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Spartans News

SG Basketball: Improvement Noted

By Erik Van Dyke
Well, that was better. Much better. Starting right away with the warmup, we looked faster. More athletic. Ready to go. Passes were crisp, hands were sure and cuts were sharp, the kind where you hear the sneakers squeak on the floor. All of which carried over to the first quarter, and honestly, to the whole game. Last Thursday, we looked like we were moving in quicksand, but this past Tuesday vs Le Salesien we were purposeful for the full 32 minutes.

Was our emphasis on fitness in practice responsible? Partially. It’s easier to play smart and focused when you’re not exhausted, that’s for sure.
I also think we like playing in our own gym, in front of the home crowd. Getting ready in our own locker room, coming into Mackay, warming up with the Partybox – it all creates a good vibe.
In terms of the game itself, we did a lot of things right. First off, we easily handled their halfcourt trap, which is a HUGE upgrade from the last time we played them when their trap killed us. We were spaced better (we had prepared in practice the day before), and Mel made the right decision with the ball every time, creating layups for us and drawing fouls. In fact, we broke it so easily that they took the trap off in the second quarter and we never saw it again. Which is EXACTLY what a press break is supposed to do!
Defensively, we weren’t perfect in terms of rotations, but we were ACTIVE. Val had another disruptive game at the top, Maddie and Hayley jumped the passing lanes well, and Mel was in a rip-the-ball-right-out-of-your-hands mood. Best of all, we did not give up many easy looks against our half court defence. Our opponents had to take chances and be creative and twisty to get shots up, which meant that lots of their attempts were high difficulty, while other times we simply stole the ball when they tried to force it inside.
And offensively, we were calmer and more organized. While Salesien is quick and athletic, we’re bigger, and we used that to our advantage with a lot of solid post play. The guards did a good job finding Maddie and Hayley down low (19 points combined), and we got up a lot of nice, soft, short shots. Did they all go in? Of course not, but that is because we’re only one week back from vacation. A month from now, more of those are dropping, trust me.
Ultimately, despite the final 31-33 score, I would say we were a little unlucky to lose this one, as I felt we were the better team on the day. And let’s not forget, the last time we played them they smoked us 38-23 in a game we were never really in. But this time? A 2-point barnburner? Where bad bounces and bad calls and missed free throws cost us at least 10 pts? Yeah, I’ll take that improvement.
Which bodes well for this weekend, when we head to the big city for the Friday-Saturday overnight Montreal Independent Schools Tournament, which is always a highlight of the season.
Let’s build on this, ladies. Keep getting better. That’s the objective. Every time.
Coaches VD & W
The year so far…
Overall Record6 wins 7 losses      
RSEQ League Play:  2 wins  3 losses
Points for per game30.2     Points allowed per game29.1
CAIS Semifinalists