Sunday 26th at Deans High School saw the young Wolvettes taking the court for the first time this season with a few of our young Wolvettes, Meghan, Mya and Cassie all making their first competitive encounter.
The girls were scheduled to play three games throughout the morning and were all raring to go with on court team warm ups and training drills adding to their professional and confident appearance. Captains’ dressing room team prep talks were also completed although the content of this is held in a secretive manner similar to a “What happens in Vegas ... Stays in Vegas “ style. Probably best !!!
Game 1 of the day then was against their old rivals and adversaries the East Lothian Dunbar Dragons who are always well schooled and up for a physical fire breathing type of contest. The girls started at a ferocious pace and were moving the ball around the court well carving through the Dragons defences although not all of the scoring opportunities were capitalised upon with the inevitable early adrenaline rush kicking in!!! The game settled into a competitive contest with some excellent defensive work coupled with some quick-handed steals/interceptions by the Wolves being the main difference. The final score ended Wolves 36 Dragons 26 with Kirstins personal tally of 12 points being a third of our team total, and a first game victory much to the
delight of all players, coaches and spectators alike. The Dragons will be back stronger later in the season that is for certain, and will coming looking for a result reversal....
Game 2 was an encounter against a Polonia Phoenix team whom some of our girls know well due to their involvement in Future Starz and Scotland training camps and the fact that we invited them to Livingston for a mixed training session and series of friendly games last season. Polonia have a number of particularly skilful girls who are amongst the best in their age group in the country. They are also coached extremely well and have possibly made the biggest improvement of all the teams in the last couple of seasons thus far !!! Again the game evolved into a fast moving encounter with both teams making good use of space in the relatively small court areas and fast breaks and power drives into the basket accounting for a large amount of points.
Wolves were perhaps the equal of Polonia in some of their technical skill areas and were able to keep the scoreline fairly level throughout the game. The final quarter saw Polonia field their strongest team of 4 girls and just eased into a lead in the latter stages. Sophie aka The Albatross was the Wolves top scorer in this game. The final result then was Wolves 30 Phoenix 37 although the girls overall performance was excellent and were remaining positive about the game.
Game 3 and final under 12’s game of the day was against a City of Edinburgh Kats team. It was clear early in the contest that these girls were in more of a development stage with some of their available players which gave the Wolves coaches the ideal opportunity to give their entire bench plenty of game time and experience. Some strong positive play in particular from Meghan resulted in her attaining 10 unanswered points during one of the quarters. Towards the end of the game some astute members of the crowd appeared to notice some whispered sideline discussions between coach Leah and our own JT and team captain Rico. Something out of the norm was being plotted and schemed .... Moments later all was revealed when a gap appeared after a nice screen by Meghan and JT set the ball up in beach volleyball fashion for Rico to try her much practiced “ alley-oop “... She leapt like a salmon on the Pots of Gartness on the Endrick Water ( yes I am a fisherman get used to it) and made the basket to the obvious delight of all watching especially coach Leah who was beaming on the sidelines watching on. The game finished Wolves 47 Kats 14.
It has to be said that the girls have been working extremely hard over the last few months with their coaches Craig and Leah who give up a huge amount of their own personal time to help develop the girls in order to achieve their full potential and own personal goals. Physically demanding SPARQ fitness sessions and ball handling and technical drills along with team tactics and gameplay has paid off as all the girls had improved massively individually as well as most importantly working together as a team. With this in mind the girls also recently held a team bonding evening session with numerous activities. Personal thoughts of “ The Office “ and David Brent were quickly dismissed as the girls had loads of fun whilst also helping to develop trust and co-operation with each other and to trust in each others abilities etc. Big thanks to the coaches, the girls continued development is a direct result of your skills and dedication to the Wolves team cause.
On that note it goes without saying that a big thanks has to be acknowledged for all the family members, friends, grandparents, car drivers and half time orange hander-outers, who all attended at the event to give support. They were treated to some top quality basketball and in general a sea of smiling faces on the court from our confident and skilled young girls. Luis Romero from Basketballscotland commented that around three years ago the same RDL event had only a few small teams and about a maximum of ten spectators attend. Things are certainly making fantastic progress with Scottish Basketball as a whole and there is no doubt that huge progress is being made at our own club West Lothian Wolves.
Yours in sport.....Big Harv!!!!
Go Wolves .... !!!!!