The Rams were slow getting going in the fourth — literally. Showing no leniency towards tardiness, the ref passed the ball to the prepared Warriors, who ran it down an empty court for a free basket, while the Rams hardly noticed from their huddle.
Although the Porter Creek Rams were not without other low points, they did pick up a 54-35 win over the FH Collins Warriors in girls’ 9/10 basketball at FH Collins Friday.
It was even less balanced in the boys’ game, with the Rams running away with a 79-33 win over the Warriors.
“It seems like there’s these waves of amazing passes and great basketball, followed by us standing around watching someone on the other team play basketball,” said Rams coach Trevor Hale. “We’ were going through these waves of, ‘Wow, we’re great’ to ‘Wow, we’re awful.’”
The Rams came out firing in the first and quickly assembled a 10-point lead before the Warriors inched back to within two at 19-17 and ended the half down 22-20.
Scoreless on their first seven attempts from the floor in the third quarter, the Warriors began to struggle again as the Rams scored 12 straight points.
“I think we just couldn’t hit anything,” said Warriors coach Diedre Davidson. “We started off slow and then we picked up our game to get us within the two-points at half. After half we could not make a basket to save our lives.
“The shots we were taking weren’t the best, but we just couldn’t drop anything. We were getting some alright rebounds, but still, again, nothing was dropping.”
Up 47-34 in the fourth, the Rams broke the 50-mark on a three-point play by Jenna Blanechefte, who drove through the key and sunk it off the glass, drawing a foul shot.
“It’s obvious she played all summer — it really makes a difference,” said Hale of Blanechefte, who plays for Team Yukon and led the Rams with 20 points. “She’s also the one who fouled out.
“She played well, she’s confident, she’s not shy of the basket. Any time she gets the ball you can see she’s played so much.
“As with the other girls, their confidence is still growing. They look to pass more than they look too score. It’s almost like (having) the ball is a bad thing sometimes.”
Topping the list for the Warriors was Jamie Pope with 12, while teammates Sophie Flathers with seven and Amy Val with five.
“Sophie played a fantastic game,” said Davidson. “She took it to the rim a couple times and that’s fantastic to see. We’ve been working on some of her big moves and she’s been looking to score more…
“Since the beginning of the season, every single game they’ve gotten better. This is probably the best finish against the Porter Creek team. So all and all, I think it was a very good game.”
(Note: since each of the teams had a pair of players wearing the same jersey number, some players who may have been high scorers could not be mentioned.)
Rams dominate for three quarters
The win aside, Friday’s 9/10 boys’ game was a good confidence builder for the Rams. Four Porter Creek players racked up 10 or more points and the whole bench saw game-time as the Rams dictated the flow of the game, going up 71-22 by the end of the third.
“After the first, we started to rotate the bench in to get everybody some minutes,” said Rams coach Paul MacDonald. “Nobody likes to get beaten by a lot — I’d rather win or lose by two-points.”
The biggest thorn in the Warriors’ side was the start of the third. Down 48-14 to start, the Warriors came up empty handed on their first eight attempts while the Rams sunk seven-of-eight field goals — including three-pointers from Cameron Weeks and Robin Smith.
“We went back to our five starters, who are probably the top five on the team,” said MacDonald. “So that was probably the difference there.
“Cameron is the point guard, so he’s the guy in charge of bringing the ball up the court. I want him to distribute the ball but he’s also got one of the best shots on the team. So I’ve told him, when he’s got a good look at the basket, think to score.”
Weeks was top-scorer for the Rams with 15 points, a basket over Smith with 13. Teammates Solie Stimpson and Peter Hanson each contributed 10.
The Warriors ended the game with aggressive play, producing 14 shots on net and outscoring the Rams 11-8.
“I was happy with how we played in the second half; I think we played better as the game went along,” said Warriors coach Tyler Bradford. “We’ve lost three of our Grade 10 players to the senior team — this was our first time playing without any of them — so emotionally and mentally we were a little out the game.”
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