Boys: Rutland vs. Barker College (Australia)
Written by Scott Leigh, Handsworth Grad 2006
An out of town matchup featuring Rutland from Kelowna and Barker College from Sydney, Australia, is set to be an entertaining battle. Rutland is hoping their Golden State Warrior-like jerseys push their three point efficiency somewhere in the ballpark of where the Warriors operate. The Barker College Tourists on the other hand are hoping their inner Ben Simmons skills are on display tonight. Both teams have come to play as the Rutland Voodoos have a one point lead late in the fourth. Rutland continued to apply the pressure late in the first quarter and turned that into a 7 point lead at the end of one.
The Voodoos seem to have truly attempted to model their game after the Warriors as in the early parts of the game they have been unafraid to put up shots from behind the arc. Rutland has increased their lead to 22-11 and the Tourists’ plan of attack to get back into this game is to push, push, push the ball in transition. The cold temperatures the Tourists are facing here in Vancouver may be affecting their comfort level, as their typical December temperatures back home would be in the upper 30s… sounds more like surfing season than ski season. Barker College is working a zone press which is putting discomfort in the Voodoos operations, and led to a backcourt 10 second violation and provided a jolt of energy for the team. Barker College’s coach did seem somewhat perplexed by a new shot clock rule that was just implemented this season in high school basketball, but he did eventually accept the refs judgment, albeit reluctantly.
Halftime Fact 1: Short-shorts are back, and they are coming back with a vengeance. If you are not rolling up your basketball shorts to show some lower quad, are you really even competing?
Halftime Fact 2: A red kangaroo can reach speeds of over 35 miles an hour. Their bounding gait allows them to cover 25 feet in a single leap and to jump 6 feet high (credit: National Geographic).
#13 Porter for the Voodoos came out flying with a deep three and extended their lead to 18. The Tourists are well aware of the deficit and plan to counteract that by applying more pressure in both the half court and full court. The Tourists continue to struggle to hit their jumpers and are relying on offensive rebounds and second chances to get back into the game. #7 Nogajski for the Tourists just came flying down the court and jumped like a kangaroo to pin the Voodoos’ layup attempt on the backboard; maximum effort and disregard for his body. As the clock nears 9:30 pm, or 4:30 pm in Sydney, there are few fans left in the building, but the Barker College Junior Varsity team who are travelling with the Varsity team are vocal supporters. With a few moments left in the third quarter the lights in the gym inexplicably went out. I wish I could say it was because one of the teams has shot the lights out, but that has yet to be seen! At the end of three quarters Rutland is up 48-40.
Rumour has it #23 on the Tourists, Joey Hoover, was named Joey as in Joey a baby kangaroo… but he has been playing far from a baby tonight continuously pushing the ball and putting the D under pressure. A deep three from #04 Fortin has brought the Tourists within 4 points. Both teams have settled into zone D for the majority of the half as both teams have struggled to make the other team pay from deep. Fortin has been heating up down the stretch hitting a number of buckets to keep his team within striking distance. The Voodoos have missed four consecutive free throws which has allowed the Tourists to stay within one possession with under a minute and a half to go. A well executed sideline play gave the Voodoos a wide open layup to give them a 6 point lead with just seconds to go. A solid comeback attempt from the Tourists has fallen just short, with a final score of 65-57 in a very entertaining late evening match.