BY DAN DONOVAN |Heading into the final game of the regular season on March 2, we still had everything to play for. It was a big game for us as we were playing our crosstown rivals, KP Brno who were one place ahead of us in the standings. This was a game we needed to win in order to lock up the 3 seed for the playoffs with Sokol Nilfisk Hradec Králové breathing down our necks in fourth. We got a big morale boost before the start of the game as Marques Webb, who had missed the last 3 games with a foot injury. As both teams took the court, they were greeted with loud drums and air horns from a full KP Brno arena.
This was a game of large runs as both teams held big leads in at least one point of the game. The first quarter ended quite close as we trailed 17-16 after the first 10 minutes. However, we jumped out to a 10-2 lead with 6:46 left in the first before KP Brno stormed back into the game. In the second quarter it looked like we were set to pull away as Petra Záplatová had 13 of her 21 points and made 4 threes. At halftime we held a 31-41 lead over our crosstown rivals.
However, the match was far from over. KP Brno came out of the locker room on a mission to shut us down and they did. The ladies didn’t hit a field goal until over half the period had elapsed. At that point in the game our lead was cut to a slim one point. Unfortunately for us, that would be the only field goal made in the quarter as KP Brno outscored us 20-4 and held a 6-point lead heading into the fourth.
Entering the fourth quarter, we were the ones who had a chip on our shoulder and were ready to prove what we were capable of. This time, we opened the quarter playing relentless defense and we began firing from all cylinders. We opened the quarter on a 17-2 run and retook the lead. This opening run was spurred on by Kateřina Zohnová who had 8 of those initial 17 point run and had 10 in the period. KP Brno tried to get back into the game but we just kept pulling ahead and the game ended in a win for us with a score of 71-63.
Many of our players had good games as there were three players who scored double digits. Kateřina Zohnová put up 15 points and had 7 rebounds, Michaela Vacková had 17 points and Petra Záplatová had 21 points along with 7 assists.
This Victory locked us into the 3 seed in the ŽBL standings and means that we will be playing BK Loko Trutnov in the first round of the playoffs. Our next games are the Final Four for the EWBL in Rostov Arena, Russia. In the first game that weekend we will take on TTT Riga.
Photo credit: David Titz