Coach Banach's Game Recap/blog for the Enosburg Defeat
April 30, 2008By Dan Banach of Bellows Free Academy
Coach Banach was nice enough to provide his personal Game recap blog for the Enosburg Game on 2/16/8:
"The Game we've been waiting for 2 months, the rematch. The game where we get to unveil something they didn't see before: a team gelled and significantly more matured since the first meeting. This team only got a very small unconcentrated dose of us the first time, they'd soon learn what's like to have it taken to them for 32 minutes.
We started out good - except for the 'nerves' mistakes ( bad passes, rushed shots or passes..... Stupid turnovers - I've come to expect them in the first few minutes) we played good defense. Any mistake of position on defense, they took full advantage of. 3 minutes in, we're down 6-0. I call Time out. I explain I'll contain their surges if they promise to come out having corrected the mistakes. Our mistakes were VERY fixable - as it showed in the first 2 minutes of coming out of that Time out. We went on 8-2 run to tie it up at the end of the first. This team is physical, girls are literally pushing my girls out of position away from the ball on both offense and defense - illegal 'block out' screens to allow the guard to drive and be protected from our forwards. Ref's didn't see much except for a few warnings of elbows underneath. The girls truly battled out there. - 1 quarter down and we're still in this game.
We talked about mindsets, how this team is confused and on their heels now and how we must keep it up to have a chance..... no gambling on steals unless their solid, Sound defense keeping everyone in front of you and your hands in their face, and good decisions on defense and offense. The press was on beginning of the second qtr, we wanted to shake things up a bit now that they were flustered - assuming their coach tried to refocus them, we were going to add something else to the equation to help keep them panicked. It worked, our 'dog defense' team scored 6 points. Then the next group came in and scored 6 with some solid steals and shots. We ended the half up by one and pumped.
As usual, the girls were really upset about the fouls NOT being called. I assured them I've addressed some, and the rest I will. That usually the refs talk at half and things get more refined ( we hope at least). I let them vent then I get them focused again. Surprisingly, this group does not complain on the court - only in Time outs and half time. Beyond this I remind them of what they've just done right. How it's taken focus for 16 minutes and we need 16 more. We'd been talking about the WORD PRIDE and how it pertained to our home court, about keeping it up and proving it. Pointed out some minor weak points and went back out for some practice on shots.
Bad news is, we lost our fiercest forward and 3 rd fiercest defender ( #15) on the team half way through the second. Poor thing she was really upset - she knew it was a serious ankle injury as she has a high tolerance of pain and this hurt. We later heard she had apparently fractured her ankle earlier this year but played on, it kind of healed but this injury just refractured it so bad, there's a piece of bone missing now. She also tore a ligament. She's out for the rest of our season ( 2 days).
3rd quarter was a back and forth battle. We'd steal it but not make the shot or turn it over. They get down in our zone and then out play a forward or guard and make a shot. We'd then steal it with the press and make an easy lay-up. End of the third though, we go up by 6.
4th quarter. At this point, I hadn't noticed how big the crowd had gotten. This was senior night so the crowds come early to get a seat. I hadn't realized the local paper photographers. I hadn't noticed until we started out crazy strong on defense, with the press stealing it twice to put us at 8 points up. I then noticed the flashes and the noise. I believe it really powered these girls from what I saw. Our offense moved it around nicely and found the open person who made the shot. It all looked promising. The other coach had to stop our momentum. He called a time out at 7:00. His girls then came out and started shooting. They knew they could shoot, we'd just scared them out of good shots. By 5:00 our lead was 2. We called a time out then and refocused the girls, explained that, the ENosburg girls just used up a crazy amount of energy to go on that surge and now it was time to put them away. If we go up by 6 now they won't recover. At that we went out, stole it, out rebounded for it, denied them for it, and got that 6 points with 3:00 to go. After a flagrant foul, and us making 1 of the 2 to go up by 7, Enosburg succumbed to panic fouling. They tried to stay with us, as we scored again in the final minutes, but it was too late. Buzzer sounded our victory - 49-38. ( i think that was the score)
This was a big win. We'd planned for it, worked for it, it was something that was difficult to achieve but we did it. It makes this season worth it even if it was the only Win we achieved, it still would've been worth it ( we won 8 though). Funny thing is that if you look at the margin we won and then who they lost to, it would mean we could've went undefeated all season if we'd achieved the state of mind we did with this game earlier in the season.