Confident teammates. Roaring crowds. Wild atmosphere. There was enough energy in the Motorpoint Arena to power Nottingham itself. Men’s Varsity basketball was officially underway.
First Quarter – A deepening deficit
Similar to the women’s start, Trent claimed first possession upon tip-off which led to an easy finger-roll finish by Trent’s Captain, number 14, Ryan Stewart.
UoN immediately retaliated with a two point shot, and Trent’s defence slipped up again leading to another two points for Uni of.
It was a very slow first quarter, with UoN missing three free throws in the first few minutes in a ‘Dwight Howard’ like display of shooting.
Trent were not on form with their shooting, leading to multiple turnovers and a swish three pointer by Edoardo Vacca for UoN.
Janes Casimiro put on a great display of defence with the aid of his huge wingspan. Yet, Vacca and his supersonic driving speeds led to a two-point floater for UoN, as Trent began to slip behind.
The deficit began to deepen in the first, fumbling with the ball as UoN took the score to 22-15 by the end of the first.
Second Quarter – Turned over and turn around!
After Trent’s president, William Parkin, had finished laying into the players for a slow first half that lacked energy, the second quarter began.
We came out showing teeth and prevented UoN getting a basket on their possession, ended up sinking the first shot of the second for two points. Casimiro was rock solid and impenetrable as Trent moved from zone defence to man marking, making all the difference.
Mid-way through the second, UoN had five turnovers and only two points while Trent took flight and fought both offensively and defensively. Casimiro took the lead after a glorious finger roll finish at the basket, making the score 25-24 to Trent.
UoN took the lead with points from number 14, Patrick Daley as he broke through the brick wall defence. Seconds later Trent’s number 17, Tom Ballantine, dazzled Uni of’s defence with a spin move leading to another lead change in the second.
By this point, with four minutes left in the quarter, UoN had a shocking six turnovers and only four points.
But Uni of’s Patrick Daley broke through with feisty handles again as the crowds screamed and shouted, equalising the game to 31-31.
Third Quarter – Casimiro, Casimagic!
Trent got the very first points of the third from number three, Emils Enkuzens, but the crowd became static and silent as the third got off to a slow start.
A three pointer from Uni of’s number eight, Jonathon Marcos, got the UoN crowd stirring until Trent instantaneously retaliated with their very first three point shot of the game from Emils Enkuzens, who began to bag some points.
Captain Ryan Stewart sank a free throw after a foul, closing the gap between UoN to just one point. Then the bank was blown open – UoN came back with a three point bank shot with number 13, James Wilson, celebrating al la LeBron style.
Trent’s crowd went wild as Casimiro breaks away on the fast-break for another two points, at this point Trent were on a nine point to none streak against UoN who had no points thanks to Trent’s colossal defence.
With one minute left in the third, Trent were on a 12 to none point streak and the crowd was going wild.
To end the third quarter, number 17 for Trent, Tom Ballantine, sent UoN straight home with a marvellous buzzer beating three point shot.
The score 56-47 to Trent.
Fourth Quarter – Throw down!
Uni of began the quarter with full court press defence, but Trent’s number 12, Courtney Scott, took the ball forward with ease using a smooth as butter behind the back cross-over to avoid losing possession.
Trent had only three points after four minutes into the final quarter, and a spin move almost sealed the deal for UoN after number 14, Patrick Daley, brought Uni of to just two points behind. Trent’s number 7, Joe Mayfield, decided enough was enough and splashed down a three pointer to take Trent ahead again.
Trent’s star player, Janes Casimiro, was sent off with an ankle injury after playing every single minute of the game.
Despite the loss of ‘Casimagic’ and his epic defence and fast-breaks, Joe Mayfield pushed Trent ahead even further with a pump-fake move under the basket, fooling Uni of’s defence like a dog looking for a ball.
With four minutes to go in the final, it was a three point lead to Trent.
The deficit was shortened even further after a near dunk from Uni of’s number 9, Paul Jeboda.
Trent, in the final few minutes, powered ahead with a beautiful reverse lay-up from number 8, Euan James.
With one minute to go, the score was 75-68 to Trent – the win plainly in sight for Trent. UoN began to use intentional fouls towards the end, but Trent managed to sink most free-throws, taking the lead to 10 points ahead.
Trent’s crowd was thundering and swaying as the final whistle blew. The final score 80 -70 to Trent. A wonderful display of basketball not dissimilar to many professional games.
By Joe Locker.