23 June 2009

WNWBL Round 2 and NWBL Round 3

Ok so I apologise for not writing this straight after the rounds happend. So if the commentary is kinda boring, its because my memory has faded and am relying on the League websites.

Firstly, it was the second Womens League round, held in Melbourne on the weekend of the 12th of June.

Unfortunately, due to the current Oink Flu epidemic going on around the world, and with the high number of cases in Victoria, our HC John was unable to fly with us (he is a teacher). Therefore, AC Lee stepped up to play HC for the weekend, and Wheelcats physio Katie was able to fly with us (Stars physio Zoe was unable to fly to Victoria because she had prac in a hospital).

So the Stars flew out 9am on the Thursday. Not after getting a headach from a certain check in chick who said I had to pay $220 in excess baggage. In my 5 years of basketball, never have I heard of my state team having to pay excess. So I sat there telling her to waive it, which left me negative 2 minutes to go to the loo before boarding my flight.

We got into Melbourne around 2 in the arvo, met up with our interstate player Cobi, and was on our way to Dandenong. I was trucker chick with Lee, while the rest of the girls and Tom (as in GPS) told us how to get to our hotel while avoiding any kind of road toll. About an hour and half later, we arrived at the same hotel I stayed at with the Wheelcats a few weeks before (which by the way, only took like 30 or 40 minutes because we didn't avoid tolls!).

After checking in, with Katie, Amber, Sarah and I in one apartment, Lee on his own, and the rest of the girls (Cobi, Alicia, Eileen and Mandy) in another apartment, we went out for dinner, breakfast shopping and then back to the hotel for sleep.

The next morning we were able to do whatever we wanted until 2pm when we left the hotel for our 4pm game. So most of us slept in and then went to the Plaza for lunch.

Both the 4pm and 8pm games were against the Hills Hornets, the team we beat by 1 in the first round in Perth. Pretty much the stats talk for themselves. We didnt do very well. I can't explain why, but we were shite. Despite improving in the second game, we ended the day with 2 loses under our belt. Not very good.

That night we had pizza and movies, followed by bed.

The next morning was pretty much the same. We had a lazy morning of watching Bambi 2 and then a sausage sizzle courtacy of Lee (who cooked the sausages in the kitchenette due to the coldness outside and the inability to light the BBQ).

4pm we played the Gladiators. Unfortunately the stats were not recorded on Live Stats so I can't be specific, but we were SO much better than the day before. Even I got a few good baskets. As a whole, we were awesome. We won that game fairly convincingly.

Now the 8pm game was against the Dandenong Rangers. Erg! I say 'erg' not because we lost. We actually won. It was a great win as well. We were down by heaps and then the girls shot their lights out and won with a nice gap in front. I say 'erg' because at the end of the 3rd quarter, I was the meat (or nutella, whatever you fancy..) of a Shelley and Cobi sandwich. There was a whole lot of wheel, a whole lot of floor, and I ended up lying on my arm and bursting into tears. It wasn't that painful at all, but for some reason, like when you get hit in the nose, the water works started automatically. I remember hearing someone say 'just stay there for a bit, don't move'. So I did. I eventually turned myself over and was pulled up by HC and subbed off. Luckilly we had the physio there because even though my left elbow wasn't really in pain, it did feel slightly stiffer. Either way, it wasn't normal anymore. So after some ice, a short push around on the other court, and some strapping later, I was able to play the last 2 or 3 minutes of the game. By this time the girls were ahead by like 10 and the Rangers had resorted to fouling every time we had possession to send us to the line in hope to get the ball back quicker. It didn't matter though, our girls were hitting most of their FT's and we won.

The next morning I was in pain. My arm had stiffened dramatically and was very sore to move. I had to lifted into the Truck (thanks Lee) because I was unable to transfer myself. I think the flight didn't help either.

On the Monday, I booked myself in to see Loopy - the Rollers physio, and he told me I had partially torn my medial collateral ligament. The fact it hurt when he tried bending it too far meant that it wasn't severed completely and doesn't need surgery to be put back on. Which is good news. Bad news was that I needed to rest it, which meanr no training and no NWBL game that weekend, and purhaps no WNWBL games the following weekend. I wasn't a happy girl. I've never really been injured before and I hated to think that I would be disappointing my teams by not being able to train or play with them.

Luckilly, the boys were able to win both games against the Adelaide Thunder that weekend without me. It sucked watching from the sideline and not being able to play. Especially when things got a bit hairy and scary when a 30 or whatever point lead went down to 5 or 8. But in the end, it was 2 wins and the Wheelcats remain undefeated. A few of the boys know what they need to work on and will hopefully be better and ready for the next NWBL round in Sydney at the end of July (I will be in Canada and will miss the round - so good luck boys! Will be thinking of you!!).

On the weekend, just before our first NWBL game against Adelaide, one of the Stars was involved in her first car accident and received a spiral fracture to her pinky on her right hand. She had surgery to make it right but will not be able to play for a while, which means not traveling with us to Sydney this weekend for the next WNWBL round. Thankfully, Loopy gave me the all clear to play this weekend, otherwise the Stars would have only had 1 sub. I will be on light duties because I dont want to be hurt and not be able to play in Canada, but I am still thankful that I am able to play. I am a basketballer at heart and not playing is a heartbreaker!

Lastly I just want to put in a special mention for a special someone. You know who you are, and I want you to know that the strength, loyalty, and bravery you have exhibited over the past 2 weeks is inspirational. Your ability to play the cards you have been dealt, and to continue to climb onwards and upwards is amazing and all those around you should be thankful to have you there. The Stars and the Cats will always be there to support you and your family. We are so proud to call you one of us. Xx

Thats all for me tonight. Hopefully there isn't too many spelling or grammatical errors. I've typed this pretty fast :P

11 June 2009

NWBL Round 2

Perth held their first round of NWBL last weekend. It was against Woolongong, the team who we defeated in the final last year.

The game started off a little shakey, with there being only 2 points between us at a few stages. But in the end we ended up winning by like 30.

This morning the Western Stars fly out to Melbourne for their 2nd round of WNWBL. Fingers crossed for a few wins and not coming back with the Swine Flu!

Our HC John isn't allowed to travel with us to Melbourne due to the Pig flu, so AC Lee will be taking over the role as HC for the weekend. And Katie, the Wheelcats physio, will be coming as well to be an extra set of hands.

Good luck girls! :)

04 June 2009

First NWBL home round for 2009

Be there!

If you can't be there, then check it out via LiveStats!

Oh, and happy birthday JT!

01 June 2009

NWBL Round 1

The Wheelcats flew out of Perth early Saturday morning (up at 5am so that Abdi and I could be at the airport for 7am - thanks to the guys who left me alone with my ipod, a tired Clare is a cranky and irritable Clare!) to arrive in Melbourne about 4 hours after take-off, for the first round of the National Wheelchair Basketball League against the Dandenong Rangers.

Melbourne is a beautiful city but holy cow its cold! Good thing the heater in our car was working. We had about an hours drive straight to the basketball stadium with about an hour til tip-off to get organised.

As a team we started off well, in the lead right from the start, but individually it took me a while to get into the swing of things. I was pretty shite in the first Q. Getting in my own teams way, unnecessary fouls, etc. etc. But I think I got into the groove of things, started reading the D a little bit better and working with my big a bit more. I must have been nervous at the start but hopefully I can leave those nerves behind, move forward, and be a great player right from the start of the game.

We ended up winning 91 to 72, with 6 points being mine, which I'm happy with because in past years, I didn't tend to shoot that much in NWBL. I was too scared of missing and disappointing my team to want to try. But Coach has been drilling me out of that thought process, so I think I am improving in that aspect. My fellow low pointer, Abdi, was a gun, scoring 12 points for our team. Go the lows!

After the game we checked into our hotel, me and Sam sharing an apartment. I shot-gunned the master bedroom with ensuite straight away. We then went to the other guys rooms for a laze around the tv with pizza. It didn't take long for the away trip tradition of proving one's masculinity against each other to occur. There was a suggestion of a low pointer bout but I kindly declind :)

I went to bed around 11 and had a nice sleep in til 8.30am, for a 9am breakfast followed by an 11am check-out.

Our second game against the Rangers started at 1pm. We scored the first shot of the game, but 4 minutes into the game, Dandenong were up. However, it didnt take us long to catch up and accerated past them to win the game 99 to 68 (despite several unsavoury calls from the officials). I felt better in this game than the previous one. I only scored the one goal but I felt better in the other aspects of the game. Congrats to J for his triple-double and Shaun for scoring 47 points!

The drive back to the airport was relatively event free, not really needing the road book ('can you see the Crown, Ben??'). After a slight delayed departure, we finally took off and after many hours of sleeping, reading or annoying the person in front or behind of you (*cough* Lee *cough*), we were back in Perth by 9pm.

Next weekend we have a home round against the Woolongong Rollerhawks. Its just the one game on the Saturday but it should be a good game. Hopefully there will be a sea of red in the crowd!

Now I should start studying for my exam on Wednesday (have taken the challenge of not going on Facebook today.. hmmmmmm thats a tough one!), or at least get started on some house work :(

Ciao mio amichi! (i think thats how it goes..)