ROCKET BOYS GO 2 AND 0 ON THE WEEKEND
In the second game of the weekend double-header, any concerns of lethargy were dispelled quickly as the North Adelaide Men’s Premier League team averaged 30 points a quarter to run out winners against a very competitive South team 120-108 on Sunday at Hillcrest.
Unfortunately MVP against Forestville the previous evening, Ray Harding was unavailable, but in some good news, Alex was “suiting” for the game, and he was joined by Brad, Adam, Leroy and Aric, in a first five that got off to a quick start. Brad continued his recent good form with three of the first four baskets, two of them being big “3’s”, helped by Leroy and Alex both chipping in to give the Boys an early 12-11 lead, over South, who had also started well. Alex scored the next 6 points with some excellent individual efforts, followed by Aric with a layup, and suddenly it was 20-13 and the Boys were looking good. Things were going well on the scoreboard, but Aric picked up his 3rd foul on an offensive charge, and Adam had picked up his second earlier, limiting their opportunities going forward. Jordan Murphy had to come in sooner than expected and showed his experience, running the team well from the point. South did close the scores to 20-19, but an excellent finish to the quarter, with a 10-4 run, off the back of baskets to John, Darcy and Alex, saw the score at 30-23 and confirmed an offensive approach to the game from both teams. Brad had 10 points and Alex had 8, with Alex also leading the way on the rebound count with 5.
The 2nd was again a high scoring affair with both teams shooting well and by half time the score was 59-53, with both Coaches appreciating the offensive output, but probably a little concerned at the defensive end. Adam started the 2nd and scored quickly, followed by scores to Alex and Darcy, then Darcy again and the difference was 10 (38-28). The 10 point lead continued for a while as the teams traded baskets, then South had a run of their own to close it to 40-36, with some excellent outside shooting. Darcy hit a “3” then a couple of free throws from Aric again got the scoreboard ticking, but South, mainly through Caleb Davis (who had 4 x 3 pointers by half time), kept themselves close enough to be a concern. Aric, despite his three fouls came back in and had a good quarter with 7 points, as did Darcy who had 10. The six point lead was reflective of the effort from both teams and suggested a good second half was on the cards.
The Boys started the 3rd exactly like the 2nd with some quick scores and again had the lead at 12 (70-58), off the back of scores from John, Alex, Leroy and a big dunk from Aric. But, again South came back through outside shooting (eight 3’s by the end of the 3rd quarter), and kept themselves in touch at 78-71 with just over three minutes to go. Darcy then stepped up, scoring the next 7 points, Alex scored a couple of free throws and Brad hit on a nice 2, and suddenly the difference was 16 at 88-72 with a minute left on the clock. Sadly in that last minute South hit two 3’s, thankfully followed by a nice tip in on the buzzer from Adam and the score at the last break was 90-78. We were shooting at an incredible 56% from the field (34 of 61), confirming what had been a very team oriented game and plenty of layups and shots from inside the key.
South started the last with two 3’s (remembering their last two shots of the 3rd were also 3’s) and again gave themselves a sniff of a chance, but steadying baskets from Leroy and Darcy saw the score at 92-81 with less than a minute gone in the last, so plenty of time. Again South scored from well outside the key, and managed to reduce the difference to just 5 with eight and a half minutes to play!! Darcy and Brad scored again, South continued to shoot from distance and baskets were traded for a few minutes, with the difference narrowed to just 4 with six minutes left. A Leroy basket with 5 minutes 47 seconds left saw North hit 100 (certainly a record for the season), but it was of little comfort as South continued to plug away, shoot well and keep themselves in touch. They got it back to 5 again with three and a half minutes to go, but that was as close as it was to get, with Jordan hitting a 2, Alex getting a tip-in and Leroy a layup off an Alex steal and a Jordan assist to get it back to 10. South then had to foul to give themselves a chance, with Leroy (4 of 4) and Brad (2 of 2) scoring from the free throw line to finish the game off.
Final score 120-108, with Darcy helping himself to 27 points, 1 rebound, 3 assists; Alex had 24 points, 15 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals; Brad had 21 points, 5 rebounds, 5 assists and a steal; Leroy had 20 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a blocked shot; Adam had 6 points, 4 rebounds and an assist; John had 6 points and 3 rebounds, whilst Jordan had 2 points, 1 rebound and 3 assists in his most productive opportunity this year.
BIG game next week, against Southern at Noarlunga, and the opportunity to make a big statement to the rest of the league. Should be a cracker and well worth the trip.