In their last game of the season, the students of Tantalus HS1 played against Den Dungk HS 1. The season did not have much more to say for the home team, as they had the mathematical certainty of being champions with still 2 games left to play. On the other hand, for Tantalus HS 1 a win would have resulted in a sure 3rd place, while a loss would have very likely condemned them to a final 4th position. The students arrived at this final game after a nice practice week, but without coach Francesco Pizzocolo, absent for personal reasons. The game took place in a very festive atmosphere, with the home team and the supporters celebrating the championship in their first home game after the great achievement.
The students started the game with a timid approach, which resulted in an immediate lead that reached even 11 points for Den Dungk. After this first impact, Tantalus reacted and closed to 1st quarter down 22-16. The attention in defense improved significantly in the second quarter for Tantalus: Den Dungk only managed to score 14 points, including a 3 pointer at the buzzer that gave them the 36-33 lead at the break.
The two teams proceeded close to each other also in the third quarter, with little breaks from both sides that kept the game very balanced and entertaining. The students won this partial 17-20 and started the 4th and decisive quarter on a 53-53 score. After 30 minutes of man-to-man defense, the coach of Den Dungk decided to adopt the zone defense. The strategic move paid dividends as the home team created a little break of 4 points in the first 2 minutes, to which the students immediately responded bringing the score to 57-57 with 5 minutes to go. The game kept on going in perfect equilibrium until a lucky 3-pointer from the home team brought the score to 64-60 with 2 minutes to go. In the final round of timeouts and foul calls, the student failed four different occasions to bring the game to overtime or even win it… The beauty and the cruel aspects of basketball…
Despite this final loss, the Tantalus guys have to be happy for another positive season in which they improved enormously. It is a matter of fact they were the only team in the competition that managed to win against the current champions of Den Dungk in the home game (87-78 for Tantalus in Eindhoven). This is certainly a reason to look at the future with a big smile for coach Pizzocolo and his guys.
Maikel Boons, 21
José Augusto Berrocal 12
Tosha Gommers, 11