Sat 17 Jan: U18NL v Raynes Park 58-38
Finally it all clicked together!! After a tough loss to take in OT ( and some very questionable calls - again...) the day before, the Blackhawks were determined to make amends, even against Raynes Park who were undefeated in the league.
That was going to change though !!
The team started with a solid defence with Alex, Yao and Gavin fighting for every ball (24 def reb between them), closing shooting/driving lanes and being solid throughout.
BP, Aleko, Oscar B (as long as he was available) and Leon worked their socks off, against a really good team and they stuck to their tasks. Leon was the metamorphosis of BBall in him and I hope it stays with him for the rest of the season ;-) He finished with 5pts, 4def reb, 2 ast, 2 stl but 5to. His drives and enthousiasm was really exciting to watch! Aleko was our make shift playmaker once more and performed really well and start becoming very confident in that position. He had 8pts, 5reb, 3ast, 3stl but 4to. Really good performance.
Yao was a bit more quiet than normal, he was loaded with 3 fouls very early and he wasn't able to deliever his free flowing game taht we have been used to. He finished with 4pts, 6reb, 1ast, 2stl, 2to. Gavin had his first game i the new year with us and although a bit "rusty" he was solid under the baskets and a great help to the team that the bigs didn't have in previous games. He finished with 3pts, 3reb, 2 stl, 1blk. Good to see him back.
The two palyers that stole all impressions in the game were the BP & Alex. They are both racing for the MVP status and their efforts is starting to reach heights that coach Nick Mandafounis can only be happy with!
Alex had 13pts with some really good inside and outside shots, 10reb, 3stl, 3to and 4blk whilst BP had 24pts, 10 out of 16 efforts scored 62.5%!!, 4 out of 5 throws and 3reb, 1ast, 4stl, 3to.
The most wonderful part is the game the team played, with a lot of passing, turning the opposition inside out at times and wonderful for the spectators to watch. During Q3 & Q4 the Raiders pushed really hard with strong drives into the key, shots to recover the points difference but the Blackhawks played with a cool head, playing some excuisite Basketball at times and were able to even increase the points gap ending up with 20pts difference up, finishing up with a valuable W. Well done to the whole group of players
Quarters: Q1: 10-9, Q2: 7-10, Q3: 21-6, Q4: 20-13