BY DAN DONOVAN | We entered game two of ZBL semifinal series ahead 1 game to 0 after we won game one on KP Brno’s home floor this past Wednesday. However, we knew it would be tough after Petra Zaplatova went down for the season last game with a torn Achilles and Katerina Zohnova still out with a broken hand. With that in mind, we took the court determined to defend our home floor in this series. Game two tipped off at 17:00 and immediately became a back and forth affair. Both teams traded baskets with 3 lead changes and 2 ties in the first four minutes of the game. However, in the last six minutes of the period we went on a 14-8 run to take a 5 point lead after the first 10 minutes. This run was led by 7 points from Nikola Dudaova and 6 from Michaela Vackova in the period.
In the second period, KP Brno went on a run to try and retake the lead from us. We held off the run for a little bit after KP tied the game with 8:00 left in the second, until they eventually overtook us and took a 1-point lead with a 3-pointer from Gill with 3:28 left in the half. It seemed like KP Brno just wanted to win the game more than us at this point at they grabbed 3 offensive rebounds in this time period. When KP Brno retook the lead, a fire was lit inside of us and we went on a massive run to end the second period to retake the lead. In the final 3:28 of the second period Karolina Maleckova had 8 of her 11 points, including two 3-pointers, which was the biggest part of our 12-0 run to end the half. We entered the locker room at halftime holding an 11-point lead over our crosstown rivals, ready to close them out in the second half.
KP Brno was not ready to lose as they continued to fight with us and get closer to the lead in the third period. In the third we turned the ball over 5 times which lead to 7 points that KP scored in the period. KP got to within 3 points of the lead before we pulled away a little bit, but by the end of the period our lead was cut to only 6 points. Nikola Dudasova’s 7 points in the period helped to ensure that we maintained our lead as she seemed to score every time KP would start to get close to us.
The fourth quarter was set up to be very interesting as KP had gone on a run in the third and seemed set to continue it in the fourth. In the first minute of the fourth quarter, KP came within 1 point of the lead after a 3-pointer from Kopecka. Once KP got to within one point, we were ready to retaliate and went on a 14-1 run to put ourselves up 14 after a 3-pointer from Karolina Maleckova. The fourth quarter became the Marques Webb show as she seemed to take over the period and dominate KP Brno. She had 10 points, 2 rebounds and 1 steal in the quarter and was a big part of our eventual 74-56 victory over KP Brno. After they came to within one point, we outscored KP 24-7, with 4 of those 7 points coming in garbage time with under a minute to go when we were already leading by a large margin.
In this match, our starters played a lot of minutes, and Nikola Dudasova did not leave the court as she played the full 40 minutes. 4 of our 5 starters played at least 30 minutes and the only reason why Beata Adamcova played 20 minutes was because she was in foul trouble for most of the game. All four starters who played at least 30 minutes scored over 10 points, lead by Marques Webb who had 24 points and 9 rebounds. 12 of her 24 points came at the free throw line as she went 12-15, or 80%. The next highest scorer was Nikola Dudasova, who had 2 steals to go along with her 18 points. Michaela Vackova recorded another double-double as she scored 13 points and 10 rebounds. Finally, Karolina Maleckova had 11 points and a team high 3 three-pointers. With that victory, we go up 2-0 on KP Brno and we are one win away from reaching the ZBL finals.
Game 3 will be at KP Brno’s home arena at Tuesday, April 2 at 17:30.