Flames fight off Gi­ants’ run

Southern Telegraph - - SPORT - Stuart Hor­ton

A week of “bru­tal re­flec­tion” and work on their de­fen­sive game has helped the Rock­ing­ham Flames men’s team to an 84-74 win on the road against Gold­fields Gi­ants last Satur­day night.

The Flames downed the Gi­ants at Mike Bar­nett Sports Com­plex the pre­vi­ous Sun­day, but the side’s ef­fort on de­fence left coach Ryan Petrik unim­pressed and de­mand­ing more de­spite a come-frombe­hind win.

Petrik said he showed his team 39 clips of “re­ally bad de­fen­sive plays” at train­ing on Tues­day from that first en­counter, with the week’s two train­ing ses­sions ded­i­cated to im­prov­ing that as­pect of the side’s game.

“We spent the whole week on de­fence (be­cause) a lot of the things I asked them to do against the Gi­ants the first time they didn’t do at all,” Petrik said.

“We had a re­ally bru­tal film game re­view. . .the play­ers said they’ve never seen that sort of film re­view on them­selves be­fore, or at least not one that bru­tal.

“They were all pretty ticked off and hon­est with them­selves and said they needed to be bet­ter.

“They spent the two train­ing ses­sions try­ing to fix it, and to their credit they were bril­liant. We dealt with the Gi­ants’ threats a lot bet­ter, most won their in­di­vid­ual ties and stopped their own man from scor­ing. On that as­pect it was through the roof com­pared to the week prior.” The Flames “started fairly well” and Petrik said he felt his side had the Gi­ants at arm’s length for most of the night, leading by at least seven points at every change and look­ing com­fort­able with­out be­ing dominant.

How­ever, the Gi­ants ral­lied in the last quar­ter to cut the mar­gin to two points with about five minutes to play.

“I said af­ter the game that when they were within two, go­ing into a time out, that it shouldn’t have been a two-point game,” he said.

“We’d have been robbed if we lost from there as we were in con­trol for most of the game but some­how we were only up two.”

En­ter the Flames’ 13-sea­son SBL vet­eran Ryan God­frey, who helped ar­rest the slide, scor­ing suc­ces­sive bas­kets with the game on the line, in­clud­ing a fade-away three-pointer against the shot clock that Petrik called “ridicu­lous”.

“He stepped up on two or three more drives at the rim af­ter that when we just had to get a bucket,” he said. God­frey fin­ished with 14 points, while Josh Ritchart led the way with 24 points and 10 re­bounds and Caleb White added 17 points. Petrik re­served spe­cial praise for Justin Beard, who stepped up in the ab­sence of Greg Hire to grab a num­ber of big re­bounds in the fi­nal quar­ter.

Pic­ture: Tori O'Connor

Gold­fields' David Humphries and Rock­ing­ham Flames' Josh Ritchart.

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