|Posted by THE BOSS on May 13, 2015 at 2:10 PM|
Despite a slow start – we didn’t trouble the scorer until the 5th minute – Old Boys got going to retain the Webba Plate by showing newcomers and 3rd Division Champions Hengrove Park that there’s no I in team. Both teams struggled in the opening minutes, but Hengrove got off the mark to score in the 2nd and the 4th for a short-lived lead. Andy made his first of many visits to the line in the 5th but, unusually for him, missed the pair, but Abe rebounded and put back for our first score. Rahquon followed up with one of a pair of frees, then he and Andy both got buckets from the post. Rahqs then missed a pair of frees before Keenan got in on the scoring with a strong drive and a made pair. Hengrove’s only answer to our bigger inside presence was to foul, but all of our consistent free-throw shooters struggled for some reason, with Abe now missing a pair and Andy making one from four. Abe then made amends by scoring a pair and Andy finished the quarter with a fake and drive to take us to 16-10.
Old Boys’ box and one defence – the stellar stats of Hengrove’s talisman Trakelis suggested that denying him would be the key to the game – kept them to just 7 points until a prayer-shot three went down in the last seconds. Trakelis started the second quarter with his first triple - he has scored an astonishing 95 this season – but Keenan stayed so close to him that others were forced to shoot for most of the first half and they were only able to put on another 11 points in the second quarter because of our solid rebounding and boxing out. Meanwhile, Andy sold their defence with another fake and spin for our first score of the 2nd quarter, and then Karl drove in and kicked back out to Pete at the top to swish our first triple of the game. Abe scored back to back buckets in the 4th, while we sent their number five to the line three times in the 5th and 6th, but he could only drop one of the six. Andy bamboozled them again for another two, then Keenan matched his outstanding defensive job with an impressive 12-point offensive burst in the next three minutes, scoring a pair of treys, a pair of twos and two of two from the line. Densil came in and won his first judo fight in years with a perfect hip-throw and then scored the second of his frees. Abe missed another pair in the 10th, but Rahqs made the second of his for our last score of the half. Privalov for Hengrove finished the half the same way as the first quarter, with another long triple, but we won the period 24-18 and the half by 40-28.
Andy started the second half with two strong drives in the first minute, but Hengrove hit back with another triple. Gordon finished off another patient offence with a score in the D, followed by another from Rahqs to put us 17 up, but they struck back with yet another 3 ball. Both of their triples were from different players, because Keenan was still tying up Trakelis for the first five minutes of the half. Rahqs was fouled again and made the first, then Andy was fouled yet again, missed the pair, but made up for it straight after with another classy fake and drive. At the start of the 5th minute, with the game looking like it was running away from his side, Trakelis obviously decided that twenty-five minutes of Keenan stopping his normal play was long enough. He scored 14 points in the next five minutes, with three 2s, a triple from the top and 5 of 8 from the line, all with Keenan still in his face. In this spell Keenan made a pair of frees himself, Abe got two more put-backs and missed another pair of frees and Andy made another short jumper and we ended the quarter still 10-up at 59-49, but they had given their cause a boost by winning the period 21-19.
Trakelis started the 4th the same way, bringing the ball up on every offence and trying to do everything himself, helped by picks at the top from his teammates. When Keenan picked up his 4th foul Rahqs and Tony took over the tough task of marking their main man, but he still managed to go for another 12 in the quarter, including 8 of 9 from the line, and Rahqs found himself fouled out in the 4th minute trying to stop one of his three-point attempts. Abe kept plugging away for us, though, putting in another monumental 40-minute shift, with three more inside buckets. Andy got another two of his fake and drives and Tony got a neat scoop to the hoop on a give and go in the 3rd minute. Keenan added to his score in the 5th on a fast break, but an 8-point run by Trakelis – all in the 6th – saw them pull back within 5 at 71-66. Andy picked up his 4th foul helping out on one of these drives by Trakelis, and then got a technical from the bench for pointing out the obvious. While no one can deny the skills of Trakelis, he had been shouting and contesting every call he didn’t like all game and he was in the officials’ faces almost as much as Keenan was in his, yet no Ts were called on him.
At the start of the 7th Abe answered their 8-0 run with his third bucket of the period and then Tony made a stop and fed to Gordon, unmarked in the left corner. He hesitated, then drew a defender with a super slo-mo fake before laying up and restoring a 9-point lead to roars from our bench and the crowd. Trakelis picked up his 5th foul on our next offence, complained bitterly (again!) about it on court and then beseeched the table, the crowd and the various other Webba officials watching, before reluctantly accepting, finally, that his game was over. Apart from his number 8, Briedis, making 2 of 4 from the line in the 8th, they failed to score again since his last bucket in the 6th. Meanwhile, Keenan was fouled on the drive and made the 2nd from the line, Gordon likewise and made the first, ditto Tony and he made the 2nd to see us 10-up again at the end of the 9th. The other Hengrove players clearly weren’t used to seeing the ball much and were reduced to hopeful three-point attempts, none of which came near in this four-minute spell where our defence did a great job to deny them. At the start of the 10th Keenan picked up a long rebound from one of these prayer-shots and set off on the break with one of theirs at his heels. The crowd erupted when he jumped way above the marker and flushed it, swinging on the ring to protect himself from falling on the poor guy. Not content with 12 up and less than a minute left, he scored another lay-up on the break, was fouled in the process and swished the plus one for us to take the quarter 24-19 and the game 83-68.
Neither the score sheet nor the match details on the website record a game MVP, but I imagine that everyone present would agree that this year’s Webba Junior MVP had another outstanding game in offence and defence, doing more than enough to earn another match MVP. The whole Lockleaze bench excelled again, though, at both ends of the court, overwhelming the opposition in every department except one; unusually for such normally consistent foul shooters, we made only a well-below-par 16/37 from the line.
It didn’t matter, though, because Lockleaze Old Boys are Webba Plate Winners again.
Scorers: Lawrence 25, Broughton 21, Ahmed 18, Chambers 7, Shovlin 5, Radford 3, Kissoon 3, Williamson 1.