MAYBE the Southern Peninsula Sharks under-16 boys team need a shark’s tooth or 10 for some desperately needed good luck.
The lads are in the midst of an unprecedented run of strange luck to start the under-16 boys Regional East 6 MUVJBL season.
After eight rounds the Sharks sits 0-5-3. Zero wins. Five draws. Three losses.
The three losses? All under three points with two decided by the narrowest of margins to start the season.
And it gets really strange from there; as the five draws have been consecutive and the streak is growing by the week.
Starting in round four, the lads drew 32-32 with top-ranked Melbourne, then 26-26 against McKinnon, 34-34 against high-flying Ringwood, a 30-30 draw against fourth-placed Camberwell and finally Friday night with a 39-39 thriller against Waverley.
Nothing the side has tried over the last month has been able to break the deadlock.
For a side that’s only down five points on its opponents across the season to be languishing near the bottom of the ladder… it shows the evenness of the competition and just how closely contested each clash will be heading towards the second half of the year.
Sharks head coach Darren Dobson said it’s equal parts strange, amazing, disappointing and challenging – but he remains confident in the team’s effort week-to-week.
“It’s certainly the weirdest record from my perspective,” Dobson said. “In my time coaching at best I might have had two draws in a season… but certainly not five and definitely not in a row.
“To be honest we’ve played the two top teams and had a pretty tough run – lost the first game by three points – for foul shots – the other game a kid hit on the buzzer a half-court shot.
“Overall I’m happy – we’ve played the top sides and drawn with them – it shows we’re competitive and from a developmental point of view it’s better to take the draws than get beaten by 40 points every week.
“I don’t gamble but after our fourth draw I went and bought a Lotto ticket – with variations on the boys numbers on it – but it didn’t get up.”
Despite playing undersized against the tall timber of Melbourne, Waverley, Ringwood and Camberwell, Dobson’s side has shown it can grind it out against the best of them.
“Said to the assistant coach and manager during the last game that we’d have our fourth draw and we did,” Dobson said. “Our boys are playing really well though – we’re a development team – about six inches shorter than every other team across the board.
“We’re fighting hard – it’s not like we’re trying to not win – and as one of the boys said you couldn’t draw five games in a row if you tried.
“It’s definitely unheard of in my experiences in sport and it’s still quite exciting, the boys are pumped and every game is a challenge and we go out there to do a job and support each other to the best of our abilities.
“If we can stand up to the challenges and play good team basketball we’ll be happy.”
The Sharks will have to wait until next Friday try to break their unwanted streak… or go deeper into the record books with six draws. Either way, it will be well worth watching.
Southern Peninsula Sharks under-16 boys 2 team (from): Antonio Di Santo, Dylan Breen, Ezekiel Bosse, Kayra Meric, Kel Smith, Kim Fui Gosling, Kyah Torres, Max Oliver, Noah Guneratne, William Malcolm, Darren Dobson (coach), Mei Line Yap (team manager) and Camillo Torres (assistant coach).