23-04-2017: Surrey League Playoffs (Quarter Final)
Woking Blackhawks - Feltham Warriors 67-46
Having received a free ticket (20-0) to the next stage of the playoffs due to the Atoms not being able to field a team, we were matched against Feltham Warriors. Everyone expected us to win this game on the strength of what we had achieved to-date.
When the starting five took to the floor, it looked that the expectations were being met having stormed the opposition 23-14 in the first quarter, baskets coming from everywhere and everyone. 3-Out, Utah and the Weave worked a dream combined with some great individual performances under and away from the hoops.
The second quarter was a different story. Perhaps the selection of players did not lend itself to the right chemistry but it all went a bit wrong and we lost the quarter 7-12. However, we were still ahead at half-time 30-26. Just about four out of our five players appeared to be distracted in some way (tired, nervous, other) and just didn’t perform to the standard we know they can perform. This happens to professional players as we all know and that is why we come to the games with 9 or 10 players!
This, however, had had a psychological effect on the team. Oh no, it did not!
The five who took to the floor in Q3 rained 7 points on Feltham with no reply forcing their coach into an early time-out. The game looked a bit more balanced for remaining minutes but it was enough for the young hawks to steady their ship and win the quarter by 11-6 having established a more acceptable lead of 11 points before Q4. But the anxiety was still there… Could that Feltham team still have it in them to tip the scales in their favour?
A little bit of tinkering with the team again and 8 quick early points without reply and a smashed iPhone (flung out accidentally I was told) later, the Feltham coach was forced into another time-out. Did we feel any less anxious now? Perhaps...
Things turned against us once more what with their big girl scoring almost at will.
It was our coaches’ turn to be forced into a time out and administer some further squad tinkering. The score at that point in Q4 was 14-14.
But the Blackhawks steeled themselves and found their rythm once again. They were flying high now, with plays, shots, layups and free throws all coming off and going in at a devastating rate especially towards the end of the game when they scored 10 points without response to win the last quarter 24-14 and run out clear winners 67-46. Heart rates restored to normal levels.
Although everyone contributed the best they could on the day (everyone scored), we have to mention the magnificent performances from Noah (a real skipper’s performance with 12 points and a silly amount of rebounds and assists), Max and Denver (our executioners scoring 23 points between them) and silky Liam (probably the best game of his basketball career to-date with 11 points) and very encouraging performances from Lucas and Tieni, whose 100 lay-ups yesterday at practice, paid dividends today scoring 7 points in total.
Great support from our vocal travelling supporters, which was greatly appreciated.
Next Sunday we are taking on the League winners in one of the semi-finals. Time to claim back our rightful place!
Blackhawks U12: Noah (12), Liam (11), Max (13), Denver (10), Henry (4), Kiran (2), Sean (2), Aidan (2), Lucas (4), Tieni (7).
Coaches: Costas and Nigel
Team Manager: Mawuse