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Date Posted: 09:33:17 01/09/08 Wed
Author: OR Fan
Subject: let me try to clarify
In reply to: Was there. 's message, "Good team posting ?" on 07:23:24 01/09/08 Wed

Please pardon me if my earlier post was a bit ragged. I had no coffee in me at that time! Let me see if i can answer your questions and do a better job of explaining what I saw last night.

My overall point was to contrast how both teams had a "star" player and how that player's gameplay helped or hindered his team's performance.

In the end, both of them led their respective teams in scoring, but Maynard took few shots to put up 17 as opposed to McLaughlin putting up 20 pts, but he must have had 25 to 30 field goal attempts. Many of them were forced shots against double and sometimes triple teams.

It was the first time I have seen St. Thomas play his season. I knew their big kid was out, but did not realize until game time that their next best player on the inside, Baxter, was now out too.

From what I saw, McLaughlin was attempting to do too much for STA. Perhaps he feels like he must carry all the burden given their injuries, I'm not sure. Early on they had him running in and through the lane trying to lose McDonald on screens so he could get free. While he got a couple of looks, it looked to me like he and the STA team in general did not understand how to properly setup & utilize a screen.

If you were there or have watched the OR teams play, you know that a big part of their offense in screening for each other, especially away from the ball. While the OR players were consistently getting open for a pass or a shot off those screens, the STA players, including McLaughlin, were not. To put it simply, they do not run their defender into the pick. they run around the screen leaving room for the defender to follow.

McLaughlin was expending a LOT of energy but not losing his defender very often. Both teams turned the ball over a LOT, but OR was able to get enough offense to build up a small lead after one quarter. In the second, both teams played hard nosed defense and the officals let them play.
The result was not pretty, but one could appreciate the level of effort both teams were putting in on the defensive end. At half time, the game was still competitive, but you could already see that the STA kids were not really running an offense as much as they were watching McLaughlin. On the other side, OR was running thier sets and passing up some open looks to continue the execution of their offense. Maynard and his teammates actually shots the ball less from 3pt land than they have in other games this season.

In second half, McLaughlin was bring the ball upcourt a lot and STA seemed to want to set a screen for him near the top of the key or at the elbow. OR started to disregard the guy setting the pick and just went right into a hard double team on McLaughlin. That strategy caused a series of turnovers and missed shots. STA only scored 7 pts in the 3rd quarter and never made any adjustments to what OR was doing to them. In the fourth period, OR was content to take their time, run the offense and take good open shots. STA never got closer than 7 or 8, but even then you didnt get the feeling that they could really catch OR.

By the quickness comment, I mean they dont have anyone that can play you like the guards from Pelham last year.
That team was quick! This OR team is loaded with a lot of good players who seem to understand the team concept very well. According to writeup i refernced, OR has had each of its starters put up 16 or more in a game this year.

As far as distributing the ball, your right that on many teams, the PG is primarily responsible for doing that. If you watched the OR offense however, you will see that everyone moves around to all the positions in many of the sets. Each player must be able to handle the ball and pass it well. They primarily drive in, get the defense to collapse and kick out for the open shot. They used that strategy to perefection against Hanover earlier in the season. In this game, there were times where OR was loose with thier passes and turned the ball over, but overall they did a better job of ball movement and team play than STA did. Also they drove inside for shots more than they did against Hanover. Obviously the lack of STA's big kid controlling the middle had a lot to do with that.

I hope i did a better job of explaining my point. If someone who has seen STA play more this season has better insight into last nights game, please chime in. Im just throwing my observations out here to see if others agree or disagree.

I am new to this site, so i hope i am not too long winded with my posts. I think this is a great way to generate interest & discussion about high school basketball here in NH

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