Acton-Boxborough Colonials vs. Waltham Hawks on Friday, December 21st
Starting Lineup for AB:
- Billy Jackman
- Ryan Graziano
- Andrew Sweet
- Joe Euele
- Alexander Body
- Tyler Billings
- Ben Danzig
- Reid Larson
- Andrew Bartow
- Jake Gotthelf
Feeding off the loud student section, the AB Colonials came out to a great start, a 9-1 advantage to start the game. Ryan Graziano started things off when he stole the ball, ran down court and made a layup and was fouled (made the free throw) to put AB up 3-0. Early on, AB had an up-tempo feel – the team pressed every defense possession and really played terrific. However, from this point on, the team played poorly.
There were some substitutions made and the rhythm and momentum in AB’s favor was lost. The first quarter would end 18-17 in AB’s favor.
The second quarter was more off the same of the second half of the 1st quarter. Waltham further established itself while AB started to fall behind. By the end of halftime, Waltham took the lead at 32-28. Waltham was led by #24 Michael Gelineau who made a number of jump shots.
The third quarter Waltham extended its lead to 48-40.
The start of the fourth quarter was more of the same. However, in the middle of the quarter the Colonials made a huge comeback cutting the lead down to three at 57-54 Waltham. On the ensuing possession, however, a defensive breakdown gave Waltham’s #10 Antonio Osman a wide open three point shot. He made it and the Hawks never looked back. The Hawks ultimately won 66-54.
The Colonials played well when the players pressed and forced Waltham to really work the ball up the court.
The Colonials were also very successful in transition. The team had some great finishes at the basketball and often would get fouls called against Waltham in transition.
3. Penetrate and Kick Out
The Colonials also did a very nice job of making three pointers. Many of the threes made came from penetration into the middle of the defense, and then a nice pass to a shooter. Ryan Graziano, Reid Larson and Joe Euele all made three point baskets.
The biggest mistake made by the Colonials in this game was the lack of taking care of the basketball. The Colonials turned the ball over many times and those turnovers led to fast break points for Waltham. To be honest, most of the turnovers came from the guards – the players on the court who are supposed to know how to handle the ball.
Another enormous problem that this team faced was grabbing the defensive rebounds. Quite simply, the players struggled. While this certainly is not a big team, the players did not do a great job boxing out. Waltham was not that much bigger: AB just did not do a good job boxing out.
3. Offensive Execution
One of the staples to last year’s team that ranked top ten in the state was that offensively the team executed very well when the game slowed down and it came down to half-court execution. The team ran different sets and plays. Quite simply, the offensive sets were not used much and the execution was not that great. Part of it was Waltham’s press, however, once the press is broken, if the team can’t make anything happen from its initial push, the team should bring the ball back up and set up a play. This really did not happen enough.
4. Press Break Offense
The Colonials broke the press well sometimes, however, over the game, the team failed to be consistent. There were more than a couple steals and bad passes that the Colonials made out of Waltham’s press.
5. Missed Opportunities
The Colonials really made a lot of rookie mistakes. There were several missed layups and some bad passes that could’ve been prevented.
Other Interesting Things:
- Leading Scorer
Coming into the season, there was a lot of questions as to who would lead this team in scoring. Many thought either Captain Joe Euele or Captain Tyler Billings would get the job done. In fact, however, it was the sophomore Ryan Graziano. Graziano lead the team with 14 points while senior Andrew Sweet chipped in twelve points.
2. Weird Line-ups
At times, there were some questionable lineups put out by Coach Kilpatrick. For example, Billy Jackman and Jake Gotthelf were playing at the same time at different periods of time. The reason was for defensive stops, however, the team suffered. The two players play the same position offensively and defensively the lineup led to some unfavorable matchups that led to offensive rebounds. At different points, the team had four guards and just one big man. The strategy really was not that effective. Defensively, the rebounding suffered. The team really needs at least two non-guards on the floor at the time.
Just looking at the players who came off the bench, the only forward is Ben Danzig. The rest are all guards.
3. Bench Production
Reid Larson and Ben Danzig were the most effective bench players. Larson’s shooting helped the Colonials (he made two threes) while Danzig’s hustle and five points helped take the scoring load off the starters.
The Colonials next game is against Chelmsford in the Lowell Holiday Tournament on Thursday.