Middle School Team 1 (30) drew with Team 8 (30)
What a game to kick off the inaugural Sacred Heart Year 6/7 Basketball Competition! With the speed of Joseph Chigwidden and the Barnes brothers, team 8 got off to a quick start and led the way early on. Cian Hutchinson was a force for team 1 in the point and his rebounding and defence got his side back in the game and ahead 14-11 at the half. It was team 8 who came out firing after the break. A coast-to-coast lay-up by Zach Colicchio and a midrange jumper from Henry Mullarvey helped cap a 10-0 run and it was all of a sudden 21-14. Team 1 refused to give up the fight though, a bucket by Hamish Crafter and then six straight points from his brother Zak had them right back in the game. Josh Barnes nailed a three pointer which put team 8 in control and with 30 seconds left, they were up 5. But a huge three from team 1's Jack Bartlett got it back to 2, and when Beau Jones grabbed a rebound with 10 seconds left, they had a chance to steal the game. Beau dribbled the length of the court, missed the shot, grabbed his own rebound and put it back in for two points to tie the game at the buzzer! A fitting result for two good teams.
Middle School Team 2 (39) defeated Team 7 (33)
Reduced to five players, it was always going to be a tough ask for Team 7 to get the job done, but early on the five players had the upper hand and were able to take a 15-12 lead into half time, thanks to some nice baskets by Conner Earl and Max McDonald. Early in the second half Team 2's Jack Curran had a big purple patch, working well with Jake Roberts to give their team the lead. Both teams shot the ball incredibly well for the whole second half, and Jordan Roberts (Team 7) put his team back in front with a few baskets of his own. When teammate Jackson Carter chipped in four straight points, things weren't looking good for Team 2, but Luke Zacker ran hard to find himself a couple of easy baskets and put Team 2 back in front. Team 7 tried hard and kept scoring, but Michael Napoli from Team 2 had 6 late points to continually keep them at bay, and they were able to hold on for a 6 point win.
Middle School Team 3 (35) defeated Team 6 (23)
Team 3 came out of the blocks firing and jumped to a 10-4 lead. Johnny Bates was on song early and his offensive rebounding gave him a few easy put-backs. Broden Coats and Charlton Howard were very active defensively, and their steals helped Team 3 to some easy lay ups. For Team 6, Kian Rosario was working hard on the rebounds and Ben Mieszkuc was scoring inside and out to keep his team in the game, and they were down 18-11 at the half. Hudson Yeo was instrumental for Team 3 in the second half. Some great passing and drives to the hoop put his team well on top, with help from Broden Coats and Alex Nielson, who kept the scoreboard ticking over. Team 6's Charlie Kitto hustled hard all game and made some great plays, while Max Lambert showcased his amazing ball handling skills; but it wasn't enough as Team 3 flexed their muscle for a 12 point win.
Middle School Team 4 (46) defeated Team 5 (17)
The final game of the night was a tale of two halves. The first half was all Team 4. While Team 5 had unlucky shot after unlucky shot, team 4 couldn't seem to miss. Josh Harper had the first 6 points of the game while Zach Shinnick was menacing on defence, creating all sorts of problems for team 5. Seb Wagner made some smart decisions on offence and Ethan Klemasz looked good any time he attacked the hoop or made a nice pass. After giving up a big half-time lead, Team 5 came out all guns blazing in the second half, started to gel and the players were visibly getting better as the game wore on. Liam Hamilton made some great plays, including a sweet pass over the top of the defence to Kaleb Kowalczuk, who put it in for two. Owen Gladdy grabbed a stack of rebounds and started to look very comfortable by the end of the game, showing some great potential. While team 4 ran out 29 point winners, Team 5 showed they can match it with the best, managing a 15-18 second half.
Middle School Team 1 (38) defeated Team 3 (26)
After scoring the game-tying basket last week, Beau Jones came out firing in Week 2. Working hard with Fletch Wellington on defence, they nabbed a few steals from the opposition and helped their team push out to an early lead. Cian Hutchinson and Zac Crafter also chipped in on the scoreboard to help Team 1 take a 20-12 advantage into half time. Broden Coats enjoyed a hot start to the second half and helped bring Team 3 back into the game, with Oliver Nalepa and Alex Nielson working hard on defense. When Hudson Yeo finished a great drive to the basket, it was back to a 2 point ball game, but Team 1 stayed strong and went on a 12-0 run to clinch the game; Jack Bartlett scoring late for a 38-26 score line.
Middle School Team 6 (45) defeated Team 7(20)
The last game of the night saw Team 6 take on Team 7 two teams coming off close losses in Week 1. Both teams were hungry for a win and came out playing hard. After a reasonably quiet week 1, Charlie Hildyard came out a different player in Week 2; early on he was attacking hard and scoring, which was followed by a few steals and assists, pushing his team out to an early lead. Charlie Kitto was also hustling hard on defence (a little too hard, leading to some foul trouble), and they set a good example for their team. Tomi Todoric was moving really well on offence and found some nice space to hit a couple of baskets. Team 7 trailed 21-14 at the break after six first-half points from Zac Semmler and a nice Conner Earl basket to end the half. Lucas Joyce (Team 6) hit a three-point bomb to make it 26-14, before fill-in Jake Roberts (Team 7) scored twice for 18-26. However, that was as close as it got; Team 6 going on a 19-2 burst to run out convincing winners. Max Lambert was as cool as a cucumber with 4/4 free throws, a nice pair of jumpers and even a big rebound!
Middle School Team 8 (74) defeated Team 5 (23)
Not to be outdone by Team 9's powerful performance, Team 8 came out blazing against Team 5. A Matt Barnes three pointer kicked off proceedings, and from there Team 8 was always in control; they only had six players, but they all got in on the act and scored 5+ points each in the first half. Toby Burghardt was too big inside, while Kobe Vanzetta and Zach Colicchio worked well with the Barnes brothers to force Team 5 turnovers. Thomas Ford went on a six point burst towards the end of the half to take a huge lead into the break. Team 5 was able to compete a lot better in the second half with Liam Hamilton showing a tremendous ability to score some pretty tough baskets. Kaleb Kowalczuk did well to look after the ball against some tough defenders, and Jack Winstanley hit some long bombs late in the game to bring some smiles to the faces of Team 5.
Middle School Team 9 (45) defeated Team 4 (24)
If Team 9 were not happy about having the week 1 bye, then they sure showed it in the first half against Team 4. They played tenacious defence and quickly reaped the rewards, jumping out to a big first half lead. Taj Spencer and Lachie Goldsboro were the chief destroyers, racking up steals, assists and points in a hurry. Mitchell Wilkinson found himself in the right spot for a few baskets as well. Team 4 finally came to play in the second half; Zach Shinnick playing hard on both ends to try and reduce the deficit, while Ethan Klemasz also kept working until the final buzzer. Team 9, however, proved to have far too big a lead, and signalled their arrival as one of the leading teams.
Middle School A-Grade (55) defeated St Peter's (31)
With a few of our starters out due to state champs, we needed everyone to step up and take charge, and that's exactly what they did. All seven players came to the game ready to play and ready to work hard. Led by Kane Harwood's intensity, energy and passion, our defence was manic; St Peter's struggling to get the ball over the halfway line, let alone get it in the hoop. Liam Chapman took the responsibility of defending the opposition's six-foot-eight man-mountain, and got the better of him all day; Chappy even scored 19 points on the poor bloke. Harvey Smart was classy all day on offence and defence, while Tom Osborne showed flashes of brilliance. Jayden Revink battled foul trouble early on, but finally got off the leash to score some crucial second-half baskets. Brad Neos also had a crack at guarding the Saints' big man, and performed well, while Ethan Tooth-Richards capped off our great win with a nice three-pointer in the last few minutes. An excellent round 1 win, but it doesn't mean much if we don't raise the bar even higher and continue our strong work ethic every week.
Middle School B-Grade (27) were defeated by St Peter's (42)
Another great effort against some tough opposition! We put up a good fight, but a few turnovers at costly times probably exaggerated the final score line. Scoring 27 points was a pleasing effort in our first game together, and the boys followed instruction really well. Ben Stewart battled hard all day and was rewarded with a stack of rebounds and a few points as well. Ben Harper was also a ball of energy, not allowing the Saints' guards to have anything easy at all; his work ethic on defence was a great example of the attitude our team and squad have had all season. Peter Ralph and Jamie Cooper showed that they will be a force from the three-point line this year, nailing shots at different times throughout the match. The team won't have to wait long to get a win once we are at full strength.
Middle School C-Grade (21) were defeated by St Peter's (37)
The C-Grade side put up a spirited fight against St Peter's but found them just a shade better in both halves. Everyone in the team is reasonably new to basketball and the potential that some of the boys showed was very exciting. Keanu Tria worked hard all day and was rewarded with a few baskets on offence and a massive block on defence! Early on it was Isaac Dinning who hit him with a sweet pass for an easy lay-up, which shows what can happen when we run and when the player with the ball has his eyes up. Matthew Lopez scored on three great drives to the basket during the second half, while Aussie Brigmanis also hit a couple of nice jumpers. Ethan Wilkinson was a valuable rebounder throughout the game. A solid first-up effort from the Hearts - we will better for the experience.
Middle School D-Grade (6) were defeated by St Peter's (33)
It was a very inexperienced Sacred Heart side which took to the court against St Peter's to tip off the season. A much stronger and experienced St Peter's side came out firing and put us under a lot of pressure, but as the game wore on, the boys were starting to learn and get better. Daniel Moore was energetic and hustling all game long, and he was able to force the opposition into mistakes on several occasions. Along with Patrick Clarke, they formed a solid defensive unit. Tyson Rowe was the most effective player on the offensive end, scoring three points and going close to scoring a whole bunch more. The effort from all boys was excellent; and with more practise, the only way is up!
Middle School A-Grade (38) were defeated by Prince Alfred College (43)
A pretty disappointing result for the A-Grade after such a complete performance last week. We had three players returning from state championship duties, and it showed that perhaps the team didn't gel as well as we did last week. There were patches of play where we showed what we're capable of, but in general, we turned the ball over too often and didn't work hard enough on defence. Riley Luke had an excellent first half and was causing headaches for the PAC defence, while Aiden Gorringe showed plenty of hustle on defence. The fact we only lost by five against a solid team says that when we hit our straps, we will be hard for any team to beat. More effort and more time together will help us realise our full potential over the next few months.
Middle School B-Grade (36) defeated Prince Alfred College (32)
Another great battle and another gutsy victory for Sacred Heart against PAC. Peter Ralph got the boys off to a good start by swishing a three, but early on it was the PAC guards who looked to have all the tricks. However, some solid defence by Jamie Cooper and Ben Harper helped to slow down their playmakers and we found ourselves in a tight contest, down 16-17 at half-time. A slow third quarter helped PAC to a 28-22 lead early in the fourth quarter and the signs were ominous. However, Ben Stewart did what he does best and hustled his way to four straight points before Ethan Tooth-Richards swished his third three of the game to give us a 29-28 lead. Brad Neos came up with a late bucket to give us a four-point lead inside the final minute, but there was no time to celebrate once PAC scored again for 32-34. The boys kept their composure and Ralph scored in the dying seconds to seal the four-point victory for the Hearts!
Middle School C-Grade (18) defeated Prince Alfred College (12)
After copping a loss at the hands of St Peter's in week 1, the C-Grade responded in the best way possible with a gritty win against PAC. It was a low-scoring and tight defensive game, but we came up with some big baskets in the second half to keep the opposition at bay. Keanu Tria came off the bench and had an immediate impact early - a long bomb straight after coming on and then a steal and layup saw us take control in the first half. Our work during the week on defence and ball-handling paid dividends; Matty Lopez, Sherv Sreeshankar and Benny Agullana all showcasing their skills and helping to create offence for the team. Two great drives to the basket for Sreeshanker gave us a nice 13-8 buffer, and when Tria converted a great three-point play, we were up 18-10 and the game was all but over. If we continue this rate of improvement, we will be a force come the season's end.
Middle School D-Grade (28) defeated Prince Alfred College (26)
One week is a long time in basketball. After a tough game against St Peter's last week, the boys rallied together (with a couple of new additions) to win a nail-biting 28-26 contest at Prince Alfred College. Laurence Becker and Sam Thompson provided the boost we needed on offence, combining for 20 of our 28 points, while Tom Schar also chimed in with a couple of nice long shots. Tyson Rowe showed some good aggression again and was able to grab some big rebounds for the team, while Daniel Moore provided the hustle and the energy that any good team needs. We are quickly learning that moving the ball around makes it easier for everyone to score, and if that continues, so too will the victories.