Captains of Basketball Report
FROM ANGELO DI BARTOLO & DION HATZIANDREOU, CO-CAPTAINS OF BASKETBALL
After experiencing a tough three rounds of defeat, the Juniors had their eyes on the prize when approaching Round 4 against Cranbrook. The 7A’s came up against a terrific Cranbrook side, whom won the game 46 to 26. The 9A’s had a much closer game against Cranbrook, which was hard fought right until the final buzzer. Luke and Will Paterson played well on offence and Jake Weinstein shot terrifically. Isaac Diaz displayed his offensive ability against the Cranbrook 9A’s scoring 14 points. Unfortunately, the Waverley 9As lost 59 to 49. The 10A’s played away at Cranbrook and fell 41 to 29. With all Junior teams having a 0 to 4 record, this weekend against Trinity is crucial as they seek their first wins of the season.
The 2nd V were looking to turn their season around after falling in close back-to-back games against Knox and St Aloysius. Ben Walton got them off to great start, putting away their first 6 points and given the 2nds an early lead in the first half. Coming off the bench, Matthew Higgins-Titsha was able to grab rebounds with ease, which contributed to 7 first half points to his overall tally. The score was locked at the half 22 to 22. Higgins-Titsha continued his dominance in the second half, able to increase his scoring total to 16 points for the game, almost half of the team’s total. A questionable foul call on Keilan Grace resulted in both teams staying locked at 40 to 40 to finish of the game in a draw. The 2nds go into next week’s game against Trinity 1-1-2.
This was one of the most anticipated games of the season from both Waverley and Cranbrook’s perspective, the annual ‘Friday Night Lights’ game at the Cranbrook school gym. Cranbrook had started the season 2 to 1 whereas Waverley had started 1 to 2, with intentions of evening things up on the standings and edging closer to the undefeated Knox side. Both teams took to the floor intensely focused on doing whatever they could to defeat their rival in a game to be remembered. Waverley opened the scoring with Ryan Abbott getting an offensive board and putting it back in for the early lead. The pace quickened in the first quarter with Ryan Abbott knocking down a three as well as Angelo Di Bartolo knocking down two of his own. Cranbrook went into the 2nd quarter with a 29 to 24 lead. Waverley were effectively able to bring it back in the quarter with an and-one from both Ash Backlund and Christian Diaz to give Waverley the 49 to 47 lead into the second half. The first 7 minutes of the second half were forgettable for Waverley, as they were, unfortunately, only able to scrape 5 points in comparison to Cranbrook’s 24 to approach the final 3 minutes down 71 to 54. Fortunately, with an and-one from Dion Hatziandreou and an elegant skyhook from Fritz Jahnke-Tavana, the Waves were rolling. Ryan Abbott was emphatically able to switch the momentum on the last play of the quarter getting a steal and going up for a fast break dunk which lightened up the Waverley crowd. All momentum had switched and within an instant, Waverley were back in the lead 84 to 82 thanks to an and-one from Angelo Di Bartolo. It was all uphill from here for the Waves, effectively closing out the quarter thanks to two clutch free throws from Ash Backlund to take the 97 to 92 victory over the rivals. Ryan Abbott (26 pts, 20 rebounds), Ashley Backlund (20 pts, 10 rebounds), Angelo Di Bartolo (18 pts) and Christian Diaz (20 pts) combined for 84 of the teams 97 points in a night that will be remembered for a long time by the blue and gold. The 1sts have their heads up and momentum in their corner as they look to take a 3 game winning streak into the holiday break against a Trinity outfit next Saturday.
FROM CONVENOR OF BASKETBALL, ANTHONY GIBBS
Since opening the season with a win against Barker, the 2nd V have continued to play well, despite the results not going their way. After the tense one-point loss to St Aloysius the week before, the 2nd V were looking to put in another solid performance against local rivals Cranbrook, who were undefeated for the season. Coach Mr Smith-Hyde reports that the matchup proved to be tough and grueling with both sides trading baskets for much of the first half. As Cranbrook began to build a small lead, a pair of strong finishes inside the paint from Ben Walton and a deep three from Matt Higgins-Titsha saw the deficit quickly erased as both sides headed into half time tied 22 to 22. It was more of the same in the second half as neither side allowed the other to break away with a significant lead. Waverley took a one-point lead heading into the final minute, however an untimely foul allowed the hosts to draw even with less than 30 seconds to play. After a turnover with 7 seconds to play, Cranbrook had a chance to win the game, but a strong final defensive effort from Waverley ensured the game would end in a 40-all tie. Matthew Higgins-Titsha, Ben Walton and Adam Femia were the standout performers on the night. The 2nd V now make preparations for the last game of the term against Trinity, who are 1 to 3 for the season, having narrowly defeated Barker in Round 3.
The 1st V were buoyant after their well-fought first win of the season over St Aloysius the week prior and were confident going into the game against Cranbrook. Cranbrook had already posted two wins for the season, having dispatched St Aloysius and Trinity earlier. A good boisterous crowd had built up for the start of the game. The first quarter saw an arm-wrestle between both teams as neither could gain the ascendency. Cranbrook closed out a high-scoring first quarter, 29 to 24. In the second quarter, Waverley lifted, outscoring Cranbrook by 25 to 18 and moving into the main break two points ahead, 49 to 47. The third quarter saw Cranbrook press Waverley, limiting the 1st’s scoring opportunities to generate a 19-point lead. Waverley made some key substitutions with Eoin Morrissey and Fritz Jahnke-Tavana coming off the bench to play some crucial minutes and inspire a Waverley revival. A steal and a dunk by Ryan Abbott right before the break lifted both the team and the Waverley supporters and generated much needed momentum for the 1st’s as they moved into the final break having reduced Cranbrook’s lead to 12 points with the score 78 to 66. In the final quarter, Waverley’s defensive effort was able get stops and force turnovers from Cranbrook. With just over 4 minutes left in the game, the 1st V were able to overhaul Cranbrook at 83 to 82, having outscored Cranbrook 17 to 5 since the start of the quarter. It was a tense final few minutes as both teams traded baskets, however Waverley was able to generate a 6-point buffer, which they maintained until the final siren, eventually winning the game 98 to 92. The 1st V were dominant in several key areas of the game including, Effective Field Goal Percentage, Points in the Paint, Assists and Turnovers, but lost the rebound count, which will be of concern. Four players, Ryan Abbott, Ash Backlund, Christian Diaz and Angelo Di Bartolo all posted 18-points or more. And while the offense fired, defense will be a key focus this week at training as the 1st’s prepare for Trinity, who despite having only won one game to date, are always tough at home in Summer Hill.
In other games, the following Waverley enjoyed wins in the following teams: 10B (18-14), 10C (53-23), 10E (38-20), 10F (26-19), 10H (39-14), 9B (54-23), 9C (30-6), 9E (22-19), 9F (26-14) and 8C (34-31). The 4th V (38-29), 5th V (26-20), 6th V (47-43), 10D’s (31-24), 10G’s (23-21), 9G’s (23-21) and 8B’s (37-33) all lost in close games. After four rounds of basketball, the 10C’s, 9F’s and 8C’s are the only undefeated teams at 4-0, while the 10E’s, 10H’s, 9B’s and 9E’s are 3-1, the 10F’s and 9C’s are 2-1-1 and the 1st V, 10B’s, 9D’s, 8B’s, 8D’s, 8E’s, 8F’s and 8H’s are all 2-2.
Good luck to all teams this weekend against Trinity!
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