I knew this past Saturday’s game was going to be eventful. Not only was I coaching it alone (Coach Van Dyke wasn’t able to make it), but we were playing at La Ruche, in a gym where we notoriously play poorly. I was admittedly a bit nervous, and to top it off I wasn’t even able to travel with the team to the game. This was going to be interesting!
The first time we played La Ruche , it was actually our first league game of the year – the game where we fell behind 17-2(!) in the first quarter. Back then there were lots of things we didn’t know how to do, and even with the things we knew we weren’t very confident. Three months later – how would we do?
Defensively, we came out with a new defence designed to make life difficult for La Ruche’s best shooter, but results were mediocre, so we reverted to our tried-and-true Spurs defence, which we played MUCH better than back in November. We were aggressive, we were confident, and the guards worked their tails off in not allowing drives, open perimeter shots or passes into the high post. Great work by everyone!
Offensively we were much, MUCH improved since our last meeting. In fact, we created so many good looks and short floaters and open mid-range jumpers and ran so many sweet pick-and-rolls that Les Carnicas eventually abandoned their go-to man defence in favour of some weird – but extremely effective – match-up zone. This is where another set of coaching eyes would have helped figure things out, but regardless, you girls played smart! You got good shots, especially from the high post, but they just didn’t go in.
Another thing I’m very proud of is how you handled the press! Full court pressure can be difficult and exhausting to deal with, but you broke it, ran the floor like we have been practicing and gave yourself opportunities to score. They took the press off for a reason.
In the end, the 40-32 loss against a very aggressive (they had 2x the number of fouls we did), fly-around-from-everywhere team is not too shabby, not at all. La Ruche is the type of high-energy team we haven’t played against in a long time, and you handled it so much better than last time. In fact, if a few more foul shots or short jumpers had gone in, who knows what the final score might’ve been? I guess we know what we need to work on in practice!
Good game, team, and I can’t wait to get on the bus to New Brunswick!