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Basketball Report – CAS Round 4 vs Barker

From the Co-Captains of Basketball, Angus Mattick & Matteo De Vecchi

The previous week against Trinity, both the 1st’s and 2nd’s lost, so both teams were definitely looking to reverse this trend coming into Round 4 against Barker College. Based on the size advantage Barker had last year, we knew this was going to be a difficult matchup and they would try to capitalize on their height advantage as much as possible. Having said that, both our 1st V and 2nd V have additional height and ability this year and we were prepared for a tough round.

The 2nd V made a strong start to their match with Barker being unable to keep up with the frenetic pace on the fast breaks by Matteo De Vecchi and Hayden Walton. To add to the early fast break opportunities, George Hatziandreou hit a three-pointer from the wing to give Waverley a 9-0 lead after 5 minutes. After calling a time out, Barker looked to put pressure on the guards in the press and also to pressure the basket by constantly attacking the ring. This pressure resulted in a succession of fouls by Waverley, which resulted in Barker getting to the free throw line 15 times in the first half, and making 13 of those shots. Barker headed to the half time break with a 26-21 lead.

In the second half the 2nd V were looking to make a mark in the game by attacking the ball and taking open shots to close in on Barker’s lead. However, Barker kept on relentlessly attacking the ring and their energy resulted in the Waverley big men being once again in foul trouble to the extent that two Waverley players were fouled out of the game. Although Waverley mounted a late charge near the end of the game, Barker’s lead was too great and they closed out the game with a 57-42 win.

As anticipated, the Barker 1st V, hit the court with a definite size advantage and it was obvious that this was going to be a problem particularly since starting centre and key big man Ryan Lewis sustained a left knee injury during the week, and had to maintain a presence, in spite of the injury. Luckily, Nicholas Blakey stepped up to the daunting assignment of covering the Barker centre and remained fiercely competitive throughout the whole match.

Waverley commenced with strong attacking play from starting players Dean Stojanovksi, Alex Higgins-Titsha and Jeremy Petritsis. It would be fair to say that Waverley’s initial speed surprised Barker. They struggled to maintain the pace and get back to defend the ring as they were looking to overpower Waverley on offensive rebounding but Nicholas Blakey positioned himself to clutch almost every rebound and throw great outlet passes to Dean Stojanovski to start the fast break. This was the defining feature of the first half and Waverley entered the main break with a 38-30 lead.

The second half started off well with Jeremy Petritsis scoring early. The Barker defence then stepped up a notch and showed more aggression which reduced Waverley’s chances to approach the basket and score. However, another strong rebounding quarter by Nicholas Blakey enabled Waverley to enter the last break with a 50-46 lead.

Both teams came out strongly at the start of the final quarter with Barker frequently approaching the ring, but to the credit of the Waverley defense, they were unable to capitalize on their chances under the basket. With the scores close, the tension was starting to build, and the game became heated and aggressive. This competitive atmosphere led to the ejection of a Barker player and this swung momentum back in Waverley’s direction. The scores oscillated for the next 5 minutes with Waverley retaining a 3-point lead with 55 seconds remaining.   Barker missed a three-point opportunity with 40 seconds left, Waverley rebounded and advanced the play up the floor only to miss the shot and give Barker another opportunity to tie the game. Barker called time out and on resumption of play, immediately attempted another three-pointer but failed to score which allowed Waverley to advance the ball up the court again. This led to Ryan Lewis attacking the ring and being awarded a foul. His first shot bounced around the rim and fell in. His second missed to the right, and was rebounded by Nicholas Blakey. However, couldn’t grab full control off the ball, and it bounced out off his foot. This led to a situation where, with 2.3 sec remaining, Barker had possession and were trailing by 4. They inbounded, and escalated the whole situation by making a three-pointer, but thankfully for Waverley there was insufficient time remaining for Barker to score again and the 1st V triumphed with a 63-62 win.

The 1st V are now outright second on the CAS ladder with a record of 3 wins, and 1 loss. They are also undefeated at home this season. Congratulations to the 1st V on a great victory.

We now look towards the final game of this year against Knox at home. Good luck to all teams competing.

From the Convenor of Basketball, Anthony Gibbs

Waverley hosted Barker for Round 4 in their second home game for the season. After a poor outing at Trinity the previous week from the 1st V and a heart-breaking 2-point loss for the 2nd V, both teams needed to post solid performances against Barker to get their seasons back on track.

The Barker 2nd V had not lost a game coming into the round and was always going to be a formidable task for Waverley to overcome. Nevertheless, Waverley began the game extremely well, jumping out to a 9-point lead on the back of some excellent fast-break transition basketball, which broke down the Barker defence and tested their fitness. Barker, however, were able to claw their way back as they began to apply defensive pressure on Waverley, forcing a number of turnovers. In the face of this pressure, Waverley struggled to execute their offensive sets and eventually lost the game 57-42. Coach Mr Tom Chamberlain was disappointed with the 2nd V being out-rebounded by Barker in the second half and getting into foul trouble through poor defensive structure under the ring. Allowing Barker to go to the free-throw line meant they were able to apply scoreboard pressure consistently – close to 20 points were scored by Barker in free-throws. Coach Mr Chamberlain believes his side will need to improve their rebounding and individual and team defence this week against Knox if they are to be competitive.

Barker’s 1st V had excellent form coming into the game, having lost marginally to Trinity and beaten Knox and Cranbrook convincingly. Waverley’s 1st V went into the game knowing that they would need to improve their rebounding significantly on last week’s effort if they were to trouble Barker, and improve they did, both offensively and defensively. Waverley led the way at every break, outscoring Barker in the first two quarters to lead by 8 points at half-time, however the 1st V allowed Barker to get into a rhythm in the 3rd quarter, which saw the opposition claw their way back to trail Waverley by 4 points. The final quarter was tense with the 1st V stepping up their defensive effort and getting fast breaks, which Barker was not able to prevent. With the game coming down to the dying seconds and Waverley tenuously holding onto a 4-point lead, Barker scored a 3-pointer to bring the game to within a single point. Fortunately, there was too little time left on the clock for Barker to overhaul the 1st V, and Waverley finished the game deserved winners 63-62. It was the most significant win for a Waverley 1st V team in many seasons, moving Waverley to a 3-1 record for the season and second on the ladder behind Trinity. Coach Mr Johnny Jovine thought that the players showed great pride and character throughout the game.

In other games, while Waverley notched up a number of wins including: 8th V (32-15), 10C’s (37-33), 10G’s (29-16), 9C’s (38-29), 9D’s (41-20), 9F’s (20-16), 8B’s (24-19), 8C’s (30-28), 8D’s (21-20), 8E’s (28-15) and 8H’s (32-16) with the 3rd V (41-41) and 8A’s (20-20) drawing both their games. Despite losing, solid performances were given by the 10F’s (32-33), 9A’s (37-41), 8B’s (19-24) and 8G’s (16-19). After the 10A’s loss last week, the 8C’s remain the only unbeaten team this season, moving to a 4-0 record. The 10A’s loss means they now sit second behind Barker in their competition with a 3-1 record. The 9C’s, 8D’s and 8E’s are also performing well with 3-1 records.

Good luck to all teams this weekend against Knox. 3rd’s to 6th’s basketball teams are encouraged to remain after their games, while the 8A’s to 8D’s are encouraged to arrive earlier for their games to support both the 2nd V and 1st V in their hunt to finish the first half of the season with wins.