From the Co-Captains of Basketball, Luca Zanarini & James Foster
Captains of Basketball Report
This week’s opponent Trinity gave the Waverley junior teams some challenging games. The 7A’s had great success as they managed to showcase the skills they have developed over the past few weeks and took out an 18-point win. The 8A’s however, were not able to compete against a strong Trinity side, losing by 25 points. The 9A’s also struggled, losing a player early on in the game and despite some good defensive efforts, fell short, losing by a 20-point margin. Fortunately, the 10A’s pulled through in a big game, running through plays and working well together which lead them to a 34-point win with Keilan Grace scoring 25 points.
With the 2nd V trying to grab another win this week against Trinity, they came in determined and firing. From tip off, Waverley started strong driving into the paint and drawing fouls. Sam Frazer and Stevie Morrissey opened the scoring, however was countered by some good offensive sets by Trinity. Trinity continued to catch up and developed a lead with some good shooting, but Mark Goncalves was able to get to the free throw line and convert many of his free throws, putting Waverley back into the game. With the end of the half approaching, Trinity hit some back-to-back 3 pointers which gave them the momentum to lead 28-21 at half time. Waverley had to figure out a new game plan which would give them the edge. After running over some new plays and sets, the second half started. Waverley continued to draw fouls getting some quick and easy points. However, Trinity got some key stops, taking advantage of fast break opportunities, which maintained their lead by 10 points. With one final push, Waverley got some important points, narrowing the margin, but this was not enough to stop Trinity’s momentum. Mark Goncalves and Ash Backlund combined for 15 points, but Waverley lost 51-42 at full time. The 2nd V boys will need to work hard this week to try get a win in the final game of the season against Barker, which will also be the final game for Waverley for the Year 12 players.
This week the Waverley 1st V had their last away game for the season and for the Yr 12’s, their last away game ever. As the seniors reflected on their time over the seasons, it was a sad thought to think that this would be our last game wearing the blue and gold stripes playing away. We were constantly reminded of the significance of our final away game and this sparked a desire that cannot be explained as the younger boys made it clear that they wanted to make this season a memorable one for the Yr 12 players. As we walked out and began our warmup there was a sense of accomplishment and realisation that our season was nearly over. The boys then carried out their routine and headed to the bench for one of many speeches and game plans this season. The whistle blew and the ball was tipped and Waverley converted through one of many baskets from Alex Higgins-Titsha. Higgins-Titsha then Scored 5 straight points after his initial basket giving Waverley an early lead. Having both Waverly’s key bigs on at the same time allowed Ryan Abbott to work and score back to back baskets, further increasing the gap between Trinity and Waverley.
Kyle Goulding and Luca Zanarini also added to the scoring along with some impressive shooting by Angelo Di Bartolo resulting in an 8-point lead at the end of the 1st quarter with the score 29-21. In the 2nd quarter Waverley’s aim was to apply more pressure and chase another victory on the road. At the start of the 2nd quarter Waverley adjusted with a few early baskets with a notable scoring outburst from Dion Hatziandreou as well as a few more baskets from Higgins-Titsha saw Waverley stretch the Trinity defense early in the quarter. As a result of this Trinity had to use their timeouts early and change up their press due to the fast paced style of play that Waverley implemented. Even after the timeout that aimed to slow the Waverley offense down, Higgins-Titsha and Abbott kept applying the pressure to the defense allowing for some baskets from Mike El-Haddad and Goulding that saw the lead becoming larger and larger due to the defensive effort from Waverley.
By the end of the 2nd quarter Waverley lead by 14 with the score at 36-50. In the third quarter Higgins-Titsha continued to push to increase his scoring tally as well as stretch the lead. Goulding and James Foster had some nice outlet passes setting up Di Bartolo, Hatziandreou, Jacob Gibson and Hayden Walton whilst getting the whole team involved on the offensive side of the ball. This led to an increase in morale due to the whole team firing on all cylinders and running up the score at an alarming rate, scoring 28 points in the quarter as well as increasing the lead by 23 points with the score at 78-55. The 4th quarter had Waverley searching for another 100 pts on the scoreboard as well as a win on the road. Di Bartolo began to lead the charge towards 100 by hitting another three points that would bring Waverley closer to their 100-point goal. Higgins-Titsha and Goulding continued to work together with several connections between the two players resulting in a bunch of points throughout the quarter. Zanarini secured a fast break layup pushing the 1st V to 99 points with 30.1 seconds remaining on the clock.
It became evident that Trinity did not want Waverley to reach 100-points and tried to hold the ball and waste the majority of the shot clock, however this wasn’t enough as Jeremy Petritsis was sent to the line after converting on a layup and sealed the game with a successful free throw. With this final effort pushing Waverley to a 102-69 victory. With a 33-point victory under their belt Waverley aim to seek revenge on Barker and remain undefeated at home. The 1st V is energised to finish on a high note for the senior boys as it will be their last game wearing the stripes and have the goal of continuing to protect their home court.
From Mr A Gibbs, Convenor of Basketball
In their previous outing, the 2nd V had lost 39-27 to Trinity and were looking to make amends and build on their two game winning streak. Waverley began well, but Trinity were not going to go down without a fight with their point guard being active in pushing the ball and scoring on numerous occasions. The score at half-time was 28-21 in Trinity’s favour. Trinity stretched their lead even further, however the 2nd V were able to reel Trinity back and stay within striking distance, however it was not enough to overhaul them eventually losing by 9 points, 51-42. Best on court were Mark Goncalves, Daniel Callaghan and Samuel Frazer.
The 1st V had defeated Trinity in the previous round 76-57 at Waverley and were confident of repeating the result away at Summer Hill in the return fixture. With a full-strength team, the 1st V began slowly offensively, but played solid defense. Throughout the game, Waverley was able to consistently instigate turnovers from their fierce pressure, turning the game into a fast-paced affair with quick transition play that resulted in points at the other of the court. While the starting 5 looked sharp throughout the game, there were some tense moments as Trinity came to within single digits on the scoreboard. Coach Mr Johnny Jovine believes the bench players need to increase their pressure when on the court to ensure that opponents are not allowed back into the game. Ultimately, the 1st V came away with a very strong and impressive 102-69 win against a young Trinity side that will no doubt be a threat in future seasons. Having seen Trinity being one of the dominant teams over the past 7 seasons, it was a major milestone for Waverley to defeat them not just once, but twice in one season, and comfortably on both occasions. Best on court were Alex Higgins-Titsha, Jeremy Petritsis and Ryan Abbott.
With one round to play, the 1st V have now won 6 games and remain third on the ladder and are looking to end the season with a solid performance against ladder-leading Barker at home at Waverley. The 2nd V have 4 wins for the season and have a very tough assignment against an undefeated Barker, who have already won the 2nd’s competition. Saturday will mark the last game our Year 12 players will play for the College. We have approximately 80 Year 12 players representing the College in basketball. The College thanks them for their many years of service and wishes them well for their HSC and future endeavours.
In other games, Waverley enjoyed were successful across many teams against Trinity. The following teams recorded wins: 1st V (102-69), 10A (63-29), 10B (48-35), 10C (41-21), 10E (28-27), 10F (31-27), 9B (48-24), 8F (31-28), 7A (48-30), 7C (43-28), 7D (43-28), 7E (34-29) with the 9D’s (35-34), 9G’s (28-26), 8C’s (28-27), 8E’s (37-30), 8H’s (24-18), 7B’s (26-23) and 7E’s (34-29) playing well despite losing close games.
The Basketball Supporters Club is urgently seeking help in staffing the BBQ this Saturday. With our planned welcome BBQ this weekend for our new Year 7 players and their families, help is desperately needed to staff the BBQ until 5pm. If you are able to assist for an hour between 8am and 5pm, please contact Mrs Sophia Hatziandreou at email@example.com.
The Basketball Presentation Night is also on this Saturday from 6pm-9pm. Details can be found on the College website, the flyer in this week’s Nurrunga and TeamApp. An email was also sent out to parents earlier in the week.
Six 1st V players will represent the College in the trials for CAS 1st’s and 2nd’s. Best of luck to Ryan Abbott, Kyle Goulding, Alexander Higgins-Titsha, Jeremy Petritsis, Hayden Walton, Luca Zanarini. This is the largest number of players the College has sent to CAS trials in many seasons, so this is a fantastic achievement.
Important: please note that the annual Basketball Supporters Club AGM has been postponed to Monday 26th of March at 6pm in the Grange (entrance on Carrington Road). All parents, including the Junior School, 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 Barker this weekend.