Captains of Basketball Report
From the Co-Captains of Basketball, Luca Zanarini & James Foster
This week our junior teams had great performances with one of the best being the 8A’s, who enjoyed a 44-30 win with a 14-point performance from Jack Ringrose. The 9A’s had a 7-point win, lead by Eoin Morrissey. Unfortunately, the 10A’s lost by 9 points and the 7A’s by a mere 3 points.
Facing this week’s opponent St Aloysius’, the 2nd V players trained hard in the hopes of achieving a successful outcome. Running through plays and doing some conditioning training, they were fit and ready for their next challenge. Before the start of the game, the team had a quick talk and a walk through of their plays and tactics. From the tip-off, Waverley was off to a strong start, scoring some good inside shots and taking advantage of their opportunities. Ash Backlund opened up the scoring with 6 straight points for Waverley. However, this was soon matched as Waverley took it too easy with their transition defense and St Aloysius’ took advantage of turnovers, which saw them capitalise on some fast break points.
The first half was very close with each team scoring simultaneously. Towards the end of the half, after a time-out, Waverley fired up to finish strong, scoring on some of their own fast breaks off turnovers and taking advantage of shots they created from some good spacing. Waverley led 23-21 going into the second half. The second half began with Waverley’s momentum falling away as St Aloysius’ scored some quick points. However, the 2nd V players heated up and got their heads back into the game and again continued to run through their plays, smoothly creating more opportunities for some points to give them an advantage.
Heath Lawther scored multiple circus shots allowing for the 2nd V players to gain a comfortable lead. St Aloysius’ made one final push and scored only a few more points, however Waverley was able to maintain their momentum and finished off with their first win of the year, 40-32. Ash Backlund top scored with 10 points. The players put on a great performance and really showed improvement after last week’s tough loss, however they must keep it up for this Friday night’s game against Cranbrook.
This week the 1st V prepared for a game they had been waiting a long time for. It was an important game, heightened by the unfortunate narrow loss to St Aloysius’ in the third round of competition. The focus for the 1st team this week was to minimise fouls. They were also missing two players from the team in Alex Higgins-Titsha and James Foster, which would mean Waverley would have to play smarter defense. The opening tip resulted in an early St Aloysius’ basket, which was quickly answered with a three-point attempt from Ryan Abbott that fired up the team. Kyle Goulding and Ryan Abbott lead the scoring early in the first half with a several three point shots as well as a few strong drives towards the basket exposing the holes within St Aloysius’ defense. Waverley lead by 2 at the end of the first quarter, but needed to figure out how to stop key opposing players quickly.
The second quarter was filled with a dominant inside performance from Mike El-Haddad with several inside shots and post moves as his energy on defense forced several errors from the St Aloysius’ guards. Ryan Abbott continued where he left off in the first quarter with multiple baskets including another 3 point shot that would stretch Waverley’s lead to a comfortable 6 points at the half with the score at 34-28. Following the initial well-executed first-half performance, Waverley didn’t hold back and began to stretch their lead out to a substantial amount with Kyle Goulding making his way to the rim several times and drawing contact that resulted in free throws. St Aloysius’ called a time out to try combat Waverley’s seemingly instant offence, but Dion Hatziandreou continued to apply pressure with several layups inside.
The third quarter was a well-executed period with the score 48-45. The same could not be said for the fourth quarter with Kyle Goulding fouling out within the first two minutes of the quarter, leaving the 1st V with no point guards for the remainder of the game. Thankfully, Angelo di Bartolo stepped up and set the tone with some great passes and kept his composure for the time he played at this position. Captain, Jeremy Pertritsis, was keeping the team grounded and slotted in at point-guard to maintain a steady offence that would hold off St Aloysius’ late push due to further free throws resulting from an onslaught of fouls that were committed by Waverley. The game was closed out by Ryan Abbott and Luca Zanarini with some crucial free throws to seal the game. The 1st V had made drastic improvement from their first game against St Aloysius’ and we hope to carry the same level of energy and intensity into the Friday night game against Cranbrook.
From Convenor of Basketball, Anthony Gibbs
The 2nd V lost narrowly in their last outing against St Aloysius’ (59-54) and were looking to resurrect their season with a solid performance in their second matchup. The players showed a high level of purpose and intensity from the opening jump ball. Coach Mr Phil Noreika, applauded the players’ desire to dive on loose balls, crash the boards at both ends and contest jump shots. The 2nd V ultimately settled their score with St Aloysius’, defeating their opponents 40-32. Best on court were Ash Backlund, Mark Goncalves and Daniel Marando. The 2nd V are 3-4 for the season and will be confident in defeating Cranbrook for a second time when they face them again this week.
The 1st V also lost a close physical game against St Aloysius’ in the previous round (65-62). Down two players (James Foster and Alexander Higgins-Titsha), the 1st V needed to step up. Waverley gained the upper hand in the first quarter with St Aloysius’ in early foul trouble, however still struggled to convert easy points at the foul line. Ryan Abbott, fresh off a solid rebounding and outside shooting game against Knox, continued his form and helped the team in crucial possessions. The score at half-time was 34-28 in Waverley’s favour. The 1st V lost point-guard Kyle Goulding in the third quarter to fouls, which meant Angelo Di Bartolo needed to step in to fill the position in the absence of James Foster. Despite struggling early with the new setup, the players eventually gained the upper hand to secure the team’s fourth win of the season (63-57). Ryan Abbott, Hayden Walton and Luca Zanarini were best on-court. While pleased with the win, Coach Mr Johnny Jovine will be concerned about the 1st V’s free-throw shooting accuracy, their foul count and their split-line defense.
With 7 rounds completed, the 1st V have now won four games and sit third on the ladder. They will hope to pick up wins against Cranbrook and Trinity over the coming weeks before facing CAS favourites, Barker, who are undefeated, in the last round at home at Waverley.
This week sees the 1st and 2nd teams take on traditional local rivals Cranbrook on Friday night at Cranbrook. These games are always played in a great atmosphere and are generally close affairs. The players and coaching staff would appreciate support from Waverley students to assist them in getting over the line against a fired-up Cranbrook side defending their home turf. Game times are 6pm (2nds) and 7:15pm (1sts). Any Waverley student wishing to attend and spectate must wear full school uniform or sports uniform. Spectators must also ensure that their support is positive and appropriate at all times.
In other games, Waverley enjoyed considerable success against St Aloysius’ including winning games in the top 3 grades for the first time in many seasons and recording a clean sweep in the Year 9’s. The following teams recorded wins: 1st V (3-57), 2nd V (40-32), 3rd V (31-26), 10C (19-15), 10F (25-15), 9A (34-27), 9B (36-30), 9C (54-26), 9D (58-14), 9E (29-18), 9F (57-5), 8A (44-30), 8B (27-19), 8C (33-19), 8E (26-21), 8F (26-13), 7B (25-24), 7C (49-12), 7D (56-10), 7F (24-3) with the 7E’s drawing (20-all). Against Shore, the 9H’s drew (30-all), while the 8H’s won 20-16.
The Basketball Supporter Group is seeking help in staffing the BBQ this Saturday. If you are able to assist for an hour, please contact Mrs Sophia Hatziandreou at email@example.com.
The last round of games on Saturday 10 March sees a number of events occurring. This will be the last game representing the College for our Year 12 players and a special luncheon is being organised at the after-function for the 1st V by the Basketball Supporters Group to recognise their efforts. A reminder that the BBQ to welcome our new Year 7 players and their families was rescheduled to Saturday 10 March. The Basketball Presentation Night is also on Saturday 10 March. More details on the Presentation Night will be made available in the coming weeks.
The annual Basketball Supporter Group AGM will be held on Monday 12 March at 6pm in the Grange (entrance from 12 Carrington Road). All parents are welcome to attend.
Waverley Basketball is now using Team App to publish information such as scores, news, fixtures, team lists and announcements. Download the app and search for ‘Waverley College Basketball’ to receive notifications and updates.
Good luck to all teams against Cranbrook this weekend.