|Posted by THE BOSS on January 27, 2015 at 7:25 AM|
Lockleaze Old Boys have come up against two first division sides so far in this Trophy campaign and beat them both by 15 points. This week’s opponents were Empees C, a mix of their first and 3rd division teams but, crucially, containing six first team players. Old Boys’ handicap advantage was 21 points, but they only needed that help in the fourth quarter, always cruising 21+ points ahead for the first three periods. Keenan made our first score with a triple in the 2nd minute, after both teams struggled on their first three or four offences, then Rahquon hit back-to-back 2s before Empees got anything on the board. Despite Empees playing a zone defence, Pete didn’t take his first shot until well into the fifth minute, but then had a dreamlike spell, going 4 out of six in four minutes from the great beyond, including a last-second buzzer-beater that banked in from miles out, for twelve first quarter points. In between the treys, Mike made both of a pair of frees in the 7th and Keenan got another bucket in the 9th and we ended the period on 42-17, ahead by 4 points without the handicap.
Chris Hill had moaned at one of the refs on the last play and earned himself a technical foul, so Pete’s dream continued when he was elected to take the shot and swished it, then he scored a long-two jumper from the next play on the inbounds. Unfortunately, then he woke up and couldn’t buy one for the rest of the game. The rest of the quarter was quiet for us, with only two inside buckets from Abe and one more from Rahqs, while Empees showed what they’re capable of from inside and out to take the period 15-9 for a half-time score of 51-32 to us. In twenty minutes of basketball they had only reduced our starting advantage by 2 points, causing Andy, our top scorer who was still feeling a little under the weather, to choose to stay on as timekeeper instead of playing the second half. ‘You don’t need me, you’re wiping the floor with them without me,’ he said.
Our whole bench stepped up another gear in the second half, with strong defensive work from Jamie, Karl and Ellis in particular. Rahqs scored our first three points of the half with a baseline bucket and one of a pair from the stripe, then Abe added another 3 hoops inside, Keenan hit a trey, two 2s and one of a pair and Mike hit another jumper for us to end the third on 70-48, still one point up on our advantage.
Empees had to chase the game now and squeezed us in a three-quarter-court press, but Keenan easily brushed past the front two and Jamie scored the first points with a lay-up at the end of a sweet, five-man passing move. They responded with a three-pointer, but Keenan came straight back with a made pair on a foul. We had a temporary blip of turnovers from the press and traded baskets as a result, but Abe got two more and Keenan and Rahqs got another each. Lee had been content, like Andy, to watch us go to work for most of the game because of a tight hamstring from last week, but he came in now with three minutes left and controlled the ball and hit a two and one of a pair before Abe finished the game with another bucket for a final score of 87-72.
Coach Bailey was full of praise for the whole bench for the second week running, for digging in and getting the basics right most of the time, even though we were missing out top scorer and three other key regulars. Keenan earned MVP for an outstanding performance all over the court, and all nine who played can be proud of an excellent, all-round team performance.
Scorers: Lawrence 17 (MVP), Ahmed 16, Radford 15, Chambers 9, Bailey 4, Eleazar 3, Lee 2.