The Texas Stampede led behind Belgium import Raf Hendrix returned to Houston for the 2nd time in as many months to compete against the TIRR (Houston) Texans.
Game 1 saw a gritty Stampede line of Hendrix, Shryock, Groff and Garcia jump out to a 5 point lead in the first quarter. "It was our first time to play together in competition", said coach James Gumbert "we were really trying to focus on just getting players in the right spots". It did not take long for everyone to do that as subs of Brown and Butler expanded the lead to 8 in the 2nd.
Coming out of halftime Texas went to the bench again and displayed depth by pairing Hendrix with Symmons to provide two big hitting players on the court. New to the USA hi/low brand of ball Raf quickly adapted to the uptempo fare "we play the hi/low at home and it is a bit more slow, but it is similar in ways", said Hendrix. The line held their own and kept the spread at an even eight. A new balance yes you read it right balanced line took the floor in the 4th. Hendrix, Brown, Curtis and Butler picked up where the rest of the team left off trading goals with the Texans. All members contributing to get the lead to 12. The line of Whittaker, Hendrix, Butler and Groff finished the game and when the final horn sounded Texas was on top 53 - 40.
Game 2 played off the success of the first. Starting the new found balance line the Stampede pushed to a 5 point lead and handed the stick off to Veteran Shryock and Symmons. "Communication was a issue as everyone was silent out there", said Gumbert. "A lot of the development for players start with having them play with veterans". Faced with some adversity the line found their voices and expanded the lead to 9 at half.
The 3rd and 4th saw continued line development and expanding roles. "I was doing things I have never done before", quipped Reece Whittaker. The quote was true for all players as they were continuously put into roles which challenged them throughout the final 2 periods. In the end the challenges showed growth but even more it showed areas of need. Texas will take the 61-47 victory but aim to get better for the next time they take the pitch.
A special thanks to Mike Cottingham and the University of Houston for hosting a great day of sport. For more info go to www.fearthesteer.com.