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RBL: Pretoria Boys High School vs. St Albans – 08/11/2008

By on November 9, 2008 in High School

This was a much anticipated clash between the powerhouses of Tshwane basketball. The day started off with grey skies overhead and the prospects of a full day program seemed bleak to say the least.

PBHS were the hosts for this RBL fixture and St Albans wanted to end their season on a high. The main event had to be the first team game at 11h00 but before that there were other games to be played by the junior teams.

Junior teams…

The home teams started the day off on a winning note by beating St Albans U14A (26 – 14), U15A (33 – 15), U14B (22 – 2) and it seemed like they were heading for a whitewash. Then before the main event, there was a 2nd team game that was full of drama. When people say a game of two half, then this was it. PBHS seemed to have the game under total control at half time leading (16 – 8) and the confidence was high. After some adjustments to their defensive play, St Albans came out for the 2nd half with a positive mindset and went on to win the game by a basket. The final score was (26 – 24) in favor of St Albans but there were a lot of emotions at the end that threatened to spill over.

The first team game…

This was a very interesting game with PBHS leading in all four quarters but St Albans never out of it completely. With another home crowd shouting at the top of their lungs, PBHS came into this game prepared to put their previous disappointing performances against St Albans behind them. From the onset you could see that the PBHS coaches (Wesley Diepering and Thibe Rantloane) had done their homework by denying St Albans main threat (St Albans 14) the ball on offense by playing him man on man with guards (PBHS 11) and (PBHS 7) tasked with keeping tabs on him, leaving them with limited options.

With the loss of some key matriculants, St Albans didn’t look like they had the depth to compete. PBHS on the other hand looked liked they were refreshed, and quietly confident of victory. They were playing good defense and causing turnovers and running fastbreaks at will. Their young guards (PBHS 5) and (PBHS 6) showed amazing poise and maturity from the first whistle by controlling the tempo of the game. Watching (PBHS 6) was like watching Dwyane Wade doing his thing; he had so much time in the air and shot the ball late drawing plenty of fouls. By half time, PBHS were leading 18 – 7 but St Albans were still going at them strong by finding baskets from around the team.

With his team making turnovers, St Albans Coach Victor Fouda decided to put more pressure on his opponents by going with a full court press. At first this strategy had the desired effect but after some adjustement, PBHS guards managed to counter this defense with some easy baskets with their post (PBHS 12) having one of his better games. St Albans couldn’t match PBHS in intensity and desire; and with their star player (St Albans 14) frustrated at the lack of opportunity, this frustration quickly translated itself to the rest of the players. In the end it was a comfortable victory for PBHS but both team will have to cut out the mistakes and improve on their free throws if they are to make a concerted charge in the Tshwane Schools Basketball league. Final score: PBHS 38 – 25 St Albans

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