Time again for the weekly dispatch from England from BallinEurope’s man in the Things in the UK, Sam Chadwick. (Apologies for day-lateness; purely BiE’s problem with time management.) Seven BBL Championship games went down and Chadwick wraps ’em up for us. For all things BBL, read more below the break!
This week featured seven BBL Championship games starting on Wednesday, 16 November, when Marjon Plymouth Riders took on the Prestige Homes MK Lions; here’s the wrap-up of all games since then.
That first game Wednesday saw the Riders take a 92-76 victory over the MK Lions, thanks to individual contributions in a 25-point, 10-rebound double-double from Lehmon Colbert; 21 points, six rebounds and four assists from Jeremy Bell, who also coughed-up six turnovers; Paul Williams’ double-double of his own with 12 points, 13 rebounds; and Michael Ojo’s 17 points, eight rebounds and three assists. For the Lions, Demarius Bolds had a massive, 16 points, 10 assists, six rebounds and seven steals to go along with six turnovers; Howard Crawford was the high point man for the Lions with 21 points, while Daniel Northern added 16 points and five rebounds. The Lions shot an atrocious 20% from deep and 40% from the field.
Friday saw the host Mersey Tigers lose out 97-79 to the Worcester Wolves. The losing Tigers were led by new addition Marlon Capers, who finished with 21 points and six rebounds while hitting 63% from the field. Capers was joined by Kris Douse, who added 16 points, six rebounds and four assists but turned the ball over eight times. For the Wolves, it was Tommy Freeman who led the way with 27 points, nine rebounds and two assists; David “Tin-Tin” Watts had 21points, four rebounds; Richie Gordon had another double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds; and Callum Jones had 11 points, five assists and three rebounds.
One Health Sharks Sheffield went down 99-94 against the Leicester Riders behind 25 points, five rebounds and four assists from Cameron Rundles. Bradd Wierzbicki had 23 points, three rebounds and two assists while hitting four of five threes. Andrew Sullivan finished with 21 points, four rebounds and four assists; he also went four-of-five from beyond the arc. Ayron Hardy had a solid all-around game, finishing with 18 points, seven rebounds and two assists. For the Sharks, it was centre Justin Dobbins leading with 34 points, seven rebounds and five assists; Mike Tuck also had 18 points, eight rebounds and two assists while Jimmy Langhurst chipped in 16 points to go with five boards.
Saturday saw the Durham Wildcats play host to the Glasgow Rocks, eventually going down 92-75. The Rocks got an impressive outing from Mychal Green, who led the game with 35 points to go with five rebounds and four assists on 69% shooting from the field. Danny Huffor continued to fill the void left by E.J. Harrison’s ankle injury, contributing 19 points on 82% shooting, and forward Gareth Murray added 10 points, five rebounds and eight assists himself. For the Wildcats, Ralph Bucci had a double-double of 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Mike Cappoci led with 19 points and three rebounds, while Mario Flaherty had eight points to go with 11 rebounds.
Riders won their second game of the weekend with a 92-63 victory against the Mersey Tigers. Rundles again led the way with 18 points and five assists; Ayron Hardy contributed 15 points, eight rebounds and six assists; and Brad Wierzbicki had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists to go with two rebounds and four turnovers. For the Tigers, Myles Hesson led with 18 points but contributed a mere two rebounds and one assist. Kris Douse had 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists, while David Aliu had an impressive 13 rebounds (including four offensive) and seven points.
Worcester Wolves took their win streak to eight games with a 77-76 home over the Plymouth Raiders. Sherrad Prezzie-Blue had an impressive night, going off for 24 points, six rebounds and five assists. Richie Gordon had a near double-double of 16 points and nine rebounds, while Arnas Kazlauskas finished with 11 points, seven rebounds and three assists from the centre position. In a losing effort for the Raiders, Jeremy Bell contributed 24 points and seven rebounds; Anthony Rowe added 18 points and eight rebounds; and Paul Williams finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and three assists. The Raiders connected on zero of nine three-point attempts and had just 10 assists on 60 field goal attempts and only 31 makes.
Sunday saw the final game of the weekend when the Cheshire Jets lost a close one to the visiting Newcastle Eagles, 78-74. The Jets managed to turn a seven point halftime lead into a four-point loss by managing a combined 32 points in the second half. The game also saw the Jets losing centre Matthew Schneck to injury after just 14 minutes of play. To that point, Scheck’s stats were at six points and eight rebounds, including four offensive boards. In his absence, Bill Cole stepped up to finish with 24 points and nine rebounds but missed on all seven from deep. Adam Brown’s stat sheet was all over the place with 17 points, four rebounds, eight assists, nine turnovers and seven steals.
For the Eagles, it was a Charles Smith double-double that led the way with 18 points and 10 rebounds, though going just 2-of-11 on threes. Darius Defoe added a double-double of his own with 15 points and 14 rebounds including seven offensive; Joe Chapman added 18 points. This game finished with both teams hitting under 35% from deep: The Jets managed to connect on just 22% from long range, while the Eagles hit 32%. The fourth quarter saw the Jets miss nine three-point attempts while making just three field goals for the entire quarter.
That wraps up the weekend’s BBL games here in the UK; check back soon for more English Basketball news.
[And now for something completely different: Step dance at halftime of the Leicester-Mersey game –Ed.]
Sam Chadwick is the co-head coach of the Solent Kestrels U14 basketball team, along with dividing the remainder of his time among an assistant quantity surveyor job, university studies and sportswriting. Chadwick is now a contributor at BBLfans.com, and you can follow him on Twitter at @chadwick9.