The St Charles College versus Maritzburg College basketball fixture always stirs the emotions and Saturday afternoon’s first team match at Maritzburg College’s Alan Paton Hall was no exception.
St Charles College head of Upper School and first team basketball head coach Darren Holcomb cited the performance of the Maritzburg College first team in the final quarter of the match as having been the decisive period that separated the sides.
Holcomb, himself a former SA basketball player, said: “The game between St Charles College and Maritzburg College is one of the most hyped and anticipated of the season.”
Going into Saturday’s fixture, Darren said the anticipation was even bigger, considering the two teams had split their previous matches. With both teams looking for the defining result, tensions were high, the clash living up to expectations.
“In front of a capacity crowd, the two teams traded baskets with both coaches adjusting defences to keep the opposition on their toes. With a mixture of man-to-man, zone and press defences utilised by both teams, there were regular changes in the lead on the scoreboard.
“Both teams struggled with their outside shooting and as a result relied on aggressive drives to the basket to keep the scores rolling over. Despite the efforts of both teams to extend their leads, the score remained tied up with 6 minutes left to play.”
Darren said that with everything to play for, it was St Charles College who blinked first with a few consecutive turnovers which led to fast-break opportunities and easy scores.
St Charles College, with the momentum against them were forced into a high-risk, high-reward defence to try pull the game back. However, College were up to the task and managed to exchange baskets for the remainder of the quarter.
“College are to be complimented on their play in the final quarter, which was outstanding, and resulted in them sealing the decider between these two fine teams, the final score 81-66 in Maritzburg College’s favour.”
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