Sharks win a game of 8 quarters

Ok well perhaps not, but with just 6 teams in Division 2 this season a new fixture list was released by the league which sees everyone play against each other 3 times instead of the usual 2. Following our first game of the season against Bromley Vets we now faced back to back home games against the Crows. The challenge for us was to try and make sure they were sick of the sight of us by the end to give us the momentum to take into the away fixture later in the season.

16th November - Sharks II v Crows (Game 1)

With a near full squad expectation was high as we looked to add to our first win of the season. Defensively we opted to go man for man and press on a score as we wanted to keep the intensity up as this had proved successful more often than not last season. 1st quarter down and at 15-10 it wasn't a bad start so we saw no reason to change it in the next. Towards the end of the 2nd we had stretched the lead to 15 and were mixing up the scoring inside and out to keep the Crows guessing our next move.

A half time lead of 36-22 should have given us the confidence and composure to extend this further after the break but a couple of areas were still letting us down. We had started to pick up too many cheap fouls several of which saw them visit the foul line. Also our decision making on offense left a lot to be desired at times as we were rushing plays and veering away from the high percentage shots that had been working earlier in the game.

Crows were getting back into the game and every time we started to pull away again they kept coming back. With 4 minutes left our lead had been cut to 1 and foul trouble was making for a tight finish. A better spell from us put us 8 up with a minute and a half to go. A timeout was called to refocus and ensure we could see out the win. We were successful this time but on another day it could have been different as Crows failed to capitalise from the foul line converting just 10 from 29. If we could just find a way to translate our efforts into a result at both ends of the court more consistently then we will start to reap the rewards this season.

Final score: 62-56

Sharks scorers: Striupaitis 16, Zaksas Z 15, Sabunas 7, Grimes 6, Zaksas M 6, Smith 4, Stopford 4, Laudams 2, Mphahlele 2

30th November - Sharks II v Crows (Game 2)

After a fortnight to reflect and prepare tonight was our chance to show what we had learned from our last encounter. Good discipline in defense would be key to building on this in the front court. Starting with a zone straight away things were looking more ordered as Crows kept coming up against a brick wall and we looked to break off this.

With an overall much improved performance we were starting to take control of the game and wear out Hazel's pen for the right reasons this time. Our biggest challenge started to be how to get everyone involved in the game as with 11 players tonight we had plenty of options off the bench with fresh legs any time people were beginning to tire. 

Ahead 40-15 at the half and fully committed to seeing out the game on top we upped the intensity and switched to a man press. Steals aplenty were helping to add to our now commanding total and we were able to rotate to give the whole bench a run out. The game plan was working and while in the last meeting things were much closer and we shared the quarters 2 apiece, tonight we were able to win all 4 and take the game with it in some style. If at times in the first game we were running scared then by the end of the second I think you could say we murdered them Crows! 

Final score: 74-35

Sharks scorers: Zaksas Z 19, Zaksas M 13, Striupaitis 9, Sabunas 8, Mphahlele 8, Brimble 7, Stopford 5, Plail 3, Grimes 2

Up next: Bromley II away...

November 30th, 2017 by Alex Stopford