Ravens narrowly beat Cannons in Christmas Friendly

With the Senior League on hiatus for Christmas the NSC played host to an exhibition match between the SOS Cannons and the Ravens. Cannons are a developing teams of young players who came together through school and Saturday Morning Basketball Club. With their eyes firmly set on entering the Senior league next season, this exhibition game gave them the opportunity to size up their future competition.  

Ravens entered the firm favourites but an explosive start from Cannons set a marker for what was to be an exciting game to the end. Quick baskets from Samson Shimmin and Rowan Coulter launched Cannons into a 7-point lead in the first 2 minutes while Ravens struggled to get off the ground. Inside play by Cormac Ewan and two swish 3-pointers from Matthew Jones brought Ravens into contention but Cannons kept their momentum, and a solid lead, for most of the quarter. A late run by Ewan saw the scores narrow with Ravens trailing by 1-point, 18-19, at the end of the first.  

Ravens tried and true tactic of speed and persistence fell foul of the youthful Cannons who were able to match pace down the court and disrupt the Ravens flow with solid defence. Outside shooting defined the second quarter with Oliver Hamilton, Rowan Coulter, and Gabe Thatcher on fire from outside the arc – with Hamilton and Thatcher pushing Cannons 9-points ahead in the first few minutes. Ravens again staged a late comeback, this time led by Jake Kinrade, but Cannons held their nerve into the half leading 29-35 at the buzzer.  

It was all action in the second half as Cannons opened strong in the third quarter with Coulter leading the charge on a 13-point run that left Ravens lagging well behind. Struggling to convert on offence it seemed like the game was up for Ravens until a turnaround in the fourth quarter. Closer defence on Coulter and Hamilton stopped Cannons advance while more composure on offence paid dividends and allowed Ravens to close the gap to a single point, 49-50, with less than a minute to go. A quick break down the court and mid-range pull up from Logan Glover pushed Ravens into their first lead of the game and, with a solid effort on defence in the dying seconds, they denied Cannons the return, sealing victory 51-50 at the buzzer. Such a close fought contest proves that Cannons will be a team to watch when they enter the Senior League next year.

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