Saturday, December 26, 2015

Saint Peter's 56, St. Francis Brooklyn 45: Ray Floriani's Photo Essay

Jersey City, NJ ­- Trap games are frequently mentioned. The perceived stronger opponent has an important game coming. In the way is opposition of marginal ability that should be easily dispatched. Therein lies the ‘trap’ of the stronger team looking ahead.

Trap games can, on rare occasions, involve both teams. One such time is just before a holiday, as in an afternoon game just two days prior to Christmas. Players are human. Thoughts could very well be on travel connections and the return home to see family and loved ones. A basketball game may have to be contested prior to the holiday festivities. There is a chance the game might not get 100 percent effort.

On Wednesday, Saint Peter’s took care of business, defeating St. Francis Brooklyn, 56-­45, at the Yanitelli Center. The Peacocks avoided the trap with a simple approach: Defend. Saint Peter’s played a tough man to man defense, taking St. Francis out of the game. While the offense was not exactly on fire, that defense proved to be the difference.

Saint Peter’s coach John Dunne was gracious, observing the Terriers had several open perimeter looks but failed to take advantage, misfiring to a 40 percent (4-of-18 from three-point range) eFG rate. Teams do miss shots. On closer look, there are times the open shots not going down are a byproduct of the defense. In other words, if you are defended tough, there is a tendency to rush and misfire the limited open opportunities. In the end, Saint Peter’s was able to avoid their ‘trap’ with basic, no-frills, effective defense, which seems to work almost every time, trap game or not.

The battle on the boards between St. Francis and Saint Peter's:
The founder of this site and a man of many talents, Jaden Daly, handling public address duties:
While Saint Peter's did not rest on defense, a free throw opportunity afforded time for a breather:
St. Francis head coach Glenn Braica studies the action:
The cleanup crew gets to work during a break in the action:
Chris Hooper of St. Francis demonstrates on-ball defense, with a weak side defender splitting his vision:

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