Basketball Varsity – Trent Turn It Around!

15th March 2010

The Men’s and Women’s Varsity Basketball matches took place on Clifton campus, with the home crowd cheering their teams to victory. A collection of AU candidates were present as first the women’s then the men’s team were defeated by Trent who took the lead in the Varsity series, 4-3.

One player made the difference in the women’s match with the Trent no. 25 dominating the game. After a strong start by the Uni team, the quality of the opposition’s star player told as she led her team to victory. The Uni team seemed reluctant to shoot as their lack of firepower saw them drop behind. Ultimately Trent deserved their victory, and the game warmed the crowd up for the main event of the night.

Uni men’s team were slow to start, going 6-0 down in the first few minutes. They were back in with a shout and a dunk as Thriepland slammed the ball through the net. The Uni supporters cried, “Defense! Defense! Defense!” And it was the defense that had been the backbone of their victories in the season, which helped them get back into the game. A shaky start made way for clever team moves and solid zonal defending to take the teams into the second quarter tied at 16-16.

Uni were first back on court, eager for the second half to begin. Yet it was Trent who controlled the opening minutes of the second quarter, taking the game to 22-18, including a dunk by their no. 45. A 3 pointer by Daley brought the scores close and end-to-end baskets kept the game very close. It was during the 2nd quarter that Uni started to give away silly free throws, yet Tobias lifted the team as some great attacking moves and a strong defense helped them to go into halftime leading 34-31.

Confidence was high, Uni’s quality was starting to tell, but the home crowd was vociferous and urged their team on. 5 minutes in to the 3rd quarter and Trent were yet to score, but Uni only managed to open up a 7-point lead during their most dominant spell in the game. This proved decisive as Trent’s coach called a time-out in order to fire his team up. The hairdryer treatment worked as the extremely quick Trent no. 23 was wound up, and boy did they let him go. Devastating counter-attacks ensued as they found their quick outlet time and time again. Trent started to dominate and re-took the lead 41-40.

Then the cascade of free throws started. Endless times the whistle was blown and Uni looked around despairingly, hands on heads. A mixture of soft fouls and questionable calls helped Trent to take a 2-point lead into the final quarter.

If Chelsea felt hard done by Tom Henning Ovrebo’s refereeing in their Champions League semi-final match that was nothing compared to the calls the Uni team felt were unfairly going against them. After one call, Jaeyeung looked in utter disbelief as he realized that it was he that had been adjudged to foul one of the Trent players in one of their endless waves of attack on the Uni basket. A three-man fast break saw Trent go ahead by 5, and the standard of refereeing should take little away from their final quarter performance. Uni showed a glimpse of resurgence, but an effort for a three-pointer bounced off the rim and Trent counter-attacked, taking the ball down the other end to extend their lead, now 59-52.

The women’s team looked on knowingly as Trent looked comfortable with 4 minutes to play. Uni failed to find any momentum as free throw after free throw was awarded to Trent. Trent kept their composure when it mattered most and took their lead to a comfortable 75-58. And that was how the game ended, with despair for Uni and jubilation for Trent who took the Varsity series to 4-3.