Boys Semi-Final: Handsworth vs. Rutland

In semi-final action at Collingwood, local team Handsworth Royals take on out-of-towners Rutland Voodoos. 6 minutes in, the game was tied at 6, but thanks to offensive rebounding from Royals #10 Scott Watson, Handsworth went up by 2. Rutlands #13 Porter would return with a three, and Rutland would get a stop, and #13 would drain another two, giving them a lead of three with 4 minutes to go in the first quarter. Handsworth seems to have a mismatch inside with their #21 being guarded by Rutland's much shorter #5, Young, but they can't seem to capitalize off of it. Instead, the Royals outside shooting helped take them into the lead 17-11. Handsworth's #11 would make a steal for an easy lay-in.  A defensive stop by the Royals would keep them up 19-11 at the end of the first quarter. 

Number 11 from Handsworth would continue to dominate, and some careless turnovers by Rutland allowed Handsworth to build a bigger lead, in part thanks to the Royal's #9 drained three. Rutland would end Handsworth's 9-0 run coming out of the first quarter, but the balls just don't seem to be dropping for the Voodoos. With 5 minutes to go in the first half, Handsworth leads 27-15. 

Royal's #21 would sink a lay-in and head to the line for a third try, but wouldn't score. This gave Handsworth a 14 point lead. An in-and-out three pointer from Rutland's #13 Porter wouldn't help Rutland's dry spell. A technical foul assigned to Royal's #6 would send Porter to the line, closing the gap to 10. Two threes in a row for Rutland's Porter closed the game to 5, as Rutland's bench became more animated, chanting "defense, defense". A costly turnover followed by a foul from Royal's #12 would send the Voodoos, in bonus, to the line. Halftime Score: 

Handsworth Royals 39- Rutland Voodoos 35. 

Rutland Coach's half-time speech must have worked, because Rutland came out with a plan, coming to within one of Handsworth 4 minutes into the third. However, Handsworth would take flight, and with 1 minute to go in the quarter were leading by 16. The score at the end of the third quarter: Handsworth 61-Rutland 45. 

Handsworth started to get frustrated, committing careless fouls in Rutland's transition after their own missed shots. This time, the shots just didn't seem to be dropping for Handsworth and Rutland would go on an 8-2 run since half bringing them to within 8 of the Royals. With 4 minutes to go in the game, an acrobatic lay-in by Voodoo's #5 Young would bring them within 6, as Rutland's valiant effort to close the gap continues. A careless turnover by the Royals and drained three for Porter has Rutland trailing by just one point with 3 minutes to go in this semi-final game. 

Handsworth committed an offensive foul, giving Rutland the chance to take the lead late in the game with 1 minutes to go. A long three from Porter wouldn't drop, and with 25 seconds to go, Rutland was forced to foul Handsworth's #10 Scott Watson. Scott drained one, taking Handsworth up by a safe 4 points with 15 seconds to go. It took about 8 seconds for Rutland to foul Handsworth again, sending Watson to the line again, who would drain 1 with 0.3 seconds left. 

Final Score: Handsworth 75-Rutland 70

Jamie Keast