Hoops stun Ravens in Senior Thriller

Thursday evening saw a thrilling game of basketball at the NSC in the Senior league. PWC Hoops v Ravens was always going to be a competitive match with both teams looking to secure their first win of the season.

Vannin Coulter from Ravens opened the scoring with a quick three pointer but Hoops brought the ball back down the court where Danielle Murphy responded with 3 points also, setting the tone of the game and indicating it was going to be a close fight throughout. The first quarter was a low scoring quarter, every basket scored by Ravens was matched by Hoops, although an And-1 opportunity awarded to Conylt Dillon meant Ravens led at the end of the first quarter 11-10.

Again neither team give an inch in the second quarter, with every basket being matched. Amber Carridge returned after a 2-year hiatus due knee surgery with a storm of defensive energy and offensive scoring, securing numerous steals as well as giving Hoops their first lead of the game when she hit two baskets in quick succession. The third quarter was similar to the first half with both teams working hard to stay in contention for the win. The Kirkham sisters were dominating inside picking up rebounds to give Hoops second opportunities, whilst Vannin Coullter continued to lead the way for Ravens with his shooting ability securing himself as their top scorer of the game with 21 points.

Going into the fourth quarter Ravens led by one basket, 38-36. Hoops however were not about to give up the win easy and came out fired up. The tempo of the quarter was set by Hoops quick movement of the ball allowing a wide open shot for Lauren Ellison, with another quick steal and basket from Amber Carridge. So it was up to Ravens to respond. A tenacious team, Ravens were not going to let Hoops tough start phase them and got the ball into the hands of sharp shooter Coulter, allowing him two opportunities to score swish 3-pointers. With the game clock tipping into the final 30 seconds, and Ravens were in the lead 48-46. A strong drive to the basket by Becky Dunne drew the game level and meant Hoops found themselves in a similar position to their last game against Turkeys where they would have to play hard defence to secure another scoring opportunity. A quick change from zone defence to Man to Man, caused an upset for Ravens with a pass missing it’s man and heading out of bounds, giving Hoops the opportunity they needed with a side line inbounds.

With 3 seconds left on the clock, Hoops called a Timeout and huddled to devise a play. The excitement of the game coming down to the last seconds, was felt by all with the other game and spectators stopping to see who would come up trumps.

Tension was felt with both teams returning to court, Hoops had built nerves of steel however after numerous occasions where Coach Peter Dunne had called time outs to devise plays in the last seconds (regardless of score) meaning they were well prepared for this moment. This was shown by their execution of the inbound play where Dannielle Murphy came off a screen set by Amber Carridge and found herself in her favoured shooting area right behind the three point line. Receiving the pass it was a quick catch and release and, with the gather crowd holding their breath, the ball swished through the net for a perfect 3 on the buzzer and eruption from the crowd that cheered Hoops in their win, with Dannielle Murphy recognised as Player of the Match!!

Heart ache was felt by Ravens, however both teams had given a great display of basketball and the rematch in the second round of games is sure to be a nail biter. Both teams would like to thank the refs and the table officials for giving up their time to allow the game to go ahead and be played in the right spirit.

Hoops would also like to use this opportunity to promote that their inclusion in the senior league is all in preparation for the Guernsey Island Games in 2023 for which they are looking for a sponsor to help with travel, training and kit costs. If you are interested or are able to offer support in some capacity please do not hesitate to contact Becky Dunne at rebeccadunne9@Hotmail.com

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