In what was the most exciting and all around most enjoyable basketball game I’ve seen involving the Rainmen, Halifax pulled out a huge victory despite almost blowing a big lead at the start of the fourth.
I’ll add my comments as I go after the jump, but this is going up now so other people can comment.
– Rob Sanders had an absolutely huge game – 30 pts on just thirteen field goal attempts and 16 rebounds.
– Halifax contained Manchester most of the game and didn’t let any player burn them. Desmond Ferguson looked like he was going to heat up but Dandridge stepped his defensive game up and locked him down. Dandridge really benefited from the return of Silverhorn since he had a bit less pressure, played fewer minutes and had more space to operate.
– Halifax were up by as much as 24 points before Manchester went on a 14-0 run at the begining of the fourth. Rick Lewis didn’t call a time out until it was a 12-0 run. Down the stretch I felt that there were a few big coaching errors including not calling time outs, putting the ball in Twyman’s hands when the other team was fouling despite the fact that he was horrible from the line all night, and not fixing the press break earlier. Luckily Halifax had a big lead but I feel that if Manchester had two more minutes I don’t know if the result would be the same. Halifax’s free throw shooting was also pretty wretched which kept Manchester in the game.
– Manchester are physical but I don’t know if it consitutes being dirty. That said, the refs tonight did not keep the game from getting out of line and even made some downright terrible calls. (i.e. that terrible tech on Bailey)
– The team looked better when Strick was on the floor. He is good at keeping people alert and moving on both ends of the floor. I thought Mayes and McNeal had their best games of the season, even if it doesn’t really show in the box score. Mayes played good D and had a great hussle steal, and McNeal had some good moments on offense and was a lot more willing to mix it up down low.
– Tony Bennett was not that impress impressive, but he did just fly in today. He failed to score did score ten points in 15 minutes and while he has a great handle he has SirVal’s shot selection. I would have liked to see Hammack and Ramey get his minutes since both really deserve more playing time. I don’t blame Bennett, but I don’t know why Lewis gave him so much time.
– The crowd looked to be in the 2300 range, but it was as loud as it’s been since the first game last November. Manchester were great to heckle and a lot of people in Section23 were ripping into them. I really enjoy the fact that there is a whole group of people with season tickets who talk to each other, pick up on chants and heckles and just generally serve as sort of a community in the section. Mass entertainment often lacks that sort of interaction so it was good to enjoy it and soak it in tonight.
– It’s now 10 three pointers equals a Big Mac – tonight they knocked down nine.