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Spartans News

SG Basketball: Messy, messy, messy

By Erik Van Dyke
The last RSEQ game of the year, against Le Salesien on their home floor, was one of those games I just don’t like that much, i.e. non-stop full court pressure with loose reffing. Which means our ballhandlers are constantly being ridden downcourt and there is body contact on every single play. Which means every time you have the ball you have two to four hands reaching in to grab it from you with no fear of a foul (in fact, Clara’s father spent most of the game yelling “Hands! Hands!” from the sideline). Which means the game is a haphazard track meet where everything is rushed and improvised and messy, the way basketball is probably played in prison. And the main problem with prison basketball is that you don’t learn very much in terms of technique or strategy. It’s a battle of athleticism. It’s roller derby.
Well, actually, there is one important thing to learn in games like these: how to compete. How to deal with constant pressure. How to play through non-calls and attack so strongly that the ref has to blow the whistle.
In that respect, I am happy with this game, despite the 44-31 loss because we competed, and we did a much better job accepting and dealing with the loose reffing than we did the last RSEQ game vs La Ruche (where players and coaches were much too preoccupied with whining about the refs).
That is not to say that we were very good, because we weren’t. You could tell we’d had a three-day tournament on the weekend. Our legs were heavy. Our hands were bad. We were slow. We were legitimately tired.
But we gave what we could. Positives that stick out for me were Hayley’s free throw shooting (5 for 7), Zoey’s back-to-back early-offence layups, Halle’s disruptive defence, and the unscheduled stop at McDonald’s (Halle should go into law). Negatives? Just one, but it was a big one, i.e. Maddie breaking her finger – a different one this time – just two days before the MacLeod. Will she be able to play in the biggest tournament of the year? And if so, how compromised will she be?
Oh, and one other thing I’ll never forget, i.e. earning the third technical foul of my career when Clara subbed in without reporting to the scorer’s table first. Just hopped right in directly from the bench – “bench technical” charged to the coach! And yes, Clara, it will be a loooonnng time before we let you live that one down!
So endeth our RSEQ season, one that was very mediocre in terms of wins (5) and losses (7), but one that served its purpose in that it taught us how to play fast and tough and fearless. Those games turned us into a legitimate D3 team, one with a real shot at the MacLeod Provincials two days from now.
Let’s see if we can make some noise…!
- Coach Van Dyke