The Australian Institute of Sports WNBL team known as the Tutes and also lovingly as the Badgers, were beaten by high scoring Referee Darrell Corcoran and the Sydney University Flames feature player Alicia Poto - who scored marginally less points than the freewheeling Corcoran probably gave away to the AIS in fouls. The contest was a close battle reflected in the near loss of 79-82.
Much anticipated amongst the crowd was the return of the angriest coach in the league, Dean Kinsman. The state of his perplexity easily measured by the flavour of his forehead, from the calmer redskin to those arterial bursting beetroot moments - generally before he does something like instructing his team there are no more soft fouls and then delighting in the resulting on court carnage.
The good showing of the AIS this night did not give pause for cheering at the potential hemorrhaging of his arteries; though Corcoran, who featured more than either team throughout the night, did give the crowd cause for cheering at a potential Kinsmen explosion.
The big questions to be answered tonight was: would the new Tutes/Badgers lineup, with only three remaining from last year, stand up this early in the season - and with the visitors being the Flames - would Molly Lewis ever do more than sit on the side-lines? With Lewis getting court time there would at least be some sympathy support from two AIS followers’ courtside - the answers where yes, and no, respectively. When will we see Lewis again put down those 3 pointers!?!?
You could feel the tension from Coach Kinsman building before the game. Eyes flickering he set about penning something, likely an ode to the Women’s National Basketball League. This left him slouching and yawning as the AIS went through their warm-ups, starting sometime after that of the Flames who went through a calculated rote of trying to get all their missed baskets out of the way before the game started.
Returnee Kate Gaze (11) led the AIS well, instrumental along with Elizabeth Cambage (13), in keeping the AIS’ points flowing. Kelsey Ireland (14) led the way with assists, two great three pointers and five personal fouls, and Tess Madgen (9) was up there with Cambage both having six rebounds.
Umpire Damien Nemeth generally made a go of undoing Corcoran’s Bozo refereeing efforts and the odd good call from Corcoran. Here are some sites for Corcoran to peruse prior to his next referee outing: A Dummy’s Guide to Basketball Officiating!, and Official (basketball) – there are even convenient pictures.
Thanks to Bela5by5 and Cakes for the assists. Huitzilihuitl.