Calais' successful start in 2008 with a bang after downing local rival Arras
ASPTT Arras 84-92 COB Calais (21-29, 17-16, 22-25, 24-22)
The derby match got off to a flying start. The guests trough Aurélie Cibert put the first points on the boards. Shena Mosch replied almost immediately with a trey for the hosts.
Calais dominated the early exchange and quickly put 10 points between themselves and Arras (17-7) after some clutch 3-point shooting by Allyson Hardy and Lina Brazdeïkyte.
Hardy continued to lead the Calais offensive game and increased her team’s advantage (23-11) after only six minutes of play.
Anaïs Déas gave Arras some joy after she hit a shot from down-town to bring them to within 6 points of their guests (19-25). But her side was unable stop Hardy who had the last word with her 16th point to end the first period (29-21) for Calais.
Arras kept Hardy quiet as they reduced their deficit (28-31) early in the second quarter. Cibert then took over the scoring duties for Calais, first with a shot from down-down, followed shortly by a pair of free-throws. Brazdeikyte completed the guests’ 8-0 run with a 3-point play (39-30).
Carla Thomas (in picture) came back into the battle as she muscled her way to the basket and drew the foul to complete a 3-point play. This action inspired her team-mates into action. Mosch was left open to hit her second from the land of many.
This action was followed by Sylvie Gruszczynski scoring her first points of the evening to bring the home side to within 3 points (36-39).
Mariame Dia came to Calais’ rescue with her trademark drive that forced Thomas to foul her. She made the free-throws. The pace of the game picked up which suited Calais for Brazdeïkyte to finish off a nice move to give her team the advantage once more (43-36).
Calais weathered the storm
Gruszczynski was to score again for Arras but Hardy scored her only points of the period to put her team in front going into the break (45-38).
Arras went all out to reduce their deficit and due to some clinical finishing by Gruszczynski and Natasa Evangelic were soon back on the tail of their guests (47-49).
Calais weathered the storm and with Brazdeïkyte (left) in particular hit the hosts with a 10-0 run to open the largest gap in the game (59-47).
Yet Arras quickly hit back-to-back baskets but were not able to take hold of the game. Both sides went basket for basket for the rest of the period with Calais leading (70-60).
In the last quarter both sides continued to trade baskets as Calais maintained their advantage (75-65).
Then Calais made the final break to end the sequence of trading baskets as Dia once again found her way to the foul line. She converted her shots and shortly after Brazdeïkyte scored her 18th point of the evening to increase her side’s advantage to 14 points.
The turning point of the LFB match was the fifth personal foul by Thomas. She had not been on the court long when Cibert drew her into a foul. Thomas was leading the scoring with 17 points at the time of her departure. Still there were four minutes to play.
Arras remained in contact due to the generosity of Calais from the free-throw line (25-of-34 at this point in the game).
Money time was approaching with Calais leading (85-73) when Brazdeïkyte made a tactical error in fouling Mosch. The Arras bench used a time-out and discussed 3-point shooting.
Back on the court Mosch hit the resulting free-throw and then she and Déas went on to hit three 3-point shots in as many attempts. Unfortunately for Arras the only Calais player they could foul was Hardy during the closing seconds. Hardy though was not as generous as her colleagues from the free-throw line and made all four allowing Calais to maintain the lead (89-82).
But Mosch still found her way to the free-throw line to give her team hope. Arras was finally knocked out by Cibert’s (left in picture) 3-pointer to allow COB to take the derby match (92-84).
Cyril Sicsic explained after the match that his team played brilliantly in difficult surrounding. The players executed the fast breaks efficiently and defended well. Arras may have scored 84 points but that was more to do with them making 9-of-13 three-pointers.
All the same Sicsic thought his team did well and the individual performance of certain players was excellent and their captain Lina Brazdeïkyte led by example. He continued that all in all this was a good win for them, they have now five wins under their belts and Arras is now behind them. They now have to prepare for their match on Wednesday against St Amand.