First away game – finally! The Red & White were going on the road to Richmond, Que. to take on the Raiders. We’d learned a lot about ourselves over the weekend at our home invitational, and the Monday and Tuesday practices had been productive, so I was quietly confident. We’d added a couple of plays, and most importantly we were going to be more organized in transition. I liked our chances.
And as expected, we ran the floor MUCH better. We got out quick, we ran the right lanes, and we consistently caught Richmond on their heels. We also dominated defensively, as the Raiders tried everything to create good shots against our zone, but to no avail. We had them right where we wanted them.
Except for the fact that we couldn’t rebound. Or, you know, shoot.
In a bricklaying exhibition that hasn’t been seen since the construction of the pyramids, your Spartans took 20 open shots (give or take) in the first quarter and made two. This produced 18 opportunities (give or take) for offensive rebounds, of which we grabbed zero. The second quarter was more of the same, prompting the coaches to mutter, “Are we EVER going to get an offensive rebound?” about 50 times.
Give or take.
But lockdown defence and inspired transition basketball took us home, especially in the
second half. With Rosema Lefebvre (a game-high 15 pts) the only Spartan able to hit a jump shot (including two 3s), Camryn Moore’s and Maddie Lippmann’s disruptive defense, Player Of The GameTM Melissa Kakayuk-Antoine’s all-around contributions, and a team-wide commitment to pushing the ball at every opportunity, the Red & White pulled away in the second half. The TSN Turning PointTM came midway through the third quarter when Melissa set up two perfect fast break layups in a row for 4 quick points – this extended our lead, energized the team, and we never looked back. From that point on every player was more active on D and hungrier for loose balls, and a fourth-quarter lineup featuring Tere Calva (her best game of the season), Camryn, Gloria Riddell, Hayley Wolfe and Avah St-Pierre found some nice chemistry and wrapped up the 27-10 win with a great final 8 minutes.
But serious questions still surround this team: what is it with Gloria and McFlurries? Which Space Jam is better? (Just kidding, Avah, we all know that answer!) Was that Tere posing after her made free throw? are Siena’s hands still shaking? And, of course, the most important question – which SC student looks the most like Troy Bolton?
Ladies, that was a seriously enjoyable first road trip. I liked what we did in transition, and I LOVED the team vibe in McDonald’s and on the bus.