It’s always dangerous playing a team for the third time, especially when you’d beaten them the first two times (40-23 in the season opener and 42-29 three weeks ago). It was 100% guaranteed that they were going to be hungry for revenge, and likewise it was unavoidable that we would come out a little complacent.
And it showed. We weren’t terrible, mind you. Just kind of blah. Or maybe meh. (Bleh?). Conversely, our opponents were flying all over the court, sprinting in transition, making tough shots, switching defences every time down the floor, hitting unlikely buzzer beaters (that heave right before halftime was a killer…), and making all the key hustle plays. Les Carnicas obviously wanted this game more than the Red & White did (with one big exception, i.e. Craftsman Spark Plug Award winner Halle Khanna, whose energy and confidence were HUGE for us in that first half) and their intensity alone was keeping the game close. More than just close, in fact – after three quarters we were down 29-28. It was going to come down to the fourth quarter. Eight more minutes.
And that’s when your Spartans said, “Enough is enough.”
Defensively we got angry, pressuring the ball, stealing passes, ripping the ball out of our opponents’ hands (Melissa Kakayuk 7 steals!), diving on the floor and dominating the boards. When the dust cleared, we had held LaRuche to 2 points(!) in the quarter – what a lockdown!
And offensively, Sara Paquette (11 points, 6 rebounds, 5 steals) and Player Of The Game Siena Webster (12 pts 3 assists) sparked us to a 19-point explosion with a series of fast break layups and
3-point bombs that left Les Carnicas gasping for air and searching for answers.
In the end, with time running out and the momentum against us, your Spartans answered the bell with a 19-2 (!) fourth quarter that sealed this 47-31 victory. Most importantly, they showed what they can do when they really put their hearts into it.
But the uncomfortable question must be asked: where was that intensity the first three quarters? Depending on talent to win games instead of effort is a risky approach. In a season full of lessons learned, hopefully this one sticks – when we outwork our opponents, we are VERY tough to beat.
Especially with the two most important fixtures of the season around the corner, i.e. the Anderson-Bailly Small Schools Tournament this coming weekend, and the Visser-MacLeod Provincial Tournament the weekend after. The entire season has been a build-up to these two highlight events. Have we learned enough? Are we ready? Can we do this?
The Bailly starts this Friday. Here at home. A whole weekend in front of our friends and family.
Here we go!
- Coaches VD & W
The season so far
Overall Record: 16 wins 9 losses
RSEQ League Play: 6 wins 1 loss
Points for per game: 37.9 Points allowed per game: 28.5
Mtl Independent Schools Tournament Silver Medalists
Stanstead Invitational Tournament CHAMPIONS