throws, having been fouled. Also good to see Ray Harding and Brad Jonnek get an early opportunity to get themselves into the game and they both contributed positively to proceedings. The score at the end of what was a hard fought quarter was 21-20 and whilst most of the statistics were generally in our favour, it was obvious this was going to go down to the wire.
Norwood scored immediately upon the restart and took the lead, but a three by Aric saw the Rockets back in front before a two minute dry spell from the boys saw Norwood in front again. Brad who is always active on the offensive boards, then used his body well, secured a rebound and scored. Both sides then made several substitutions as they searched for the right combination, but the defensive pressure was up and scoring was difficult. Brad continued to have a good quarter with 7 points and 2 rebounds whilst Aric scored 5 points. At the long break, the score was 37-40 and statistically things got much closer. We led the rebound count 23-22, but had thrown the ball away 8 times and were shooting poorly from the free throw line making just 3 of 11 attempts.
The third saw Coach Hawkes start with a smaller line up, with Alex, Leroy, Aric, Ray and Brad looking to get things rolling early. Leroy and Aric kept the scoreboard ticking but to their credit, Norwood kept the pressure on, and with half the quarter gone they still led, albeit by just 1 point at 50-51. Some excellent ball movement saw Leroy score twice on two very nice assists from Alex and Adam, whilst on the boards, Alex with 12, Leroy with 6 and Brad with 4 led the way. The three quarter time score was 57-61 and there was work to do in the last if the boys were to continue with their unbeaten start to the season.
So four points down at the start of the fourth quarter. Norwood were in their zone and Darcy hit a big 3 to make it 60-61 on an assist from Ray following some good ball movement. Then suddenly we were 5 down on a couple of simple baskets from Norwood, before Aric stepped up and took control for a few minutes, making two big 3’s and Adam made a nice layup, again after some good ball movement and an assist from Darcy. The score was 68-65 with just less than six minutes to go. Norwood chipped in for another couple of scores but once again Aric showed his shooting ability with two more big 3’s (that’s four in less than three minutes) to make the score 74-70 with four minutes to go and the crowd roaring!! However with Norwood in the bonus, and several fouls being called, they got themselves to the line and managed to get in front 76-77 with 1 minute 56 seconds to go. The clock ticked to just 25 seconds to go, we were 1 point down and Norwood had the ball. A foul was called so two shots to the Flames but they missed both, Ray Harding secured the rebound, was fouled, and the boys had one last chance to secure the win. Being Norwood’s 4th foul for the quarter the ball was going to be taken from the side when Coach Hawkes called a time out and drew up the final play. A nice execution saw the ball delivered to Alex inside the key, he scored but it was waved away and a foul called for two shots, (thankfully we were in the bonus), with 1.5 seconds remaining. Lucky Alex had the coolest head in the house, took a breath and hit both, so 1 point up. Norwood called a time out obviously planned a particular play, but to no avail and the boys held on to win by 1 in a very exciting finish.
Statistically Aric had 22 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists and scored on 60% of his 3 point attempts (6/10); Leroy had 19 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block; Alex had 18 points, 18 rebounds, 2 assists and a steal, (interestingly he was also fouled 8 times), Brad had 9 points and 4 rebounds.
Great win, good start to the season and now (unfortunately) we have a short break until the week after Easter, but we play three games quickly with Sturt on the 22nd at Pasadena, Eastern on the 25th (ANZAC Day 3:15pm at Hillcrest) and Centrals on the 29th at Starplex. Hopefully we will see you then.