The Amity Spartans had everyone at the edge of their seats at Tuesday’s SCC Interdivision game against Hand.
For most of the first half, the point spread was painfully wide at times and it seemed like Amity would not be able to catch up to the aggressive, skillful Hand players.
Amity Coach Jeff Nielsen said the team started out slowly and Hand made some very tough shots at the beginning of the game.
“We know [Hand] is a good shooting team and they had a lot of good looks in the first half and obviously they made them,” Nielsen said. “We talked to our team before the game about being tougher and stronger with the ball and doing a better job of rebounding, but in the first half we were not strong with the ball and we didn’t rebound well.”
At half time the coaches addressed this again and going into the second half, the focus was being stronger with the ball and executing their offense as Hand had done in the first half.
“What we needed to do was show a little toughness down the end, which means getting a few more rebounds,” he said. “We did that at the end, we had a couple more putbacks a couple of offensive rebounds and I think we were down about 8 at one point and Remi Farrell, number 52, got an offensive rebound on a foul shot and he put that back in for us. That cut the lead to 6.”
“We were trying to make more foul shots than we made down the end, we made just enough to tie it (59-59) and then take the lead there and Matt Lettick #35 came up with a big block at the end of the game,” Nielsen said. “We thought we were comfortable with the lead, and then he came down and was able to block that shot and we were able to hold on for the last 8 seconds, get up and get out of there with the game by 2.”
Nielsen described it as a back and forth game two teams going at it head-to-head.
“We were lucky when the buzzer sounded and we had 2 more points than they did,” he said.
The Spartans played with its normal rotation, using Zac Campbell #24, the game’s high scorer (29 points), Dave Ryan #25, who was put in the point guard spot late in the game. Lettick #35 was in foul trouble for most of the game played well in the end, with a steal, dunk and that blocked shot at the end of the game, according to Nielsen.
“Remi played really strong for us at the end once Gardner Broderick #40 fouled out,” Nielsen said. “It was pretty much the usual cast of characters but our two big guys stepped up to the plate for us. It was a good game.”
Broderick scored 11 points in this game.
The Spartans record is now 6-2
About the fans
“It was loud and exciting and we like the fan support we get,” Nielsen said. “The kids that have shown up have been great so far for us.”
The Boys Basketball Fans are by far the most dedicated of the fans at any sporting event.
Nielsen said that it’s tough on the fans because every home game in January falls on a Tuesday, and all Friday night games are away, yet the fans always come out and each week they follow a theme.
“This week it was Tropical Tuesday (the fans wore Hawaiian print shirts, Leis and shorts) and I asked one of the kids what next week would be and he said “America Night” so, I’m thinking red, white and blue, maybe — but we’ll find out when we get there.”