The first game of the season is always going to be challenging, and this year was no different. With a few injuries still not coming right pre-season and late season holidays meaning full team trainings haven’t always been possible, we weren’t feeling as court ready as we might have liked. But there are no excuses on court, and we weren’t going to let anything stop us.
Having played Highlanders in previous seasons we had some knowledge about what we were going to come up against – a well drilled team with some slick moves and solid combinations throughout the court. They didn’t disappoint and came out fighting right from the first whistle with some quick ball work and solid shooting.
With a few new combinations throughout the court, communication and patience were going to be key from us. We also started off strong with lots of noise throughout the court ensuring that we were all aware of what was going on and supporting each other throughout. Some early pressure in the mid court and defence lead to a few key turnovers, and the attacking end made sure that each chance was converted.
We had a small lead going into the second quarter, and the girls kept up the energy and the pace to build on the lead. It was by no means an easy game, but the girls kept their heads up and played strong throughout the court. Grace showed us what she’s made of, showing some good speed in the court and solid work in bringing the ball down. We had a few basic errors creep in (balls through fingers and a few wayward passes), so we needed to cut that out.
The third quarter was important for us to ensure we bought down the error rate and kept on the pace, and boy did we do it. SJ’s appearance on court, with Grace heading back into GK, ensured that the energy levels stayed high. Highlanders defence tried to shut down Becky’s impressive form in the circle, adding to her impressive collection of bumps and bruises. However, Janelle stepped up and showed them how strong we are in the attacking end, nailing shots from, well, basically everywhere.
The final quarter was impressive from everyone as the work rate stayed high and we built on our lead to ensure we captured that all important first win of the season. The dedication from all girls – especially Anna DJ who executed a very impressive from-the-floor-to-mid-air tip, leading to her being back on the floor again– it was admirable, if not graceful.
Thanks to all our supporters on the sideline – loved having you there!
Final Score: 58-37 (I think – I need to double check!)
POM – Becky