Boys: Barker College (Australia) vs. STM

Written by: Scott Leigh, Handsworth Grad 2006

G’day mate, how ya going… could I interest you in a few shrimp on the barbie? If you’re Barker College you may be a little jet legged, but mostly thrilled to be playing basketball on the other side of the world. The ‘No Regrets’ Basketball Tournament is thrilled to have Barker College here competing at the 2018 Tournament. 

Based on Barker College’s twitter feed, @BarkerCollege, the team has been enjoying their time here in Vancouver, even taking a moment out of their busy schedule to snap a quick pic in front of the infamous steam clock in Gastown. Fun fact - Barker College does not have a nickname, so we will refer to them as the Barker College Tourists. 

St. Thomas More has come out of the gates willing to match the intensity of the Tourists, and #10 Dante Di Girolamo has opened up the game with the Knight’s first 5 points. The pace of the game is quick with both teams pushing the ball and looking for opportunities in transition. Some three quarter court zone pressure from the Aussies forced the Knights to slow down and work the half court offence. 

Barker College is relentless on D, constantly putting pressure on the Knights and making each pass a difficult one. They also have a smooth flowing offence in line with the international game. STM has got comfortable as the game continues and have been on a nice run that has given them a 2 point lead late in the first quarter. 

A game of runs, and now it’s Barker College’s turn. A few easy buckets in transition has allowed the Tourists’ to earn their lead back, going up 24-16 midway through the second quarter. The height advantage for the Tourists has given them an edge on the boards, now with a handful of offensive rebounds leading to put-back layups. The endless pressure D and a hard-working Australian mentality has extended the lead for the Tourists to 14 points at half: 37-23.

Halftime Fact: This is the start of a North American journey for Barker College as they will continue on to Seattle, Portland and then Palm Springs after the ‘No Regrets’ Tournament… yes Palm Springs, well known for their competitive retirement recreational league basketball. 

A hard but fair mid-court screen by Branagh Walsh to start the half has left #3 Alden D-souza in a daze, but in true Australian fashion Walsh was quickly over to check on his competitors health. Barker College’s ability to seamlessly switch their type of defense has the Knights on their heels, constantly analyzing and questioning what sort of defense they will face next possession. More than anything the Tourist’s ability to use their height and seal their opponents down-low is leading to layups, which has extended their lead to 22 at the end of the third quarter. 

The Tourists have a much smaller bench than the Knights, but apparently they have eaten their fair share of meat pies before heading to Canada as they do not appear to be low on energy. St. Thomas More has not lost this game because of a lack of effort. They have been working hard on both ends of the court, but they happened to face a bigger and stronger team on this night. Final score: 73-44.

An exciting and eventful first day of the ‘No Regrets Basketball Tournament’ - see you all tomorrow for another evening of entertaining basketball!

No Regrets. 

Jamie Keast