Aztecs Falcons 50 – Farnborough Phantoms 2 69
(13-15; 24-34; 31-54; 50-69))
Paul Howard 16; Becky Wellington/Iain Rogers 8; Matt Sawyer 6
The Falcons did not play well in this encounter, but still posted their highest total of the season to date and broke the fifty barrier with a long range shot from Tim Tostevin. The Aztecs third team blew their chances of a much-needed ‘W’ with a poor second period and a disastrous third period, but then won the final session 19-15. Drew Miller crashed out early in the game, landing heavily on an ankle that later started to turn some very interesting shades of green, yellow an d purple, and Adam Birch got pinged for a block the second game running when standing statuesque outside the charge zone. Hopefully the back of his head, his glasses and the court are all OK….
Once again a lack of consistency prevented the Falcons from gaining a victory. In the second period Farnborough had two runs of 6 and 8 points in a total of three minutes, and in the third the Phantoms dominated for four minutes when they out-scored their hosts 16-0. Paul Howard led the Falcons scorers with 16 but the stats (thanks Matt Blowfield for these) show a nightmare in three key areas. Falcons turned the ball over 23 times in the game. Missed shots (9 lay-ups and 17 shots in the paint were missed; 18 shots failed to drop from mid-range and four from behind the three-point line) cost the team a possible 100 points. From the foul line the percentage (target 50%) was missed; 36% (5 from 14 attempts) was the result.
Coach Walker’s assessment:
After the good feeling following the Falcons previous game this defeat was hard to take. Too many errors and missed shots gave the team a mountain to climb, and at any level of basketball if you give the ball away too many times and miss too many shots winning becomes very difficult indeed. The pleasing aspect of the game was that, despite missing a possible 109 points, the team cracked 50 points for the first time with a buzzer beater from the Ice Man. With time running out, and the target of 50 tantalisingly just 3 points away, we drew up a plan in a final time-out. In-bound the ball, take a quick 3-pointer and crash the boards in case the shot missed. Alternatively drive to the hole for an ‘and one’. The team, however, brilliantly executed a totally different play that consisted of a turn-over and regaining possession with 9 seconds left. The ball eventually ended up in Tim Tostevin’s hands well outside the 3-point line. He lined up the shot, waited for the clock to display 1 second and calmly unleashed a brilliant banked buzzer beater that took the Falcons to 50! A great finish that really lifted the spirits in the camp.
Tuesday 12th February 2019 at 8:15pm at home to Bracknell Cobras 2 in Division 3.