In a great team effort the men’s first team clawed their way back from the 45 point handicap to take the Rosebowl Cup with a wild win over Iroquois at Gravesend Grammar. The 5 year spell of being runners up in this competition has finally been broken.
Things didn’t start well with an 11 point first quarter highlighting the offensive issues the team has struggled with all season. This proved to be thankfully short lived and after improved organisation, the pressure on defense was constantly cranked up with a suffocating full court press. This opened up the court allowing the offense to start to find gaps and make easy buckets.
However, it still needed a total team effort and that’s exactly what we got, everyone locked in and gave 100%. Jerric, Stav and Dani hassling the ball handlers; Nauris, Carlos and Pawel dropping off their players to trap and get turnovers; Massimo, Cameron, Henry and Josh covering the long passes picking off any lobs. Coach Pras made vital substitutions to ensure crucial players are rested and fresh legs came on the court to preserve efficient rotation. Henry and Jacob, both Bigs who recently returned from injury, didn’t miss a beat and proved very effective on both ends of the floor.
Everyone crashed the boards, everyone pushed on the break and everyone hit big shots – it was a joy to see and be a part of. The team never took the lead until the final minute. It may have come down to the last shot, a midrange jumper taken by former National League veteran David Martin, who scored 18 points on the night, but without that sustained effort and intensity from everyone over the preceding 39 we wouldn’t have been close enough for it to be possible.
If we take this as the blueprint for next season there’s no telling what we can achieve…