Dartford Lady Sharks Opening League Game

The long and awaited women’s league got underway this Sunday with Dartford’s first home fixture against Crawley.

We turned up at the gym with a fully kitted Crawley team already on the court and running through their training and warm up drills.  Some of the Dartford girl’s faces were a picture of sheer terror!!  Crawley looked like a very big and experienced team (the experience of the team would become apparent later).

Dartford were missing a few key players and have unfortunately lost their star shooter Stephanie which is a big loss for us, but moving forward, and after the initial shock of this well drilled Crawley team stood before them, began with high tempo and remained equal on the scoring front for quite some time during the first quarter but towards the end the experience of Crawley started to shine through.

Going in to the second quarter down by 7, Dartford were still confident but some cheap fouls and a number of ‘and 1’ opportunities put Crawley at the line a number of times costing us dearly.  Half time buzzer went and the score was 34-10 in favour of Crawley.

With some coaching help from Mthoko, one of Dartford very experienced men’s players, we changed up the defensive zone somewhat and put in some extra options on the offensive end.  The defensive change was really good and was noticeably making Crawley work harder but some communication was lacking on defence which led to some easy baskets being scored under the basket for Crawley.

The last quarter was probably our best quarter - we only lost it by 1 point.  But this was too little and too late.  The final score in no way reflected the way the game had been played.  What cost us were some simple mistakes due to us being a new team and these can easily be worked on and will be over coming weeks.  Hats off to Crawley who have some great players with great shooting ability.

So, earlier on in the report I said that the Crawley team had more experience than Dartford.  After the game I asked their captain how long they had all been playing.  I was shocked when she said that most of the team had played together for around 30 years and one was an ex Czech international.  This showed from the way they played and definitely gives us something to aspire to.

A great game had, lots to take away and very proud of all the girls who put in so much effort.  Special mention goes to Leonie, who had a great game scoring and on the boards (even if she did get fouled out in the third!), Catalina’s aggression and scoring prowess, and even Emily has started getting her muscle on inside the paint.  Marie, Tunde and Marichelle great as always (I still find it amazing the someone as small as Marichelle can win rebounds against someone over 6 foot), and thanks to Sammie for stepping in at late notice to give us the well needed boost on the bench.

Final Score : 26 – 61

Sharks Scorers : Catalina 11, Leonie 5, Tunde 5, Marie 4, Emily 1

October 9th, 2016 by Andrew Demmon