By Nikos Silikas
"Usus est magister optimus"
This was a much anticipated clash between the top two teams in the Division. Coach Greenough game preparations were superb and they paid off. The team started by watching on dvd a couple of games of the opponents, identifying their weak spots. Then, in the customary light training on the morning of the game, we adapted our tactics to compensate for the absence of the irreplaceable Mr Reid!
Atlas started the game very strong, pressing the opposition and disrupting their guard movements. In fact it must have seemed like a Sisyphean task to the opponent guard to bring the ball in that first quarter. Defence was the key in that quarter and Falcons only managed to score 6 points. Atlas scored 13. That 7-point margin proved to be pivotal.
Falcons came back early in the second quarter trailing by 2 points. That triggered an assault from Atlas that was spearheaded by back-to-back 3-pointers from Alex Simmoneau and the ageing Captain. In an explosive 5 minutes Atlas had an 18-2 run that effectively sealed the game. The half finished with Atlas leading by 37-24.
The third quarter was fairly even and an opportunity for Neil Siddall to demonstrate his dominance in the key against the man-to-man defence. He had 6 points in the first 3 minutes and finished the game comfortably as the leading scorer with 22 points. The quarter was about to finish even but for the intervention of Max Goueguel (aka the showman), that provided the game’s highlight with a steal and a last second 3-pointer from the half-way line.
The last quarter was similar. Atlas had a comfortable lead 60-47 with 4 minutes left and at the point started to relax. Falcons had the chance to score a couple of points at the last minute and the game finished with an Atlas clear victory.
Neil led the scorers with 22, followed by Max with 13 and the ever present Tom Sutton with 10 points. The team had an uncharacteristic low free-throw percentage 10/17 (59%) that should have helped to increase the final margin.
The team had a nice session at the bar afterwards analysing the game and debating philosophical issues (especially in the pre-Socratic era).
Dr Nikos Silikas - Ageing Captain