Little did we know, walking triumphantly off the court at Triolet last November, that it would be 86 days(!) before we would play another actual basketball game. Are we finally done with COVID now?
But was it ever worth the wait. The energy during warmup was contagious, the players were excited and looked great in their home whites, and as the bleachers filled up during the first half, you could feel Mackay waking up. So good to be back!
As expected, your Spartans started slowly – it’d been a while. Flat-footed and not totally committed on defence, hesitant on offence, and just plain slow in transition, i.e. jogging the lanes instead of sprinting. Without creating turnovers on defence, the first half turned into one of those lifeless slogs where each team walks the ball down vs the other team’s zone, chucks up a shot, misses, goes back on defence, rinse and repeat. It also didn’t help that Richmond was playing a zone we had not designed an offence for, so all the work we’d put in preparing for a 2-3 zone was no help at all. Down 11-8 with a minute left in the first half, things looked bleak.
But Avah St-Pierre – who was high-energy all game – gave her team a jolt with two sweet fast break finishes to give us the lead and the momentum going into halftime, a halftime that the coaching staff used to install a new offence vs the Raiders’ 3-2 zone.
An offence that worked kinda perfectly, if you don’t mind me sayin’, as Player Of The GameTM Rosema Lefebvre went nuclear with 14 third-quarter points, featuring four(!) three-pointers and a highlight reel fast-break reverse layup that energized the fans and motivated her teammates. Now we were deflecting balls on defence (Avah, Camryn, Tere, Maddie, Gloria), now we were fighting for loose balls (Julia, Neva, Hayley, beast-mode Laura), now we were confidently taking shots in the offence (Melissa, Hayley, Julia, Neva) and now we were getting out in transition, especially Julia and Laura who pulled off two pretty give-n-go’s in a row before RRHS could get back on D.
How much better did we play? Losing 11-8 in the second quarter, the Red & White went on a 33-6 run over the next quarter and a half to totally put the game away. 33-6! That, my friends, is insane, and is an indicator of how well your Spartans CAN play when firing on all cylinders. Final score 45-26 for the good guys.
But there is still much work to do. Life is easy when jump shots go in, but hitting outside shots consistently isn’t sustainable. We’ve got to create more easy points from offensive rebounding and transition and hustle if we want to get to the next level. We know what to work on.
Next up – Du Phare. This Friday, at home. Friday Nite Lights.
Siena – this one’s for you.
Coaches Van Dyke & Wolfe
The year so far….
Overall Record: 4 wins 5 losses
RSEQ League Play: 3 wins 2 losses
Points for per game: 31.4 Points allowed per game: 28.6