Great first game for the new and improved Sharks II

A new season. A new start. The anticipation for the first game on our road to redemption was palpable.

New faces joined the old, and a refreshed roster looked up to the task of an Iroquois team that proved us well-matched last season. After a campaign that I don’t think anyone would describe as “good”, Sharks II had something to prove, and the enemy in red sure smelt a lot like restitution.

As the whistle blew, the ball rose in the air for the tip. Time stood still as we pondered the outcomes of unplayed games, and dreamt of a season akin to Leicester City’s Premier League surprise… and I tried to figure out how many ways I could over-egg this particular pudding… Quite a few, it turns out. Quite a few.

The first quarter was the stuff of dreams. Sean opened up with a three, and followed it later in the quarter with another, showing that he hasn’t missed a step from his hot streak from beyond the arc last season. Then some new faces took on the scoring burden. Some crafty moves from Malcolm Wellby drew a couple of fouls to send him to the line, where he sunk 100% of his free throws, and Jake Bexx displayed a deft hand from mid-range with a long-2. And then there were the twins… I will come back to the twins...

Sharks ended the first quarter up by 13 points, and we felt good about it. Perhaps too good. A familiar feeling crept in during the second period, as Iroquois closed the gap to 2 points by half time, and the Sharks bench got quieter. It would have been a much uglier halftime score if not for the Lithuanian luminary down low, Mindy. Sabunas scored 10 straight points for the Sharks, including all 8 of our third quarter ones. He displayed a fantastic amount of drive and fight to keep the team going through a difficult quarter of pressing and high-intensity defence.

The third quarter was a closely fought affair - the lead changed hands a number of times, but we managed to halt our spiral into defeat and maintain our 2 point lead at the end of the third quarter behind a late burst of hustle from the resurgent Corey Grimes, leaping and bounding over taller players to grab rebounds and loose balls.

That energy became infectious. The final period opened with another hustle play from Corey, sending him to the line for 2. Then the twins took over. The Zaksas brothers, or the "Zak-splash Twins" if you will, combined in this game for a whopping 35 points, providing scoring prowess in symmetry from the wings. They were not only an offensive force, but gathered rebounds, steals and assists at a rate that would have pleased even the most hardened of box-score enthusiasts.

Sharks II outscored Iroquois  32-19 in the final quarter and sealed our first win of the season in our very first game. There is still a lot of season left ahead of us to play, but I think it’s safe to say we are all feeling pretty positive about this outcome, and are looking forward to the next game.

I will end on a "Good Luck" note to Sean, who is taking some time out for surgery. We will miss your 3-point prowess and hard fouls, so rest up and get back soon!

Final Score : 79 - 64

Sharks Scorers : Zaksas Z 20, Zaksas M 15, Sabunas 10, Grimes 6, Plail 6, Bexx 5, Wellby 4, Kierstyn 4, Trubicinas 2

September 29th, 2016 by Jack Allen