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Spartans News

SG Basketball: Doing More Things Right

By Erik Van Dyke
I can’t say for sure how all of their games have gone this season, but I’m pretty sure that La Ruche, undefeated and undisputed league leaders in RSEQ D3 this season, haven’t had many games as tough as their game against your Stanstead Spartans last Wednesday.
Better prepared than last time, playing at home, and with Melissa back at point guard, the girls gave Les Carnicas all they could handle for three quarters, so much so that their coach gave me a long, respectful look in the handshake line after the game, silently praising how hard we played and how much we’d seemingly improved in a week. Specifically:
  • Our defence was locked all the way in, boy. Hayley and Maddie were rotating and rebounding machines, while Camryn, Val, Mel and Halle were flying around, challenging every lane, forcing Laruche into risky passes and hurried shots. How good were we? How about only ten points(!) allowed in the entire first half, to the best offence in the league! That, friends and neighbors, is a prison-Level lockdown.
  • We handled their full-court pressure so much better than last time that they actually took it off in the second quarter and fell back to a conservative 2-3 zone. There is no better gauge of your press-break than when your opponents stop pressing. Big victory there for the Red & White.
  • We got back on defence way, WAY better. We gave up over 30 fastbreak points last time we played them. This time? Less than 10. Excellent discipline from the guards, getting back.
  • Finally, we played tough, big girl basketball. La Ruche is fast and physical, and the reffing was loose, so every single play, every drive, every loose ball, every rebound, was like combat. And the players did not back down. Yes, we got scratched and bruised and bloodied – Camryn’s jersey had to be washed twice to get the blood out – but we did not back down. Fought to the end.
Ultimately, we ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. We couldn’t maintain the huge amount of effort it takes to keep up with the best team in the league, our defensive intensity slipped a notch, and La Ruche took full advantage, pouring in 20 fourth-quarter points to win going away, 47-29.

But for three quarters, La Ruche was concerned. They were nervous. It is a credit to their players and coaches that their relentless speed and pressure ultimately won them the day, but make no mistake, we got their attention.

Which is a great way to go into the most important stretch of the season. The Anderson-Bailly this weekend, and the Visser-MacLeod next weekend. These are the tournaments we have been preparing for all season long. And I like the way we’re trending. Let’s see what we can do.
 - Coach Van Dyke

The year so far…
Overall Record15 wins 12 losses      
RSEQ League Play:  5 wins  5 losses
Points for per game31.3     Points allowed per game27.1
CAIS Semifinalists