Henry Drake has some good news and some bad news about Varsity Basketball…
Firstly, I am going to assume that that the King’s men’s team was stacked with American players, because UCL‘s certainly wasn’t. 36-30 might seem like a big score to the unsuspecting reader, but it was the equivalent of watching paint dry. To make things worse, KCL won.
Briefly, and only briefly, I’m going to use some technical analysis to vent my anger at the scoreline. The game started off with a low scoring and highly physical first quarter which ended 6-5 to UCL. Neither team showed much attacking intent as we forced KCL to commit turnovers each time they tried to cut through and make space within our defence.
King’s had the defensive highlight of the first quarter with their bullish power forward Ado swatting and fouling UCL’s diminutive point guard in a layup attempt. Our player got the better of the mismatch by converting his two free throws. Getting fouled and sinking buckets from the free throw line seemed to be the recurring theme, proving to be UCL’s only method of scoring as our number 9 stepped up to score up three times in the first quarter. 6-5, what does that actually mean? I’ll tell you what, absolutely sweet FA. No buckets, no dunks, no alley-oops in sight. This was less Michael Jordan, more that fat kid always hanging from the basketball hoop at school.
Luckily for the fans cheering full-heartedly on the sidelines, things picked up in the second quarter with driving layups from the UCL’s point guards and back-to-back three pointers by King’s number 33. UCL went on to desperately cling onto our 1-point lead throughout the quarter which ended 20-19. However, UCL only managed to put up three points in the third quarter and King’s took the lead by scoring another nine making the score 23-28.
Clearly both teams had forgotten how to make jump shot let alone a free throw, as the score remained the same halfway into the final quarter. In what was generally a dull game, there was a grandstand finish towards the end. A three pointer at 30-27 put UCL within touching distance but it wasn’t enough as King’s finished six points to the good.
So here comes the good news. Our UCL girls avenged the men’s defeat in fine style by walking all over King’s. We nearly averaged double of their numbers throughout the game, finishing with a stomping 44-23.
Number 13 from UCL broke the scoring seal in the first few seconds of the match and from that moment on the quarter was all ours. It was a low scoring quarter, but a physical one with the girls wrestling for the ball on the hardwood. UCL managed to maintain possession throughout despite King’s gangly height advantage and took the quarter 6-2.
At the end of the first quarter, I sighed in despair over the scoreboard thinking that this would be another low scoring game. But our girls were quick to put me in my place by coming out all guns blazing. They toyed with the King’s defence, pulling off Kareem Abdul Jabbar-esque sky hooks and tactful quick layups in traffic, leaving King’s stunned and their crowd silenced as UCL’s buckets-deprived bleachers roared… FINALLY SOME BASKETBALL! By the end of the quarter it was a 17 point game as UCL had dished out 23 and King’s managed to scrape together 6 points.
Throughout the third, nothing was going King’s way. Each layup attempted was stripped away by UCL’s strong defence and turned into a fast break opportunity as UCL continued to leave King’s in their wake. In an attempt to spur on their players the King’s fans remained upbeat and cheered wholeheartedly over anything their players did like an over-enthusiastic parent at her child’s first basketball game.
The fourth quarter followed the exact same theme as UCL continued to squash King’s attempts, with our number 5 relentless in converting her layups. Finally the whistle blew and the UCL girls had redeemed the efforts of the men’s team. It left a satisfied crowd on the sidelines smiling as they watched their girls drown out King’s sorrow with the lyrics “I’m Burlington Bertie from UC. UC! That’s me, and him, and her, and him and her!!”
All image credits: Ross Ryan, Pi Photographer