Sometimes stating the obvious makes the person who stated it easy to ridicule. For example, when a Dutch former manager of Manchester United made the deeply profound comment that whoever scores the most goals wins the game, most people who heard him must have wondered why no one else had ever thought of it. (As well as thinking he was speaking double Dutch!) On other occasions, hopefully, stating the obvious can emphasise a valid point. Here goes. Basketball is a team game. I say this, not to distinguish it from badminton but because the concept of team is a major reason why Mystics U14 I came out on top of the scintillating encounter with a powerful City of Leeds Gold at the tastefully named Carnegie Arena last Saturday.
Leeds have several very skilful individuals, plenty of fleet-footed players and bags of scoring potential. This enabled them to score 62 points against us. Mystics also have several very skilful players but also have mental toughness, a willingness to share the ball and look for the simplest thing to get the job done as well as a commendable team spirit. This enabled us to score 80 points against them. Here endeth the lesson!
There were, of course, highlights – the outstanding defensive contributions of Olivia Forster and Kizzy Spence, the rebounding of Eleni Vourliotis and Esha Nayar, Charli Wroe’s eye-catching, tireless display, Nia Molloy’s shooting, the offensive movement of Emily Wood and the passing of Lily Hayes. That said, this was essentially a victory achieved thanks to positive input from all 11 available team members so well done, also, to Jo Vourliotis, Daisy Bryan and Zara Masadeh-Tate for playing their part in helping us to a thoroughly deserved victory against tough opponents. An honourable mention should also go to our 12th player, Lia Vourliotis who crossed the border into foreign territory (Yorkshire!) despite injury to be part of her team.
Many thanks to my assistant coach James, to team managers, Sam and Carys and to all parents/relatives/fan club members for you terrific support. Tameside Royals next!