A highly anticipated game against an opposition team that included 3 of the 2020 PNBHS Premier Team.
It took our boys a couple of minutes into the game to shake the dust of a long weekend that was either spent playing (and winning) the U17 Regionals or making the most of the break from training. At the 5 minute mark, there was nothing in it and our boys began to turn up the heat, shutting down shooting opportunities from their opposition and capitalising well from any turnovers. The boys appeared to be finding their stride and were beginning to look like they would increase their lead. After calling a time-out, Unity seemed to have turned on the hot tap, leaving us feeling uncomfortably cold as they applied more pressure with their 3-point shooter having far too many opportunities to close the gap.
At the end of the quarter, the game was sitting at 19 apiece. We knew that when we applied pressure, our opposition found it difficult to contain it, and we needed to maintain high energy and effort to create more opportunities.
The message appeared to sink in – energy was sought and the energy was brought. We started the scoring of the second quarter with a quick basket. Unity were quick to follow with a couple of impressive baskets, but that was all our boys were going to let them have for much of the quarter. PNBHS were delivering with intent. The pressure applied to their opposition forced many turnovers that found their way onto our side of the scoreboard. By the end of the second quarter, the boys had clocked up an impressive lead of 43 – 28.
The boys from Unity are not the type of guys who will let a deficit get the best of them. We knew they would not allow us to get complacent because if we did take our foot off the pedal, they would punish us right where it hurt - on the scoreboard.
Unity were the first to put points on the board going into the third quarter – 5 to be precise before we managed to find the hoop. That seemed to be enough to kick us back into gear, and apart from a few moments of careless passing and being a little slow getting back on defence, our performance was pretty solid – nothing to shower compliments over, but solid enough to maintain pressure and a good lead going into the final quarter with the score 65 – 44.
In the final quarter, old boy Xzavier Mason took on the coaching duties for his team. Also featuring in the final quarter were the Davis brothers, Rueben and Ezra, matching up and facing off against each other. It was something both brothers were looking forward to – an opportunity to walk the smack talk leading up to the game. Smiles from both boys throughout their time together on court confirmed the healthy competitive spirit of these brothers and their love for the game.
The final quarter for our boys was certainly far from pretty. The energy felt flat, despite some great performances from every player. It just wasn’t as consistent as expected and despite holding their own, was likened more to a hot shower on ‘hair day’ at a time when everyone in the household decides to run the tap.
PNBHS finished the game with a final score of 78 – 61. Very respectable but we know we are capable of more consistent performance. Nevertheless, PNBHS remain undefeated in the Men’s Premier League. Congratulations to the players and coaches, a huge thank you to the rest of our squad who came down to support and to our loyal supporter on the sidelines.
Lastly, a big thank you to our sponsors, Property Brokers, Scafit, Proegear and Insurance and Mortgage Network.