With his weekly check-in to provide the update on weekend happenings in British basketball is Sam Chadwick, who summarizes the action in BBL Championship and Trophy Quarterfinals matches of Saturday and Sunday For all things BBL, read more below the break!
The BBL Cup Quarter Finals tipped off this weekend with the Tigers taking on the Wolves, while both Championship and Trophy games continued.
The first game of the weekend saw the Leicester Riders dominate at the London Leopards’ home, 96-58, with six players finishing in double-digits, led by Andrew Sullivan’s 18 points, three rebounds and four assists. Cameron Rundles added 13 points on 80% field goal shooting to go with three rebounds. The glass was controlled by the Riders, with both Barry Lamble (12) and Brett Royster (10) collecting at least 10 rebounds apiece. For the Leopards, Vernon Teel was to the only player to score more than seven points, finishing with a line of 21 points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals; his team committed 27 fouls compared with the Riders’ seven and turned the ball over 16 times.
The Mersey Tigers were blown out at home, 91-62, by the Worcester Wolves, who were already on a four-game winning streak before the weekend began. David Aliu finished with 18 points and five rebounds in the loss, while Kris Douse put up 14 points and five rebounds but also committed six turnovers. The Tigers had trouble on the glass, collecting only 26 rebounds compared with the Wolves’ 40. For the Wolves, it was Richie Gordon who had a memorable night, finishing with 27 points, 15 rebounds and three assists on 76% field goal shooting, Sherrad Prezzie-Blue added 23 points, five rebounds and nine assists, while Tommy Freeman also contributed 23 points, three rebounds and three assists. That game will see the Wolves into the next round of the BBL Cup.
Newcastle Eagles won a close game versus the Glasgow Rocks, coming out with a 78-75 victory. Charles Smith led the Eagles with 25 points and five rebounds, while Joe Chapman added 19 points, six rebounds and five assists; Andrew Thomson had 18 points, eight rebounds and three assists. For the Rocks, it was their first game without E.J. Harrison, who has had solid production for them so far this season, as he sat out with a sprained ankle. Mychal Green led the Rocks in scoring yet again, finishing with 28 points; he also added eight rebounds and six assists for a solid all-around stat line. Sterling Davis finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists while Danny Huffor had 10 points and nine rebounds for a near double-double.
In the first Championship game of the weekend, the Worcester Wolves got yet another W to add to their streak, making it six in a row with a one-point victory over the Durham Wildcats, eking out the 65-64 win. Richie Gordon had another solid game, finishing with 12 points, nine rebounds and two assists. Tommy Freeman had 17 points, four rebounds and three assists, while Carlos Fernandez added 12 points. For the Wildcats, Ralph Bucci finished two assists short of a triple-double, with 12 points and 10 rebounds to go with the eight dishes. Mike Capocci led the Wildcats with 19 points, while Fred Heinnenkamp had 11 points, four rebounds and two assists. It was the first half where the Wildcats lost this game, scoring 16 points while allowing the Wolves to score 23 in the second quarter.
Leicester Riders advanced into the next stage of the BBL Cup with a 95-74 win at the Cheshire Jets. Ayron Hardy had a solid 10 rebounds, seven assists and 15 points for the Riders, while Andrew Sullivan contributed 19 points, six rebounds and four assists; however, it was Cameron Rundles who was the high man, finishing with 24 points to go with four assists and four rebounds, For the Jets, Matt Schneck had 16 points and eight rebounds, Bill Cole had a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, while Colin O’Reilly had 10 points, eight rebounds and five assists.
In the weekend’s final game, Glasgow came out in dominating fashion against the One Health Sheffield Sharks, coming away with an 82-64 win. The Sharks shot just 32% from the field compared with the Rocks’ 42%, while their highest scorer finished with just 12 points. For the Rocks, Danny Huffor has really stepped up since the loss of E.J. Harrison, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. Mychal Green led the way with 23 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Sterling Davis added 16 points and eight rebounds. For the Sharks, Justin Dobbins seems to have slowed, finishing the game with just 12 points and six boards. Olu Babalola compiled 12 points and six rebounds; Team Britain point guard Nate Rainking had just 11 points, five rebounds and a mere one assist. The Sharks were outscored 22-11 in the final quarter, while the Rocks shot just 28% (7-of-25) from deep range for the entire game.
That wraps up the weekend’s BBL games here in the UK. Check back soon for more British Basketball news.