Captains of Basketball Report
From Co-Captains of Basketball, Luca Zanarini & James Foster
In the juniors this week this week the 10A’s won their first game this season, and showed how far they have come as they began to work as a team. Their offence seemed to flow and it was good to see how much they have improved. The 9A’s also won by 17 points in a stellar performance that showed just what the team is capable of. The 8A’s were also successful in a closely contested game against Barker winning by just 1 point. The team showed glimpses of what the future of Waverley Basketball may look like, which was exciting to watch as their team work and grit was outstanding during the game. This was an exciting week from the juniors with all three major teams winning in their respective pools.
This week, the 2nd V were coming up against a large, strong, undefeated Barker side. This was their first game at a different venue than the 1st V, however they were persistent to get the win even without the physical support of the other boys. With big man Heath Lawther still injured and missing Daniel Callaghan, the Waverley boys knew they would have to work hard all game. As the ball was tipped, Waverley showed some early signs of greatness, through penetration and defensive stops. Within the first minutes of the game, the score was only 15 points, as each team scored possession after possession. However, some strong finishing from Ash Backlund scoring from inside the key, gave the 2nd’s momentum in closing the gap to 8 points. Closing the half, some good fast break points from the boys and free throw shooting from Stephen Morrissey, further closed the gap as at halftime Waverley was only down by 6 points 28-34. At the break, coaches Mr Phil Noreika and Mr Joan Creus Custodio went through some key points for improvement the boys would need to do to keep up their tremendous effort. Getting into the half, the boys had a slow start, with Barker getting key stops and capitalising at the other end of the court. With Barker’s number 19 scoring 20 points in the game, stopping their key player was tough for the Waverley boys. This allowed Barker to gain a lead of double digits. The 2nd V boys made one more push through some shooting opportunities, however Barker’s much larger and stronger side was too tough for the Waverley boys as they were not able to bring the score line closer. Unfortunately, this lead to a loss for Waverley with the final score 45-69. Being the last game, the boys were disappointed, however should be proud of all the effort they put in for this season leading up now. Waverley 2nd V still have areas of improvement to work on which will hopefully lead to a more successful second half of the season next year.
This week the 1st V came up against undefeated and top of the ladder Barker College. Unfortunately, Waverley was still dealing with injuries from previous weeks. This week was a huge game for Waverley, with a chance to secure the top spot in the CAS leader board. Due to the injuries that the 1st V carried into this week some reshuffling had to be made with the team. Before the opening tip a new faced starting five was brought into play to accommodate the injuries. The tip won by Barker, resulted in a quick two points, Waverley answered back through Hayden Walton who made back-to-back layups to add pressure to Barker. Barker began to put together a run, but due to a change of Waverley’s defensive pressure, it helped to silence the Barker offense. For a stretch of time and a lack of offence from Waverley, Barker capitalised and grew a 13-point lead in the 1st quarter. It was evident that change was needed as Barker lead 24-11 by the end of the 1st quarter. At the start of the 2nd quarter, Waverley began to regain control of the game through consecutive shots from Luca Zanarini. However, Barker called a timeout and began to change their style of play. Following the timeout Barker began to gain control and extended their lead even more. Waverley’s offence needed to wake up and execute their plays to bring themselves back in it. However, this was not enough to reduce the Barker lead by halftime, with the score being 51-29. As Waverley left to the locker room it was clear that they were shocked and struggled to grapple with the task of clawing back the lead. The whole team dynamic had shifted to a more intense and silent environment. The 3rd quarter Waverley struggled to communicate on both defense on offense, which resulted in Waverley being unable to defend several backdoors cuts by Barker along with easy points off pick and roll situations. Whilst also being sluggish on offense for a substantial period of time. Barker managed to keep their pace offensively and maintain their form throughout the entirety of the 3rd quarter with the score 75-48. During The 4th quarter, Waverley began to re-adjust and tryout some new offensive plays to test what would work against the Barker side, this allowed Waverley to learn some new tactics from their experiences from this game. This will help the boys improve for the remaining games of the season after the final score being 97-63. The game didn’t turn out how the 1st V boys hoped, but there were small positives, such as the integration of new plays and an adapted defense along with a desire to win. All of these will help Waverley to come back firing and regain control of the second half of CAS season.
From Convenor of Basketball, Anthony Gibbs
After great wins over Trinity and Cranbrook the previous two weeks, the 1st V were hoping to string their third consecutive win in the competition against a strong Barker unit. It was not to be as Barker raced to a 24-11 quarter time lead. By half-time, Barker had improved their lead to 51-29, however they did not have it all their way, as Waverley turned in a better third quarter performance to post 19 points to Barker’s 24. The fourth quarter saw Barker finish strongly, posting 22 points to Waverley’s 15 to win the game by a sizeable margin 97-63. Jacob Gibson, Dion Hatziandreou and Hayden Walton shone on the day for Waverley.
The 2nd V went into their game, eager to perform well and win back-to-back games for the first time this season. Barker started well with some accurate 3-point shooting. Despite this, Waverley managed to defend well and get some excellent stops and also execute well with some great transition baskets to be within 5 points of Barker at the break. Pressure from Barker’s full court press in the second half frustrated the 2nd V players into making errors. Ash Backlund, Daniel Marando and Justin Capra were the standouts despite a disappointing result for Waverley. Overall, Coach Mr Phil Noreika is pleased with the 2nd’s efforts this term, but urges the players to continue to train hard and improve their skills to improve their chances of closing out the close games in the second half of the season.
Halfway through the season, after five rounds, the 1st V sit in equal second place with St Aloysius and Knox with 3 wins and 2 losses. Barker are now clear premiership favourites, undefeated after 5 rounds, and having registered strong wins against every other CAS school. While Barker look hard to beat, Waverley still has a lot to play for, especially considering two regular starters, Alex Higgins-Titsha and Ryan Abbott will return from injury in Term 1 and significantly strengthen the team. Expect the 1st’s to bounce back in the second half of the season
With 2 wins and 3 losses, the 2nd V are equal third with St Aloysius and Knox and will look to come back stronger after the break. In the 2nd’s competition, Barker are also the team to beat, sitting atop the table undefeated on 5 wins. Both teams will participate in a 3-day intensive holiday training camp in the holiday break and will be looking to start the second half of the season on a positive note when they face Knox away at Wahroonga in Round 6.
In other games, Waverley enjoyed great success against Barker with the following teams winning their games: 10A’s (46-25), 10C’s (28-12), 10D’s (35-31), 10F’s (29-19), 9A’s (43-26), 9B’s (24-21), 9C’s (50-22), 9D’s (52-23), 8A’s (42-41), 8C’s (31-20), 8D’s (32-22), 8E’s (39-29), 8F’s (37-22), 8G’s (16-12) and 8H’s (42-4). The 10B’s (37-30), 9G’s (24-19) and 8B’s (29-28) lost in close games. Several Waverley teams enjoyed a great opening half to the season, posting positive win-loss records: 1st V (3-2), 10C (3-2), 10D (3-2), 10F (3-2), 9B (4-1), 9C (3-2), 9D (3-1-1), 9E (3-1), 8A (3-2), 8B (4-1), 8C (4-1), 8D (3-2), 8F (4-1) and 8H (2-1). Another 6 teams are not far off the pace: 2nd V (2-3), 10E (1-2-2), 9A (2-3), 9F (2-2), 8E (2-3) and 8G (1-2). This has been the best start to the season in many seasons with Waverley winning 44% of all its games against other CAS schools compared with 33% for the same time last year. Well done to all coaches and players for their hard work.
The USA / Canada Basketball Tour departs in just 14 days’ time with all 32 students and 6 staff members undertaking their final preparations before departure on Thursday the 7th of December. A farewell/presentation dinner for the staff, players and their families on Saturday 2nd of December will see players and staff members presented with their tour gear. With 6 to 7 games confirmed against North American high schools, 3 home-stays, 1 NBA game, 1 NCAA game and 1 WHL ice hockey game, the 18-day itinerary is very full. The tour group will also participate in other activities such as sightseeing in Portland, Seattle and Vancouver and shopping at some of the large outlet malls in the US.
Waverley Basketball is now using Team App to publish information such as scores, news, fixtures, team lists and announcements.
Enjoy a well-deserved break!