Girls: Handsworth vs. Archbishop Macdonald
The teams have both come out energetic, but a number of missed layups early has this looking like we are headed for a defensive match-up. As the first quarter continues on both teams have settled into this match-up and got more comfortable on the offensive end. The Royals have taken advantage of a height advantage and athleticism from their guards, which has turned into opportunities in the key and led to an early 7 point lead. Archbishop in their LA Lakers purple and gold are going to have to find their inner Kobe, or possibly their inner Robert Sacre, to get themselves back into this game. The Royals ability to push the ball in transition and beat Archbishop’s guards off the dribble has given Archbishop fits all quarter long - end of the first the Royals are up 10.
A few solid defensive possessions by Archbishop and deep threes from #11 Stocco and #8 Nagpal has not only got them back in the game, but tied the game at 21 midway through the second quarter. A renewed energy for the squad as the bench is loud, enthused and united as they chant “D-Fence, D-Fence, D-Fence”. The solid push from Archbishop has given them a 4 point lead heading into the half. A back and forth first half with each team having a dominant quarter has made this a real interesting match-up heading into the second half.
The three point ball has been a major factor in allowing Archbishop to get back into this game and earn their lead. The Royals are not going down easily, as an Aaron Rodgers like full court pass from Strigil leads to a wide open layup for Chubb. The Royals are banking on their transition game to get them easy buckets and keep this game tight. A couple of well executed sideline and end-line plays by the Royals has pushed them back into control with a 7 point lead. The ping pong match continues with each team going on runs that has resulted in a handful of lead changes thus far. Speaking of Robert Sacre - Strigil comes in flying on the help side D to send that layup attempt into the first row! Apparently that big block has not instilled the fear you might expect as Nagpal drove the lane right at Strigil to get the bucket and the foul for a three point play. Royals have been extending their lead all quarter long, but Nagpal finishes the quarter off with a buzzer beating three pointer - end of the third quarter: 59-43.
As the final quarter starts the pressure sits firmly on Archbishop’s shoulders to try and match their second quarter efforts. Aaron Rodgers, I mean Strigil, goes back to work early in the fourth quarter pushing the ball in transition and looking for her open receivers deep. The fast pace and aggressive defense from the Royals is taking its toll on Archbishop - the Royals are extending their lead and starting to make a comeback look unlikely for Archbishop. Even down 20 Archbishop is working hard on D and making the Royals earn each bucket. As an aside, both teams are rocking the ‘No Regrets’ custom basketball socks and they are looking fresh. A very entertaining start to an evening of basketball at Collingwood ends with the Royals taking down Archbishop with a final score of 75-49.